Dr.ir. J.N. (Jaco) Quist


Jaco Quist is an assistant professor in Sustainable Innovation and Transitions at the Energy & Industry Section of the Technology, Policy & Management Faculty, Delft University of Technology. He has completed a dissertation on participatory backcasting that was published by Eburon Publishers in 2007 as Backcasting for a sustainable future: the impact after 10 years (see www.eburon.nl or repository.tudelft.nl). His research and teaching evolves around sustainable innovation and transitions, in particular around visions, participatory backcasting and transition management.



  1. Making visions for transitions: applying participatory backcasting and transition management. It includes methodology development, participatory tools, and applying modelling, e.g. for renewable energy transitions.  
  2. Evaluating the impact of vision projects: both shortly after completion and the impact and effects after five to ten years, e.g. for circular economy.
  3. Vision dynamics in emerging niches and transitions: this includes how this relates to social innovation, learning, and new the emergence of new sustainable business models, e.g. for energy cooperatives, urban agriculture and water management transitions.
  4. Domains of interest: include Sustainable Production and Consumption (SPC), Industrial Ecology, Circular Economy, Renewable Energy, Climate Adaptation, and Urban Agriculture and Food. 

Research profile

Thesis students

  • Van der Voorn, T, Quist, J., Pahl-Wostl, C., Haasnoot, M. (2016). "Envisioning robust climate change adaptation futures for coastal regions: a comparative evaluation of cases in three continents." Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, in press, DOI 10.1007/s11027-015-9686-4, in press, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11027-015-9686-4
  • Quist J Tukker A (2013) ‘Knowledge Collaboration and Learning for Sustainable Innovation and Consumption: overview and introduction to the special issue, Journal of Cleaner Production 48, 167-175, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.03.051.
  • Silvester S, Beella S, van Timmeren A, Bauer P, Quist J, van Dijk S, (2013) Exploring design scenarios for large-scale implementation of the electric vehicles; the Amsterdam airport Schiphol Case, Journal of Cleaner Production 48, 211-219, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.07.053 
  • Boons, F., Montalvo, C., Quist, J., Wagener, M., (2013) Sustainable innovation, business models and economic performance: an overview. Journal of Cleaner Production 45, 1-8, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.08.013 .
  • Scott, K., Bakker C, Quist, J (2012)., Designing change by living change, Design Studies 33: 279-297, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142694X11000652
  • Van der Voorn, T., Pahl-Wostl, C., Quist, J., (2012), Combining backcasting and adaptive management for climate adaptation in coastal regions: A methodology and a South African case study, Futures 44(4): 346–364, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016328711002849
  • Vergragt PJ, Quist J (2011) Backcasting for Sustainability: introduction to the special issue, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 78(5): 747-755. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004016251100062X
  • Quist J, Thissen W, Vergragt P (2011) The impact and spin-off of participatory backcasting after 10 years: from Vision to Niche, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 78(5): 883-897. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162511000254
  • Quist J, Vergragt P (2006) Past and future of backcasting: the shift to stakeholder participation and a proposal for a methodological framework, Futures 38(9):1027-1045. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016328706000541
  • Quist J, Knot M, Young W, Green K, Vergragt P (2001) Strategies Towards Sustainable Households Using Stakeholder Workshops and Scenarios, International Journal of Sustainable Developments (IJSD) 4(1): 75-89.

More publications


FP7-project Glamurs Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models & Upscaling Regional Sustainability, project coordinators Prof Ricardo Garcia Mira & Dr Adina Dumitru, University of A Coruna, Galicia, Spain.


FP7 ERAHIM project (Advancing Research and Cooperation Capacities towards ERA) project leader: Prof. Eugene Nikiforovich, Institute of Hydromechanics, Kiev Ukraine


FP7 project InContext project ‘Individuals In Context: supportive environments for sustainable living’, project coordination by Ecologic, Berlin


‘The next 50 years: developing robust strategies for the gas transition’, EDGaR (Energy Delta Gas Research) programme, project leader: Dr Kas Hemmes, TU Delft


DIEMIGO project on electrical mobility inn the urban environment (project leader Dr.ir Sacha Silvester, TU Delft)


Case study in Pathways to Sustainability project (project leader prof Nicholas Ashford, MIT)


Strategies towards the sustainable household (SusHouse) project, FP5, project leader: prof Philip Vergragt, Tellus Institute, Boston

2014-01-01 - 2016-01-01
Board Member - Society for Sustainable Consumption & Production  (Brancheorganisatie: Overige dienstverlening)

2016-01-01 - 2017-12-31
(Board) Member - Society for Sustainable Consumption & Production  (Brancheorganisatie: Overige dienstverlening)

  • Quist, J., Wittmayer, J., Umpfenbach, K. and Bauler, T. (eds, 2013) Pathways, Transitions and Backcasting for Low-Carbon and Sustainable Lifestyles. Sustainable Consumption Transitions Series, Issue 3, Proceedings of SCORAI Europe & InContext Workshop, 7-8 October 2013, Rotterdam. The Netherlands, scorai.org/rotterdam-workshop-2013/
  • Jaco Quist and Arnold Tukker (eds, 2013), Special Section ‘Knowledge Collaboration and Learning for Sustainable Innovation and Consumption, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 48, Pages 167-279, 11 papers, www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09596526/48/supp/C .
  • Frank Boons, Carlos Montalvo, Jaco Quist, Marcus Wagner (eds, 2013), Special Volume on ‘Sustainable Innovation and . Business Models’ Journal of Cleaner Production., Volume 45, Pages 1-116 (April 2013), 11 papers, www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09596526/45.
  • Vergragt, Ph.J. & J.Quist (eds, 2011) Special Issue, Backcasting for Sustainability, in Technological Forecasting and Social Change 78 (5), pp 747-898 (June 2011) ), ISSN: 0040-1625. www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00401625/78/5
  • Quist J (2007) Backcasting for a sustainable future: the impact after ten years, Eburon Publishers, Delft NL, ISBN 978-90-5972-175-3. Download at repository.tudelft.nl or hard copies at  EBURON through www.eburon.nl www.eburon.nl/backcasting_for_a_sustainable_future?language_code=en

Jaco Quist

Assistant Professor

Engineering Systems and Services

Energy and Industry

Priscilla Zwalve-Hanselaar

Research interests:
Sustainable Innovation
Participatory Backcasting & Transition Management
Renewable Energy Transitions 
Social Innovation & social practices 
Sustainable Production and Consumption
Technology assessment

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