The Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) is proud to have launched the TIP Resource Lab (TIP RL). In this blog we break down the elements of the launch event to introduce this significant online platform dedicated to systems change for sustainability. The TIP RL is a huge resource that shares a wide evidence base of knowledge, tools, and insights for sustainable, transformative change. The Lab is dedicated to providing projects and programmes, oriented to sustainable system change, with materials and examples for using the TIP approach. The TIP RL aims to support policymakers, researchers, and practitioners – across many fields of work – to navigate the complex landscape of system change activation. Let’s get the low down…
Through the TIP Resource Lab, users can access a wealth of information on topics and tools which help understand, map, target and evaluate sustainable transformation. The platform features a diverse range of resources, including reports, case studies, toolkits, and more. Additionally, users can connect with experts in the field and participate in online events and webinars to share experiences, research and insights. The TIP RL has a ‘network of coaches’ across the globe who are spearheading the work. The Lab also has a Knowledge Community portal which profiles and connects projects and programmes that encompass a transformative approach to give networking opportunities for practitioners and researchers.
The launch event, which took place in March 2023, consisted of seven main elements ranging from – explaining the foundational concepts of Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP); to the structure of the platform; to a deep dive into a resource collection, demonstrating the co-creation at the heart of the Lab; and further, featured a panel consisting of some of the TIP coaches, who showed how the tools have been used in projects thus far. The launch event concluded with details of the Knowledge Community, and closing remarks by the TIPC Academic Director, Professor Johan Schot.
The event elements can be viewed in snapshots below:
SESSION 1: INTRODUCTION TO TIPC, TIP, AND THE RESOURCE LAB
In this session, Victoria Shaw, TIPC Programme Director introduces the concept of transformative innovation, TIP Consortium and the premise of the TIP RL. The TIP Consortium, as she explains, is an alliance of science, technology, and innovation agencies and research centres that have been experimenting with how sustainability transitions theory can guide investments in policy programmes, policies, and initiatives towards the transformation of systems to meet specific needs in such areas as energy, water, or health. She explains how the TIP RL brings together the work of members and partners over the last six years into a curated collection of tools and resources that can be used to share their learning, addressing gaps between theory and practice. The Lab is designed to be dipped into however the user wishes. It is open access and can be self-facilitated. Watch the Introduction here.
SESSION 2: OPENING REMARKS
Highlighting the achievements and potential of the Lab, Imraan Patel – a TIPC governing board member and Deputy-Director General from the Department of Science & Innovation in South Africa – speaks about the original thinking behind the platform. He explains that the goal was to create a dynamic set of resources that could be used by a wider audience in both the academic community and amongst practitioners. He stresses how the team put significant effort into the curation of the material, resulting in a living, interactive platform that can take inputs and generate outputs. The next stage of TIPC, TIPC 2.0, will see lots of enactment, activation and growth of the tools and insights.
SESSION 3: TIP STRUCTURE AND NARRATIVES
Dr. Bipashyee Ghosh, TIPC Research Fellow based at Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, explains the theoretical foundations of Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) and its five core components: systems, experimentation, evaluation, capabilities, and knowledge and community. TIP is designed to address failings in changes towards a more sustainable and just society. TIP focuses on the choices of innovation, driven by a set of rules, to change socio-technical systems towards sustainable directions. The starting point of TIP is to map these systems and co-create theories of change that justify why the systems need to change and how it can happen. TIP’s unique features are experimentation, formative evaluation, and the use of the 12 Transformative Outcomes (TOs) as a guide. Capability-building for individuals and organisations is needed to apply the TIP approach across policy and practice. The Lab will provide this opportunity.
SESSION 4: DEEP DIVE
Dr. Paloma Bernal Hernandéz, also a TIPC Research Fellow based at SPRU, presents in depth one of the resource tools developed by the TIPC team called the Transformative Innovation Policy Radar. The team adapted the tool to make it accessible to a wider audience by simplifying complex concepts, specifying levels of difficulty, and adding theoretical resources. They also received feedback from coaches and users to improve the tool’s comprehensibility. The team continues to make adjustments to the tool to make it more understandable for global users. The tool was tested in various workshops and events with users and coaches from different countries. This demonstrates the robust process at the centre of the Lab’s development to ensure the tools work in a practitioner environment and in differing contexts.
SESSION 5: PANEL DISCUSSION
This element of the launch involves those who have trailblazed the tools sharing their experiences and knowledge to aid peer-learning, mentoring, and research collaboration. The panel is chaired by Geraldine Bloomfield, TIPC Communications Manager, with the panelists ranging from TIPC academics to policy practitioners. These are:
- Janina Pamplona de Costa, an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Campinas in Brazil;
- Patience Mguni, an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, who specialises in collaborative design, implementation, and coordination of action research projects in Europe and Africa; and
- Alejandra Boni, Deputy Director of INGENIO from the University of Valencia in Spain. Sandra was instrumental in creating the TIP methodology and the Transformative Innovation Policy method of Formative Evaluation.
The panellists share their experiences of working on projects that apply the TIP approach. Patience speaks about the Pathways to Water Resilient South African Cities (PaWS) project, which aims to use nature-based retrofits to make stormwater ponds in Cape Town more multifunctional. The project seeks to understand the possibilities for harvesting stormwater and replenishing the city’s groundwater supplies. On a governance level, the aim is to broaden the functions of the pond beyond just handling water or hydraulic functions, towards enhancing biodiversity, immunity, and bringing in more non-traditional stakeholders to the city-making process. More can be read about this project in Edition 1 of the TIP Resource Lab Blog Series – Bringing the Lab Alive.
Janina discusses a project with Fiocruz, the largest public research institution in Brazil for the health sector, where they looked at the impact of vaccinations during the pandemic. Their focus was on how to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in Brazil, and they played a major role in the technological transfer of the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine to Brazil.
The tools that are mentioned and have been used in the projects above include tools for mapping and analysing the system, understanding power relations, and building shared understanding. Further discussions centre around experimentation tools including prototyping, learning, and scaling up, as well as evaluation tools for assessing the impact and effectiveness of interventions in Colombia on regional science, technology and innovation systems; and in Sweden on transforming the food system.
SESSION 6: TIPC KNOWLEDGE COMMUNITY
This part of the event is led by Christina Miariti, TIPC Programme Director who explains how the Resource Lab platform will be activated across project contexts by integrating it into the new learning programme for TIPC. This involves running learning events related to particular resources, working with the network of coaches to develop more action-oriented learning, and asking users to share their experiences of using the tools in the lab. Christina also introduces details of the Knowledge Community (KC) focusing on People, Projects and Practices, that go hand-in-hand with the tools, actions, and learnings in the materials section of the platform. The KC is a network that aims to bring together transformative work and people from across the world. The KC acts as a repository and connective opportunity for different projects aiming to achieve transformative change. Users can browse, contact project coordinators, contribute to the network, the debate and the development of TIP.
SESSION 7: CLOSING REMARKS
Professor Johan Schot, TIPC Academic Director, states that TIPC is establishing TIPC 2.0 to scale and involve more people, using a network approach in a learning environment that can be used by all. TIPC will establish a training programme and build connections with private investors for sustainable Transformative Investment. Professor Schot thanks the team for their hard work on the development of the Resource Lab and encourages everyone to stay connected and work with the Lab and its wider partners to generate a world that moves to a sustainable, just transition.
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