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Practice Briefs focus on social innovation practices and related topics. Briefs are generated based on case studies of social innovation networks in EU and Latin America.

Practice Brief #1

This is the first TRANSIT project brief in a series of briefs. They are written for practitioners involved in social innovation and policymakers interested in what social innovation is, what social innovators are achieving, and how their transformative impact could be enhanced through support and institutional reform. In this brief, we describe the transformative aims of 12 social innovation networks we have studied this far, including their models of change and the interactions with their context. Many of the twelve networks have explicit transformative ambitions and aim to make a positive societal impact, for example through environmental sustainability, social equity and fairness, and economic resilience. They propose values and practices such as sharing, solidarity, collective ownership, self-determination, open source and local resilience. They face a set of common challenges in terms of working with governments, monitoring and evaluation, and resourcing.


Kemp, R.; Zuijderwijk, L.; Weaver, P.; Seyfang, G.; Avelino, F.; Strasser, T.; Becerra, L.; Backhaus, J. and Ruijsink, S. (2015) Doing things differently : exploring Transformative Social innovation and its practical challenges (TRANSIT Brief ; 1), TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Practice Brief #2

This TRANSIT brief addresses the governance and politics of transformative social innovation. Social innovation means new social relations, involving new ways of doing, organizing, knowing and framing. Social innovation is ‘transformative’, when it moves beyond a single local innovation towards significantly challenging the social context. In our research project, we study 20 social innovation networks and 40 related local initiatives, most of which have such explicit transformative ambitions. In this brief you can read about the co-production of transformative social innovation in terms of how it generates solutions, but also the problems, setbacks, constraints and negative side-effects involved with this coproduction. We address four themes: (1) the development of ‘transformative impulse’, (2) the institutionalization of social innovation initiatives, (3) the hybrid nature of transformative social innovation, and (4) the relevance of different cultural and geographic contexts.


Pel, B.; Weaver, P.; Strasser, T.;  Kemp, R.; Avelino, F. and Becerra, L. (2015)Governance : co-productions challenges in Transformative Social Innovation (TRANSIT Brief ; 2), TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Practice Brief #3

In this brief we address what we mean by a "theory" and how we see its relevance to practice. We then present a summary of our current understanding of transformative social innovation, and finally we share seven insights about the practice of transformative social innovation that follow this understanding.


Haxeltine, A., Kemp, R., Cozan, S., Ruijsink, S., Backhaus, J., Avelino, F. and Dumitru, A. (2017) How social innovation leads to transformative change : towards a theory of transformative social innovation (TRANSIT Brief ; 3), TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Practice Brief #4

The fourth TRANSIT brief offers insights into the following questions: what is social learning, what does it consist of in the case of SI initiatives and why is social learning important - even foundational - for SI initiatives as well as wider society? Also, the brief provides insight into the role of networks in social learning for social innovation. Answers to these questions will be illustrated with empirical examples from the following three (TRANSIT) cases: Slow Food, credit unions & financial cooperatives and eco-villages.


Dumitru, A., Lema-Blanco, I., Kunze, I., Kemp, R., Wittmayer, J., Haxeltine, A., García-Mira, R., Zuijderwijk, L. and Cozan, S. (2017) Social learning in social innovation initiatives : learning about systemic relations and strategies for transformative change (TRANSIT Brief ; 4), TRANSIT: EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Practice Brief #5

This brief discusses resources for social innovation, needs and methods for monitoring social innovations and for evaluating social impacts, tensions around resourcing and monitoring, resourcing strategies of social innovation organizations, developmental evaluation, and roles for science in supporting SI. Based on looking at social innovation from the perspectives of resourcing, monitoring and evaluation, we offer inferences about scaling pathways for transformative social innovation relevant for social innovation practitioners and policy makers.


Weaver, P. M., Marks, M. B, Hogan, L., Wittmayer, J., Ruijsink, S., Bacerra, L., Cozan, S., Kemp, R., Strasser, T. and Zuijderwijk (2017) Resourcing, monitoring and evaluation : scaling challenges and pathways (TRANSIT Brief ; 5), TRANSIT: EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Practice Brief #6

In this final brief, we start by describing how the TRANSIT research was conducted (section 2). Next, we present some key theoretical insights about the relations between social innovation and transformative social change (section 3), followed by some key insights regarding the themes of governance, social learning, resourcing, monitoring and the changing societal context (section 4). The final section looks forward to the emergence of a transformative social innovation community (section 5).



Wittmayer, J.M., Kemp. R., Haxeltine, A., Avelino, F., Pel. B., Ruijsink, S., Jørgensen, M. S. and Rach, S. (2017) Transformative social innovation - What have we learned in four years of research? (TRANSIT Brief ; 6), TRANSIT: EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement: 613169.

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