[Webinar] Transformative climate action and COP26

Are you working to deliver transformative change for a 1.5 degree world? Are you involved in COP26? Join EIT Climate-KIC and guests for a webinar on 20 November 2020, to get into the topic of transformation: how to spot it, do it and enable it. We will discuss findings from Climate Innovation Insights Series 5: Thinking about Transformation – launched today. 

As the world prepares for another ‘Year of Transformative Climate Action’ in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, and for the ‘transformational decade’ that must follow it, the language of systems transformation is everywhere.

We see it in IPCC, European Commission and World Bank reports, in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in calls for a ‘transformative’ European Green Deal, and on protest signs around the world. It is also at the core of EIT Climate-KIC’s theory of change and Transformation, in Time strategy.

Many of us working in climate change accept that big change is coming – as Greta Thunberg said, whether we like it or not.

We can learn how to truly, genuinely transform over the next decade, and flourish together. Or we can re-label all climate action as transformative, and risk putting a ‘transformation wash’ over business-as-usual, missing the small window of opportunity we have left to halt runaway climate change. 

Given this stark choice, we must be more honest about where significant change is needed. This includes the need for significant change in political structures and social norms that maintain the status quo – many of which are supported by institutions and established networks to block change, against the public interest.

As with most transformative change journeys, some of us are still in denial. Others are actively resisting it. Some are exploring what transformation might mean for them, and others are already committed – acting as ‘front-runners’, building coalitions, taking on risk, and testing out – with courage and humility – new and inclusive approaches to accelerating deep decarbonisation and climate resilience.

There are many roles we can play to help create rapid change within systems. And there are powerful levers available to us, whether we are in government, business, or education; whether acting as an individual or collectively, as an intermediary, in a community group or in other ‘niches’.

‘Systemic intermediaries’ like EIT Climate-KIC can help to create a shared direction for change across these various niches, and orchestrate challenge-driven coalitions to break through barriers to systemic change.

Series 5 of EIT Climate-KIC’s Climate Innovation Insights explores a range of studies and positions on ‘transformational change’, addressing issues such as:

  • The need for a more disruptive politics to enable innovations that successfully challenge powerful existing systems
  • The mission-critical role of citizen engagement and a proposal to expand democratic oversight beyond citizens’ assemblies – even into energy, trade and industrial policy domains – to enable rapid transformation
  • The need for a new generation of metrics to incentivise genuinely ‘transformative climate action’ – given learnings from measuring transformation in international climate programmes – rather than the appearance of transformational change for accountability purposes
  • The role of intermediaries and orchestrators in pushing change beyond optimisation into more transformative territory
  • How underlying values, ideologies and worldviews determine the behaviour and policy approaches of public and senior decision makers
  • The power of an ‘innovation portfolio approach’ to transformational change, as we move into a new normal of constant change, uncertainty and risk
  • The critical role of radical transparency, including in donor accountability frameworks where ‘optimism bias’ and focus on project impacts risks stifling real learning about what is likely to lead to deeper change.


Transformative climate action   |  11:30 GMT   |   20 November 2020 

Speakers include series co-authors:

  • Dr Nick Brooks, Director, Garama 3C Ltd
    Website: http://www.garama.co.uk 
  • Dr Peter Newell, Department of International Relations University of Sussex 
  • Dr Christoph Brodnik, Expert Advisor, Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIP-C), AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Dr Julie Calkins, Head of Adaptation and Risk, EIT Climate-KIC
  • Dr Aditya Bahadur, Principal Researcher, Human Settlements Group at International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

More info available on the registration page. Register now to secure your place.




Through our Deep Demonstrations projects EIT Climate-KIC is facilitating deep structural change across Europe, and generating insights and intelligence for policymakers, government leaders and investors interested in driving transformational change.

Work with us to build better systems. Get involved in our Deep Demonstrations as a government or industry ‘challenge owner’, as a portfolio designer or as a funder.

Email us to start the conversation.


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20/11 - 20/11/2020
 climate change

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