Within the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) community, this research has explored how has COVID-19 contributed to Second-Order Learning (SOL) –understood as changes in beliefs, assumptions, points of view and behaviours– that is relevant for transformation.

The first component of the project was developed from May to August 2020 and built through a sample of 16 participants working as funders or practitioners from science, technology and innovation (STI) agencies and sustainability and innovation professors and researchers in universities. They were all interviewed. Then, most of them participated in a workshop to exchange their perspectives on the pandemic, STI responses, and SOL ideas as a critical element towards transformation.

The second part of the project addressed in this document has explored how those participants have experienced different changes in their lives. Moreover, it has interrogated participants about what they have learned due to the pandemic from May to December 2020. In Jack Mezirow’s (1997, 5) words, “when circumstances permit, transformative learners move towards a frame of reference that is more inclusive, discriminating, self-reflective, and integrative of experience”.

We conducted a second round of interviews from September to December 2020; Then we facilitated a workshop on February 16, 2021, where participants interacted to discuss further specific findings from the interview rounds and shared how they envision their organisations’ future.