MOTION is a collaboration between TIPC and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Knowledge and Innovation Community (EIT Climate-KIC)


While the unprecedented global challenges including climate change and growing inequality call for urgent action, the transition towards a more sustainable and just future remains slow. Currently, change processes are rather incremental and focus on putting a plaster on the wounds caused by our current way of living.

The TIPC approach aims at bringing about transformative change instead. Transformative change takes an entire system into consideration including its actors, power dynamics, infrastructures, beliefs and assumptions, and thus strives for deeply rooted transformation on a much larger scale. For example, instead of introducing electric cars to reduce the problematic use of fossil fuels (incremental change), the entire mobility system including the implicitness of travelling by car and plane and the values related to this should be challenged (transformative change).

The MOTION project (funded by EIT Climate-KIC) is developing and testing an innovative methodology to progress transformative change.  This is done by means of collaborating closely with three associated projects (see Partner Projects below) and experimenting with the methodology within their contexts to evaluate and enhance their transformative potential. By means of applying an inclusive and participatory approach in which the research team works in equal partnership with the associated projects, a Transformative Theory of Change –  a roadmap for maximising the projects’ transformative potential – is co-constructed. Based on the Theory of Change, a framework for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) is developed for each of the projects. This framework provides them with the capacities needed to assess their progress.

MOTION can thus be perceived as an incubator that imparts knowledge and facilitates learning and capacity-building in which project partners will ultimately be able to pass on obtained capacities and implement the learnings of MOTION into a wider context.



  • Supports actors (policymakers, funders and transformation agents) in developing a Theory of Change for Systems Transformation
  • Develops tools for capacity building and technical assistance
  • Offers training to practitioners and transformation agents to acquaint them with the MOTION methodology
  • Helps regions and cities rethink and improve their capacity to steer and promote sustainable change

The project started in September 2019 and ends in December 2021. The project findings will be published in blogs, research articles and a handbook for practitioners.


Partner Projects:

MOTION currently works with the following three partner projects:

  • Sustainable Urban Shared Mobility (SuSMO)

Shared mobility provides an opportunity for European Cities to rapidly reduce transport carbon emissions, improve air quality and enable a better, more user centric travel system. This project works with leading partner cities across Europe (Stockholm, Bologna, Sofia, Madrid) to change the way shared mobility systems across Europe are implemented. The project furthermore delivers a vision for cities to lead the way in decarbonising our transport systems. More information on SuSMO.

  • System and sustainable Approach to virTuous interaction of Urban and Rural LaNdscapes (SATURN)

This project tackles the governance of nature and landscapes. Currently, the human approach to the management of land is determined by ownership, and often by the interests of a single sector. This leads to a fragmented landscape, with equally fragmented governance, and therefore fragmented funding and engagement, culminating in a fragmented approach to climate change. More information on SATURN.

  • Adaptive Cities Through Integrated Nature Based Solutions (ACT on NBS)

Despite the opportunities presented by Nature Based Solutions (NBS), and the need for adaptation measures, the deployment of NBS within urban environments remains limited. By bringing together key stakeholders this project is developing Innovation Ecosystems to build on past and current initiatives to rapidly upscale the application of NBS within cities. More information on ACT on NBS.


MOTION Blog Series:


Team Members

Johan Schot
University of Utrecht's Centre for Global Challenges
Carla Alvial Palavicino
University of Utrecht's Centre for Global Challenges
Jenny Witte
University of Utrecht's Centre for Global Challenges
Susanne Keesman
University of Utrecht's Centre for Global Challenges
Cristian Matti
European Commission, Joint Research Center
Christoph Brodnik
Development and support of the TIP Knowledge Community and Resource Lab
Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium
Caetano C. R. Penna
Senior Research Fellow
University of Utrecht's Centre for Global Challenges
Matthias Weber
Head of Center for Innovation Systems and Policy at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology


Related resources

Transformative Outcomes: Assessing and Reorienting Experimentation with Transformative Innovation Policy

The impending climate emergency, the commitments made in the Paris agreement and the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demand significant transformations in the present economies and societies. Science funders, innovation agencies and scholars have been exploring...

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