Transition arenas

Are you stuck in a system? Would you like to co-design and accelerate fundamental change with a diverse coalition? Enter the transition arena: a pop-up innovation network to design just and sustainable futures for a particular system. Like mobility in Rotterdam or digitalisation in higher education. 

Photo: SHARED GREEN DEAL Arena in Brussels, 2022
Agreeing on root causes
An arena generates new insights and sparks much-needed discussions: do we all see the same root of the problem? The process puts various principles of transition management into practice, resulting in a shared transition vision as well as action-oriented transition agendas.
Small group, big resonance
The core of an arena consists of a select group of about 15-25 changemakers. These people can have very different backgrounds (entrepreneur, researcher, policy worker, artist, etc.) but have in common that they’re already working on sustainable/just alternatives and are intrinsically motivated. The participants come together in a small number of session – in a personal capacity.
The sessions involve the following:

  • problem analysis of the most urgent and persistent issues
  • defining principles for guidance and direction
  • imagining future visions to inspire
  • designing transition paths and agendas.

Through a shared and interactive learning process, participants can create an alternative, shared narrative of the sustainable and just future of their sector or region. This provides insight into how this future can be influences as well as clues regarding how to enact this in individuals’ networks and daily practice. The arena cultivates what we call ‘a small but deep base’.
To activate and pressure
The result of the arena is a temporary innovation network as well as a shared story of an alternative future and how this can be worked towards. It doesn’t just stimulate the participants, it also pressures vested interests.
It’s your arena
We co-organise the arena together with you or your organisation. This can be done via coaching, but we can also facilitate the process ourselves. You can depend on our help for the design, which is geared to your specific context. We are experts in various facilitation techniques to kickstart the most valuable conversations and actions.
Something for you and your organisation? Please get in touch with Frank van Steenbergen. Below you’ll find a few examples of successful past arena projects and tools containing more details.