TIPC’s Open Learning Series, delivered in partnership with AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, brings together researchers, funders, policy practitioners, consultants and other agents of transition for practical insights, shared learning and enquiry. We welcome diverse perspectives from people around the world working on transformative change . Sessions often include a short networking component , so please ensure you can join in, with cameras on if possible. This event will be in English.
Contestation lies at the very core of experimentation for Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP). Recent conceptual development of the multi-level perspective for analysing socio-technical transitions to sustainability suggests that contestation is experienced by actors as ‘tensions’, and that these create windows of opportunity for regime destabilisation and diffusion of niche-innovations.
The TIP knowledge community may be familiar with the multi-level theory of change tools in the TIP Resource Lab, designed to identify spaces for experimentation by enabling reflection on a dialectic between an undesirable current state and more desirable future state.
Tensions include a wide variety of dichotomies, dualities, dialectics, paradoxes, and contradictory pulls or demands that appear to represent contradictory poles and seem to require a choice of one or the other. How we respond to tensions determines whether their generative potential for change can be harnessed, and windows of opportunity for transitions seized.
Read more: Contestation in Transformative Innovation Policy: harnessing tensions as windows of opportunity (TIPC guest insight paper by Len Kelleher)
In this session, led by Len Kelleher, we aim to develop a broader understanding of tensions and their management, drawing on foundational concepts and recent advances in the fields of strategic management and futures studies.
We will learn about:
- the nature and generative potential of tensions, and types of responses;
- literature examples of tensions experienced in contexts relevant for Transformative Innovation Policy;
- a conceptual model for how tensions are experienced, surfacing key pivot points for intervention that can help to harness generative potential; and
- tools and approaches to support interventions at these pivot points.
Len Kelleher is a Research Associate at the University Commercialisation and Innovation (UCI) Policy Evidence Unit, within the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing. He provides expertise in innovation policy and institutional change, particularly related to the roles of universities in innovation, economic growth and sustainable development. Len is also a participant in TIPC’s Red de Entrenadores Para el Laboratorio de recursos de TIP, and has worked closely with other coaches from around the world to test and shape the tools in the Lab.