Investing in Transformation

What is the relationship between the TIPC and Deep Transitions Projects?


When the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) launched in 2016, part of the rationale provided for its conception was that the world is in a ‘Deep Transition’. This was reasoned by TIPC founder, Professor Johan Schot, who was then the Director of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School.   This global shift, coined the ‘Second Deep Transition’, has sustainability at its core – unlike the ‘First Deep Transition’  which does not.

The First DT began at the start of the Industrial Revolution, continuing right through to today. While bringing increased living standards for many, this Deep Transition has caused the climate and inequality challenges we now face.

TIPC works towards answering how we may successfully transform towards a second, new, sustainable ‘Deep Transition’  to centre behaviours and practices that stop the earth crisis we are in. TIPC is part of the ‘prescription’ for this Deep Transition ‘diagnosis’ , happening across the World.




Research in Action

This TIPC and Deep Transitions thinking has evolved across two research projects to created a ‘cognitive space’ for dialogue, experimentation, reflection and learning towards policy and investment for a sustainability revolution.  Currently these projects – the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) and the Deep Transitions Futures Panel for Transformative Investment (TI) – interplay for increased influence and impact within differing arenas for the same end – Transformative Outcomes (TOs). These sister projects work in distinct spaces with associated actors to achieve sustainability goals within their discourse, context and ‘rules’. The former, TIPC, acts within the policy field, involving government innovation funding agencies and policymakers from across Africa, Latin America and Europe; and latterly, the Deep Transitions project, and specifically, the Futures stage (Deep Transitions Futures – DTF), involves coordination with the global investment sector.

The DTF project – that centres on creating Transformative Investment (TI) in the financial sectoraligns in values and aims to the enactment of Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) in government science, technology and innovation (STI) policy. They share the same founding team led by Johan Schot, Professor of Global History and Sustainability Transitions. The central premise is that Transformative Innovation (TI) and Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) compliment and drive each other to be front and centre in financial and policy fields for the 21st century’s Second Deep Transition. The programmes, experiments, ideas and outcomes that come from these two research projects feed into civil society to steer the direction towards the world we need.


Towards Transformative Outcomes 

Using this research and engagement, coordinated by the academic partners – the UK’s Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School; Utrecht University’s Centre for Global Challenges in the Netherlands; and INGENIO, the science and innovation unit based at the Polytechnic of Valencia – the networks within these arenas are developing, prototyping and implementing new activities to drive towards sustainable Transformative Outcomes (TOs).

Both TIPC and Deep Transitions Futures support the path to green and just transitions to achieve, for the 21st century, a transformation for countries and regions that sets us on a fresh road, taking the world instead, towards decarbonisation and a sustainability revolution, namely the Second Deep Transition. Without this happening we will will remain on the pathway of the ill-fated First Deep Transition.


Networks, Intermediaries and Influence 

As well as influencing the core audiences in the policy and investment spheres, the ideas and outcomes of the work in both sister projects (Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) and Deep Transitions Futures Panel for Transformative Investment (TI)) aims to feed into NGOs, social movements and civil society to influence people’s behaviours and the ‘rules’ in society for consumption and production that we live by.




“The policymakers, signed up to be part of TIPC, are ‘investing’ too. They fund public and private projects to create transformative change. Like investors injecting capital, policymakers pay for projects and programmes, so in this sense they are investing just like the private investment sector does.

With the Deep Transition Futures project we are stretching our transformative aims and outcomes to the private sector. We need coordination across the private and public spheres with strong leadership on transformative investment, be it in the public or private realms, towards sustainability. The value and return on this sustainable investment will be felt across all world. “

Professor Johan Schot 

Founder of TIPC and Deep Transitions

Action Research Projects