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Welcome to TRANSIT! 

We have developed a theory on Transformative Social Innovation. This is a process of change in social relations, involving new ways of doing, organizing, framing and/or knowing. Transformative Social Innovation challenges, alters and/or replaces dominant institutions and structures.

If you would like to learn more about our final event, please go to 'Learning for Change' or the press release.

Cases & Partners

Blog & News

A Manifesto for Transformative Social Innovation

November 23 2017

In these times of transition and uncertainty people long for new positive futures. They often look to established institutions and traditional leaders but these seem to be unable to break away from existing power structures [...]. With the Manifesto for Transformative Social Innovation we want to redirect attention to the emerging movement of transformative social innovation: communities and individuals across the world that are making change on the ground. .. More

New TRANSIT video highlights

November 15 2017

We have created a video series in which we asked people who are involved in social innovation – as social innovator, working as enabler, e.g. in a funding agency, or as a researcher – to reflect on it and to illustrate how it is experienced in everyday practice... More

TRANSIT at the SI-Drive final conference - Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change

November 8 2017

The last week of October, TRANSIT was invited to present its results at the Final Conference: Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change of our ‘sister project’ SI-DRIVE at the Academy of Sciences in Brussels... More

TRANSIT Facing Societal Challenges #3 | Transformative Social Innovation: a prospective

November 8 2017

The TRANSIT experience has been liberating. I have enjoyed the privilege of chairing its International Advisory Board, composed of wonderful and knowledgeable colleagues, who have learned and guided this mighty research project over its nearly five years of existence... More

Insights into social innovation and sustainable consumption

October 6 2017

We gladly announce the release of "Social Innovation and Sustainable Consumption: Research and Action for Societal Transformation" - a book that is part of the "Routledge-SCORAI Studies in Sustainable Consumption" series and came to be with the contributions of TRANSIT researchers Julia Backhaus, Edina Vadovics and Julia Wittmayer... More

We've been blogging, filming, tweeting and what more for #l4csi!

September 20 2017

Curious to learn what happened during the 'Learning for Change'-conference that TRANSIT hosted on 14th and 15th September 2017 in Rotterdam? .. More

Press release: Research meets practice: how can social innovation transform the society we live in?

September 1 2017

Research meets practice, during the TRANSIT final conference on transformative social innovation! The event called “Learning for Change: A Journey through the Theory & Practice of Transformative Social Innovation” takes place on the 14 and 15th of September, in BlueCity 010, Rotterdam. It marks the end of a four-year international research project on transformative social innovation (TRANSIT). The project involved 12 research institutes from Europe and Latin-America and was coordinated by DRIFT, a leading institute for sustainability transitions. A team of international researchers joined efforts to study how social innovations can have a transformative impact on society... More

Experimenting with alternative economies: four emergent counter-narratives of urban economic development

July 11 2017

Cities are often seen as critical sites for societal change and sustainability transitions, but attempts to steer these transitions can create difficulties. How do such transitions relate to the role of cities as sites of economic production, consumption, exchange and innovation, shaped by neoliberalism? This paper reports on four nascent counter-narratives that challenge the neoliberal logic and open up a wider set of possibilities... More

Transformative Social Innovation and (Dis)Empowerment

July 11 2017

Both public and academic discourses argue that the welfare state is being redefined – and share, in relation to the search for more sophisticated welfare models, a growing interest for ‘social innovation’ (SI). Considering the persistence and complexity of current societal challenges, however, the empowering and transforming potentials of social innovation are not self-evident. Therefore, the relations between social innovation, transformative change and empowerment are unpacked in this article... More

Transformative Social Innovation & New Economies

July 11 2017

The ESEE 2017 conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics took place in Budapest from 21st-23rd of June, bringing together diverse scholars to discuss critical insights on economic, socio-ecological challenges, degrowth and social movements. .. More



Creating Economic Space for Social Innovation - final conference

January 26 2018 at 09:00, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1HP More


Symposium: Paradoxes of Transformative Social Innovation

December 6 2017 at 12:00, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solbosch campus More


Social Innovation Learning Relay #1 Transformative Impact

November 15 2017 at 09:30, Rotterdam, the Netherlands More


Learning for Change: A Journey through Transformative Social Innovation

September 14 2017 at 09:00, Rotterdam BlueCity More


Transformations 2017

August 30 2017 at 01:00, Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR) University of Dundee, Scotland, UK More

TRANSIT highlights

Social Innovation

Social innovation refers to new social practices, including new ideas, new models, new rules, new social relations, new services and/or new products. More


(Dis)empowerment is a process in which people gain (or loose) the feeling (or idea) that they can influence their surroundings and the direction of events. More

(Transnational) Network

A (transnational) network is a collection of initiatives that are somehow linked to each other. This network may be crossing national borders. More

Social Entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurs are actors using business skills and knowledge to create an enterprise that is commercially viable while also accomplishing a social purpose. More

Game Changers

Game changers are macro-trends that are perceived to change the 'rules', 'players' and the 'game' of societal interaction. Think about the ICT-revolution and the financial ‘crisis’. More

Societal Transformation

A societal transformation is a fundamental and persisting change at the level of societies. Examples are the industrial revolution and European integration. More


Monitoring is the process that actors use to evaluate or assess the impact/progress of their initiative/network. More


Resourcing is to the process by which actors acquire the resources they need. These may be financial resources, but also artefacts, information or ‘human resources’. More


Governance refers to broader processes of governing (regulating, decision-making, steering) by all types of actors. This includes, but is not confined to government. More

Social Learning

Social learning refers to the process through which people and groups learn from each other in varying social contexts. More

System Innovation

System innovation is change at the level of societal sub-systems, meaning institutions, social structures and physical infrastructures. More

Narrative of Change

A narrative of change is a discourse on change and innovation, i.e. a set of ideas, concepts, metaphors, narratives and/or story-lines about change and innovation. More

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