Glossary of Relevant Terms.

Language is necessary, fascinating and very much living until its changes and growth get overwhelming.

Whether you are simply interested in Global Energy Transformation and want to understand it better and communicate more clearly about it, or you are considering become a serious supporter and scholar on the issue, this is a glossary of many of the terms you are likely to encounter.

If you regularly see additional terms in anything you read, see or hear, email us, and we will personally provide you with a definition and include it here.

Just click on a word below, and the definition will appear at the top of the screen.

Air Car
Behavior Change
Best Practices
Bio-Fuels
Business Opportunities
Business Transformation
Change management
City planning
Climate Change
Cogeneration
Collaboration
Collective problem solving
Complementary currencies
Complexity in systems
Complex organizations
Complex transformation
Constraints
Consultants
Consumer behavior
Consumer incentives
Consumption
Counterpart funding
Corporate Social Responsibility
Creative destruction
Cultlike cultures
Currency systems
Depression
Economic growth
Economics
Energy systems transformation
Environmentalism
Experience curve/Learning curve
Fossil fuels
Free energy
General purpose technologies
Global embrace
Global production systems
Global supply chains
Government intervention
Homo Transformabilis
Hubbert, M. King
Infrastructures
International Energy Agency
Invisible hand (of the market)
Krugman, Paul
Leadership
Learning organizations
Local production systems
Market economy
Mitigation activities
Oil
Peak Oil
Pesticides
Planned change
Prioritization
Quality of life
Renewable fuels
Renewable technologies
Roman Empire, fall of
Ruttan, Vernon W.
Shortages
Socialism
Specialization
Stories of the Future
Tainter, Joseph
Transportation

Air car
Car that uses compressed air as energy source

Behavior change
Behavior in many areas needs to change in order to create a sustainable
Future

Best practices
Best principles or methods used for a particular purpose. Used in change management projects to identify companies or situations to learn from and relevant goals to set

Bio-fuels
Fuels made from bio-mass, plants, trees, seaweed, biological waste and other biological matter

Business opportunities
Opportunities to develop new products, services, concepts or entirely new companies

Business transformation
Structured and planned changes in companies to new principles and routines to meet emerging requirements and needs

Change management
Methods and management principles that are used to achieve business transformation

City planning
Process of planning lay-out, infrastructure etc of cities. The principles of city planning may have to be changed in order to create sustainable cities.

Climate change
The on-going change in the earth’s climate, which may or may not be caused by human activity.

Cogeneration
The simultaneous generation of electricity and heat in power plants

Collaboration
The close cooperation between companies in order to improve performance towards mutual coals.

Collective problem solving
Problem solving in groups, making use of the entire set of competencies of all the individuals, as opposed to expert problem solving where one expert makes an analysis based on knowledge available to him/her.

Complementary currencies
Currency systems with other types of mechanisms than those of national currencies. Complementary currencies have been used historically to initiate new economic activity, and is increasingly used today for this purpose.

Complexity in systems
Systems with large number of specialized components that interact in different ways. Higher complexity = larger number of specialized components.

Complex organizations
Organizations represent particular type of complex system.

Complex transformation
Higher level of complexity increases need of change management. Low complexity reduces need of change management.

Constraints
Planned change efforts need to be based on constraints, such as limited time, access to financial resources, competencies or raw materials.

Consultants
Specialist resources used for particular purposes. Specialization of consultants increases complexity in society. Consultants can also be used to drive change management, a way of changing systems with a high level of complexity.

Consumer behavior
Patterns of behavior among consumers in a market.

Consumer incentives
Incentives that can be applied to change consumer behavior. Could be offered by companies for competitive purposes or by the government as a change management tool.

Consumption
The purchasing and use of goods and services by individuals, organizations or by society as a whole.

Counterpart funding
Tool used in financing programs by the government. The recipient of support needs to pay part of an investment or purchase himself in order to receive support. Invented as mechanism in The Marshall Plan.

Corporate Social Responsibility
The idea that companies need to take a certain amount of responsibility for the environment, development of society in its region or globally.

Creative destruction
The process of economic renewal through which companies that offer outdated products and services, and create little value, are replaced by companies better adapted to current and future requirements, and create more value. First observed and described by the economist Joseph Schumpeter.

Cultlike cultures
Corporate cultures with strong and well developed systems of shared values and behaviors. Observed and described by business professors James Collins and Jeremy Porras.

Currency systems
Systems of currencies, that also contain different mechanisms that provide incentives to participants. Economist

Depression
A severe economic downturn. Something we need to avoid during energy transformation by understanding the relationship between energy use and economic growth.

Economic growth
The process of increasing the value of GDP on a regional, national and global level. The gradual increase in productivity has been identified as the most important driver of economic growth.  Institutions, training and competence development, industry clusters and other factors also contribute to economic growth.

Economics
Science that offers partial understanding of large scale transformation. Emphasis on the role of markets. Substantial underestimation of the role of planning and management.

Energy systems transformation
The structured attempt to change large scale energy systems to sustainability, that is advocated in Global Energy Transformation.

Environmentalism
A number of related sciences and ideologies that form the basis of one of the arguments in favor of rapid change. Offers no concept of how change is achieved.

Experience curve/Learning curve
Curve describing the regular change pattern that in a society, industry, or company, is caused by learning by individuals.

Fossil fuels
Fuels based on raw materials of fossilized plants, such as oil, coal and natural gas.

Free energy
The idea that it may become possible to generate energy energy without the use of scarce raw materials or at high financial cost. Researched by different scientists, among them Nicola Tesla.

