Join us for the next Sustainability & Environment RKEI Public Lecture, in which Professor James Derbyshire (Chester Business School) will discuss how an ‘alternative sense of rationality’ could accelerate low-carbon transitions.

Talk Synopsis

A ‘planning gap’ has emerged in the transition to a low-carbon economy. There are many transition scenarios that describe potential low-carbon systems, but few that connect these system-level outcomes to the microlevel stakeholder decision-making needed to actualise them. 

This gap has emerged because the macrolevel transition scenarios created using Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) employ a set of assumptions associated with Rational Choice Theory. These include the assumption of a single ‘representative agent’ who makes decisions using ‘rational expectations’ based on a uniform framing, complete information, and clear decision rules. Because of these assumptions, IAMs have no means by which to represent heterogenous stakeholders’ diverse framings of focal transition issues. 

What is needed to close the planning gap are new scenario approaches based on an alternative understanding of decision-making rationality.  This talk sets out an alternative understanding of rationality and a new modelling approach designed to close the planning gap and accelerate low-carbon transitions

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