Dr Janet Stephenson is a social scientist and Director of the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago, which carries out interdisciplinary collaborative research in agriculture, food, energy and environment.

Janet leads the Energy Cultures 2 research programme, and is also a research team member in the 6-year GREEN Grid research programme.

In the “Future Transport” workstream of the Energy Cultures project, her work is looking at potential future transport systems, globally and in New Zealand. The basic question we wish to answer is:  How will global transport trends impact New Zealand, what new opportunities in transport technologies and practices have a realistic potential to be taken up in NZ, and what are the drivers and barriers?

This workstream uses a Delphi methodology, which is a structured way of bringing together the perspectives of many experts.  In 2013, we undertook a multi-stage Delphi study with 25 international transport experts, questioning them about the changes they saw currently occurring in transport systems globally, and also likely future changes.

In 2014, we undertook another multi-stage Delphi study involving 86 New Zealand transport experts, on current and likely future changes in the NZ transport system.

Researchers currently involved in this workstream are Janet Stephenson, Debbie Hopkins and David Rees.  This workstream aims to help New Zealanders understand the possibilities, be realistic about the challenges, and take advantage of the opportunities for significant future changes in transport systems.  The findings also feed into the “New Transport Options For Business”, “Entrepreneurial Transport Opportunities”, “Future Transport Policies” and “Systems Dynamic Modelling” workstreams.

Results from this workstream have so far been shared at the following events: OERC Symposium 2013 & 2014; Transport Fuels Summit 2014; Ministry of Transport 2014; National Energy Research Institute Conference 2014; Transport Research Group 2014; Energy Cultures Reference Panel 2013, 2014; MBIE Transport Research Workshop 2015; Treasury National Infrastructure Unit 2015; TRAFINZ Conference 2015.

Papers and reports from this workstream include:

Stephenson, J., Hopkins, D., & McCarthy, A. (2014). New Zealand’s future transport system: drivers of change. Initial report from the NZ Delphi study.  Energy Cultures research programme, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Stephenson, J., Hopkins, D., Doering, A. (2014). Conceptualizing transport transitions: Energy Cultures as an organizing framework. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy & Environment 4:354–364. doi: 10.1002/wene.149

In her spare time, Janet enjoys the outdoors – kayaking, biking and walking in mountains.


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