General purpose technologies
Technologies with wide range of applications that contribute to improve productivity and drive economic growth for decades. Initial high cost of development is paid back over long term. The late economics professor Vernon W. Ruttan argued that large scale and long term financing is necessary for the development of general purpose technologies. Mats Larsson in Global Energy Transformation argues that managed development and implementation projects are necessary for rapid and precise results.

Global embrace
The idea of large scale and long term global cooperation, as opposed to conflict, through the global energy transformation effort. Proposed by Mats Larsson in Global Energy Transformation.

Global production systems
Many large scale production systems of the global economy are of a global nature. Companies on one continent purchase raw materials and components from all over the world for their global or multi-national production networks.

Global supply chains
Refers specifically to the chains of supply of raw materials and components of global production systems.

Government intervention
The involvement of government in the business and economic development of a market economy.  Suggested by Mats Larsson in Global Energy Transformation to be necessary for rapid and precise energy systems transformation.

Homo Transformabilis
A new breed of generalist necessary in the large scale transformation of energy systems. Homo Transformabilis possesses the basic knowledge in change management, economics, sustainability, and Peak Oil that is necessary to drive energy systems transformation with precision and at high speed.

Hubbert, M. King
Oil geologist who foretold the US peak in oil production, and the global peak in oil production, later called Peak Oil.

Infrastructures
Large scale national and regional structures for communication, energy distribution, travel etc. Existing infrastructures are energy consuming. We need to develop more energy efficient general purpose technologies and apply them in future infrastructures on a large scale to replace existing ones.

International Energy Agency
International organization that is responsible for forecasting oil supply and demand. Has been criticized by notable oil geologists for overestimating remaining oil reserves, and for pushing the production peak too far into the future.

Invisible hand (of the market)
Concept used by economists to describe the market’s ability to allocate resources to players in the economy that use them most efficiently.

Krugman, Paul
Economist, nobel laureate and columnist of the New York Times. Has written extensively about economic growth.

Leadership
A concept containing tools and methods for management, change and business in general.  Leadership is closely linked to activities that involve decision making, planning and the execution of plans in companies and in society.

Learning organizations
The ability of organizations to transform themselves and adapt to new circumstances in their environment. The concept has been developed by leading researchers, such as Professor Chris Argyris and Peter Senge. In Global Energy Transformation Mats Larsson argues that organizations need to apply principles of change management and organizational learning in order to improve energy efficiency.

Local production systems
As opposed to global production systems. In order to reduce the use of energy and our dependence on fossil fuels, we need to increasingly develop local production systems that could replace global ones.

Market economy
An economy based on economic interaction and trade on markets, where prices are determined by the “market forces” of supply and demand. A market economy is often contrasted by the concept of planned economic systems. The late Professor Vernon W. Ruttan presents a strong case for government intervention in market economies, in the development of general purpose technologies.

Mitigation activities
Activities to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil, the so called “energy crunch” and other less desirable, but sometime inevitable, developments in the energy arena.

Oil
Fossil fuel that is about to reach its global production peak.

Peak Oil
The global peak in oil production, a history changing event that is by some experts expected to occur in the next few years.

Pesticides
Used in industrial agriculture to kill pests. Petroleum is used as a feed-stock for production.

Planned change
Concept used by companies that transform single business processes or the whole company for improved efficiency and customer value creation. Has been used on the level of the whole industrial system for the transformation of US industry during the Second World War. Is attempted by the Obama Administration for the renewal of the health care system of the United States.

Prioritization
A necessary ingredient in the execution of plans. When many decision makers influence the outcome of a program, they all need to prioritize using the same general principles and values.

Quality of life
The degree to which people enjoy life. Is by many economists, politicians, business managers and members of the general public assumed to increase with economic growth. This idea is contested by many researchers, among others by Richard Douthwaite in his book “The Growth Illusion”.

Renewable fuels
Fuels that are not limited to existing sources. As opposed to the finite sources of fossil fuels.

Renewable technologies
Technologies that make possible the large scale use of energy from renewable sources. Few such technologies are yet available.

Roman Empire, fall of
Historical empire, the fall of which was, according to Professor Joseph Tainter, caused by an unsustainable level of complexity.

Ruttan, Vernon W.
The late Professor Vernon W. Ruttan was Professor in Economics at University of Minnesota. In his book “Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?” he analyzed the development of six general purpose technologies, and came to the conclusion that government investment in technology development had been important in all cases. It had either sped up development, or made development possible. The six technologies are the american production system, aircraft technologies, space technologies, information technology, Internet technologies and nuclear power technology. Groundbreaking research!

Shortages
Many energy experts warn of energy shortages after, and possibly before, the production peaks of fossil fuels.

Socialism
Political ideology that combines planned economic development with government ownership of the means of production. Tried on a large scale, without success. Not the idea of Global Energy Transformation.

Specialization
One of the factors behind economic growth. Also the main contributor to the complexity of systems.  Specialization has been necessary in order to improve productivity, which has also contributed to globalization, due to the need to use increasingly specialized resources to create value on a global scale.

Stories of the Future
Tales that describe a future society with reduced dependence on fossil fuels. Important tool for change management of large scale energy systems transformation programs.

Tainter, Joseph
Archaeologist, who developed the theory that advanced societies throughout history have collapsed due to increasing complexity. In his book “The Collapse of Complex Societies” he also discusses the idea that increasing complexity is one of the cornerstones and drivers of economic growth and development of our society.

Transportation
Sector of society that is entirely dependent on fossil fuels.