Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH) holds three-day TIP training for Southern African Development Community (SADC) policymakers


On 4 to 6 December, the Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH) delivered a training on Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at the Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria, South Africa. 

Organised in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat, the University of Pretoria, the University of Sussex Business School, the Trilateral Research Chair Transformative Innovation, 4IR and Development, the University of Johannesburg, the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), and the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe), the training equipped SADC policymakers with key TIP theories, concepts and tools needed to redirect innovation policy towards accelerating transformation and system change. 

Setting the scene

The three-day event started with an introduction by Dr Chux Daniels, Director of TIAH, followed by opening remarks from Dr Neeraj Mistry, Deputy Director of Future Africa and Professor Johan Schot, Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) founder and Academic Director, who addressed the challenges and opportunities for TIP in the Global South.

Day one focused on laying the groundwork, exploring TIP theories and concepts, including the theory of change, transformative outcomes, and formative evaluation. It concluded with a panel discussion and open reflections about the relevance of TIP theory, how it differed from other theories and why a new approach to innovation policy making was needed in the first place. 

Johan Schot providing his opening remarks

Deep dive into TIP in practice

The second day featured engaging sessions led by speakers such as Matias Ramirez, Robert Byrne, Victoria Shaw, Chux Daniels, and Marry-Ann Phasha. The discussions delved into TIP in practice, demonstrating case studies from Africa and Latin America. Attendees actively participated in a discussion about the opportunities for transformative innovation partnerships in the Global South and a group exercise on the TIP Radar Tool, a reflexive tool for considering initiatives (such as projects, programmes or policies) as TIP experiments. 

The final day was marked by valuable insights into TIP implementation, evaluation, and next steps. It included presentations and discussions about policy and ecosystem mapping as well as concluding remarks by the Transformative Innovation Africa Hub and the SADC Secretariat.