This handbook introduces actionable knowledge on developing A Transformative Theory of Change by applying a portfolio approach to address a systems innovation perspective for projects and programmes. Tools, methods and lessons learned result from working hand in hand with EIT Climate-KIC projects around a portfolio of knowledge services for sustainable systems transformation. The step-by-step methodology aims to support practitioners in designing, implementing, and evaluating projects aimed at transformative system change by combining the Theory of Change methodology with the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP). It can be used to facilitate a co-creation process among societal stakeholders invested in sustainability, connecting innovation with societal challenges through the effective delivery of knowledge service. The handbook has been developed through the collaboration between the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium, INGENIO-UPV, the Austrian Institute of Technology and EIT Climate-KIC as part of the MOTION EIT Climate-KIC project.
In this project I have supported several partners to develop good practices for achieving more and better dialogue between systemic actors to establish a collaborative multi-stakeholder arena in the utilities sector starting with a demand-led approach, working with city authorities, regional bodies, governments, and industry leaders committed to transitioning to the circular economy.
The Circular Cities project has helps multiple actors to identify the effects, both positive and negative, of incorporating circularity into urban planning instruments, as well as how these can be assessed. The outcomes are meant to help policymakers, investors, businesses, consumers and civil society to find the most promising transition pathways. We have gathered the lesson learn in a visual document and a dashboard of knowledge visualisations.
This study provides evidence on the application of a regional policy model through a portfolio of actions to support entrepreneurship and development of professional competences. For doing so, we analyse the capacity building process delivered through the EIT RIS Climate-KIC programme in the context of peripheral European regions. In the context of the EIT RIS those are defined as the ones showing innovation performance below the EU average according to the European Innovation Scoreboard.
Emphasis is put on the alignment of multiple stakeholders with existing regional innovation plans such as Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) by which policy mixes emerge with the purpose of reinforcing synergies and complementarities between EU, national, regional innovation initiatives while developing and activating large-scale “green” projects. The study addresses then the performance of the peripheral regions to improve the knowledge triangle integration. We argue that a variety of mechanisms for public-private collaboration is required to effectively support technological as well as practice-base innovation.
The case of European peripheral regions is a concrete example of the application of policy mixes by considering a variety of regional settings in terms of industrial history and governance configurations. The empirical study is based on the comparative analysis of the results of a portfolio of activities as well complementary interviews to regional policy officers. Results show that the successful alignment between regional priorities and low-carbon economy projects can be explained by how clear is the understanding of horizontal relations between stakeholders to define the long term direction of regional innovation.
Results has been already presented in the following conferences
RSA Annual Conference 2017 “the Great Regional Awakening: New Directions“, 4th-7thJune 2017 ,Dublin, Ireland
The interdependent challenges of climate change need innovation in systems of practice and provision, not single innovation in products and processes. In this context, cities face the challenge of dealing with climate risks and impacts, while moving to more sustainable, zero-carbon and resilient pathways. This is a major opportunity for a new, sustainable market to combine existing knowledge and economies of scale that exist within urban environments to produce new systemic solutions. However, there are considerable differences in progress between the leading cities (mostly in Northern/Western Europe) and the one’s lagging behind. Intra-EU disparity claims for the existence of platforms that follow a systemic approach instead of “picking the winner”. The structures which allow for the coordination of a variety of actors by combining individual goals and capacities with shared purposes, norms and expectations, refers to innovation platforms.
This study addresses the role of innovation platforms as catalysers of existing (or new) innovation systems in the field of sustainable urban transitions to explore market opportunities. Empirically, emphasis is put in the analysis of the underlying factors of geographical structural differences and what are the patterns of relations between knowledge spaces and governance configurations. For doing so, we analyse the portfolio of projects and activities of the EIT Climate-KIC. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding on innovation platforms as a mechanism to accelerate innovation in the urban environment that can contribute to enhance collaboration to achieve more equally distributed progress across all Europe.
First results of this study are based in the activities implemented in the EIT RIS programme covering peripheral EU regions. Results has been already presented in the following conferences:
4th Geography of Innovation Conference, Barcelona , January 31st– February 2nd, 2018
The pattern of specialization in the cities of Transition cities project are analysed through the application of Circos (Krzywinski et al., 2009) data graphics tool for structural studies. The exercise seeks to facilitate the analysis of specialization evidence from patterns in the data.
In the working paper we present a new sociotechnical and systemic approach to urban specialization with a policy focus on challenge-led clusters. Specialization patterns are explored through urban sociotechnical systems where networks and organisations act as “transition arenas” in a policy shift to the meso regime level as a new focus of transformative innovation. It is an alternative to the traditional macro/micro split more attuned to systemic rather than singular innovation, and offers a broader definition of innovation, which highlights social, organisational, and business model novelty.
1st SMARTER Conference on Smart Specialisation and Territorial Development 28-30 September, Seville
Challenge-led and participatory learning processes to facilitate urban strategies for innovation on low carbon futures
The Visual toolbox for system innovation” is a booklet-format collection of ready-to-implement tools to structure and manage the challenges and exploit opportunities of sustainability innovations and transitions.
The tools are presented in a simple and visual approach to support practitioners’ everyday work on climate change, transition and system innovation.
