Cameron Roberts joined the SCI in January 2016. His research focuses on the deliberate acceleration of technological transitions. He is developing a theoretical model which accounts for the rate of change in socio-technical systems by examining interactions between five different spheres of action: Technology and infrastructure, policy and politics, users, discourse and culture, and business. This framework suggests crucial ways in which policymakers or other powerful people could intervene to accelerate transitions to sustainability. This framework is being tested using historical case studies on transitions which were deliberately accelerated, such the transition in the United Kingdom to modern wheat agriculture, and the development of district heating in Denmark. This research provides insights on how policymakers can deliberately accelerate transitions to sustainability, and on the kinds of developments in the wider transition context which can make policymakers more likely to do so.
From 2012 to 2015, Cameron was working on his PhD at Manchester Business School. His thesis developed a theoretical model describing the development of public story-lines about competing technologies during socio-technical transitions. This model was honed using primary historical research on public debates which occurred during the transition from road to rail transport in the United States and the United Kingdom. Cameron’s broader research interests include the political, cultural, and discursive side of transitions, historical case study research on transitions, and sustainability transitions in the transport sector.