Sustainable development cannot be attained by technical innovation alone; it calls for a reorientation of the existing socio-technical regime: a system innovation. This implies the coordination of the distributed agency of the actors that focus on structural change, as well as activities focusing on the development of novel practices. These two ‘tracks’ of governance activities may reinforce each other in a process of dual track governance if they ‘reach out to each other’, i.e. seek to make functional connections. The paper describes a design-oriented approach to this dual track governance issue, called Reflexive Interactive Design (RIO). This approach is based on the idea that one can anticipate and facilitate system innovation by the introduction of novel concepts midway between broad future visions and specific novelties. Design and the design process turn out to act as a good vehicle to align processes of change both at the regime level and the niche level. The paper analyses the application of the approach in two design projects on sustainable husbandry of pigs and laying hens. These projects evolved into concrete experiments and new farms that radically diverge from the dominant practice, and have clearly contributed to changes at the level of the regime.
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