De Vicente Lopez, Javier and Matti, Cristian (2016). Visual toolbox for system innovation. A resource book for practitioners to map, analyse and facilitate sustainability transitions. Transition Hub Series. EIT Climate KIC, Brussels 2016. ISBN 978-2-9601874-1-0
As part of post COP21, a series of initiatives are launched to explore collaboration in different areas and at different level of actions. The “THE PARIS SUMMARY STATEMENT ON LEARNING FOR AN INCLUSIVE GREEN ECONOMY” is an initiative aimed to provide a set of guiding principles to support learning strategies and delivery mechanism as a reference framework for decision makers, learning institutions and professionals to refer to and apply in their work, covering multiple areas regarding de definition, design and implementation of action in Inclusive Green Economy Learning.
I was invited to take part in the launching event of this initiative and facilitate the participation of Climate KIC in this big network of institutions that support the debate on the need of Inclusive Green Economy and Learning toward creation of bridges in the research-policy-practice continuum. The initiative promotes interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-level approaches to empower individuals, communities and societies toward achievement of the regional and national strategies related to low-carbon economy.
The launch event “Opening the development agenda,” the STEPS center – Sustainable Alternatives for Latin America, was held on 5 and 6 November in Buenos Aires. STEPS Latin America is part of a network of universities based China, USA, Kenya, India, the UK and Sweden. STEPS Latin America seeks to renew and open innovation agenda and sustainability of the region, based on the idea that there are different paths to development. During the two-day panel on Open Science, Innovation inclusive, horizontal innovations for sustainability and natural resources and development which will have important guests were made internationally. My participation in this event was to design and facilitation of participatory workshops with the aim of thinking policies to promote open knowledge production and think a new research agenda on innovation and sustainable development for the region.
The workshop Policies to open the generation of knowledge was based in participatory techniques aimed to allow jointly identification of a number of items such as tools, methodologies and priorities related to S & T policy. Brainstorming techniques and World Cafe are used to enhance the diversity of perspectives and facilitate the exchange of ideas between different actors. The outcome of this workshop will be digitized and shared with participants to encourage collaboration in different areas.
The workshop Research agenda for sustainable development was based in participatory techniques for making maps on areas of knowledge and research priorities through a prospective approach. By visualizing a future scenario, the exercise seeks to help participants to relate different elements at different levels and over time in order to facilitate change processes at the system level. The outcome of this workshop will be digitized and shared with participants to encourage collaboration in different areas.
The event was part of the new line of collaboration between Transition Hub – Climate KICand the STEPs center. Further actions are related with the co-development of learning materials and exploring research opportunities in the area of resilient and smart agricultural systems
This study provides analytical evidence on new practices to transform the policy agenda in European cities. We carry out a participatory method approach to facilitate a process of mapping socio technical system and enable cities to articulate better their needs and challenges.
We run several rounds of networks analysis based in real projects data gathered in workshops through collaboration between actors and researchers as part of the Transition Cities project funded by the Europe’s Climate-KIC initiative. This exercise illustrates the combination of science and practice in the search of a more coordinated model to signal the market opportunities for co‐creation of low carbon innovative products and services. The preliminary results of this study have been presented in the following academic conference during 2015:
International Sustainability Transitions Conference 2015 – Sustainability Transitions and Wider Transformative Changes: Historical Roots and Future Pathways
University of Sussex, Brighton 24-28 August 2015
Qualitative and Mixed Methods in Research Evaluation and Policy Workshop
Brunel University London, 1-2 October 2015
EU-SPRI Early Career Researcher Conferences (ECC)
IRCRES Rome, 14-16 October 2015
Transition Cities project of Climate KIC to collaborate in the search of methodologies to facilitate the analysis of opportunities on environmental project from a socio-technical perspective through a co-creative collaboration between actors and researchers (transdisciplinary research).
Climate-KIC offered an eight day coached sustainability transitions course for experienced environment and water management professionals, held in Valencia (Spain) from 22nd until 29th November 2014. It was designed to provide the key competencies and capabilities to be an innovator in the broad sense of this term. More than 35 people, from 15 different countries, were working on ‘Green skills’ in a programme designed to upgrade professional competences to face climate and sustainability challenges. The principal novelty of the course was to introduce horizontal and cooperative methods of working, involving low-profile hierarchies and greater autonomy. Hence, participants were collaborating hand-by-hand with international, regional specialists and problem owners related with climate change within a “project meeting” atmosphere. Cristian Matti, social science researcher, together with Professor Anne J. Wieczorek and Coach Javier de Vicente, coordinated a team of well-known international experts including Jan Jonker, Corporate Sustainability; Todd Gartner, Water Management and Innovation; Caroline Van Leenders, Process Manager in Sustainable Transitions; and, Fernando J. Díaz López, Eco-innovation for Green economies. Furthermore, several regional experts participated in debates activities trying to reproduce real working negotiations with stakeholders. Additionally, participants have enjoyed study visits to actual projects in the regeneration area of Turia River and Naturals Park l´Albufera. A diverse set of activities such as breakfast and lunch seminars, workshops, world cafe or pitching, were performed horizontally in order to help participants to realize which skills are needed the most to deal with sustainability transitions enforced by climate change: thus, first, to be able to identify barriers, identify opportunities or stakeholders analysis; second, to be able to develop solutions –new business models– with system innovation projects, focus priorities for further exploration or low carbon innovation; and, finally, make transitions happen –plans into actions–. This pilot initiative performed as a living lab experience for both participants and experts who explored new learning techniques by shifting the role of experts, participants and speakers towards a more horizontal context of professional interaction. This particular program forms part of the Innovator Catalyst series and was aimed at experienced professionals with the enthusiasm and potential for influencing organizational change and system innovation. It was also organized by INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), Polytechnic University of Valencia and Vaersa.