Masterclass (EN) Societal Transitions

21 May, 2019 - 13 Sep, 2019


Do you strive for societal change, but are you looking for knowledge and tools to increase your understanding and impact? Join us this spring for the fourth edition of Societal Transitions, a 5-day masterclass that inspires you to lead change in your professional and personal environment.


Step back from your daily routines to connect with other motivated change agents. Increase your understanding of transition dynamics and the role of social innovation and gain a fresh perspective on your role and your work.


The Masterclass Societal Transitions, designed by Impact Hub Amsterdam and DRIFT’s Transition Academy, combines a critical perspective on societal change with pragmatic tools and insights from transition management and entrepreneurial practice, by tapping into the latest research and practice on social innovation and sustainability transitions. You will be taught by entrepreneurs, policymakers and researchers leading the transition to a better world, including Derk Loorback – DRIFT, Erasmus University Rotterdam | Marjan Minnesma – Urgenda | Flor Avelino – DRIFT | Tatiana Glad – Impact Hub.


The Masterclass consists of five thematic modules, spread out over 5 days and 1 evening. In these modules you will learn to:


  • Apply system thinking
  • Analyze transition dynamics in your field
  • Identify relevant actors and power relations
  • Recognize societal trends and movements
  • Design a transition intervention
  • Construct your own narrative of change


A growing community of researchers and practitioners argue that our societal challenges ask for sustainability transitions: processes of fundamental transformation towards more sustainable and resilient societies. New solutions offered by social entrepreneurs and civil society networks are expected to enable societal transformation. But how do social innovations contribute to systemic change? Can innovation drive the transition towards a sustainable society? How are innovations cultivated, empowered and scaled? What can we learn when we combine the insights of researchers and experienced social entrepreneurs, policy entrepreneurs and change makers, to set and encourage the change agenda within our own projects and organizations?


The Masterclass Societal Transitions provides the setting and tools to answer these questions by combining state-of-the-art research with deep critical reflection and applied action learning. We provide a diversity of perspectives to enable you to discover what fits you and your goals and to construct you own narrative of change.


For who?
The Masterclass is designed for a diverse combination of sustainability professionals, social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, researchers, policy- & decision-makers, civil servants and other changemakers. You represent a variety of contexts but share a strong commitment to being in a learning trajectory that combines intellectual input with active participation.


Participants  of previous additions were active in the fields such as health care, community led transition toward low carbon energy, social entrepreneurship, water and sanitation, higher education and social justice.



Tuesday 21st May – Friday 24th May 2019

Thursday 13th September 2019


The programme involves a series of interactive lectures, discussions and participatory methods. We encourage participants to apply concepts and insights in their own context and case work through feedback and relevant readings. We are currently fine-tuning the 2019 programme. In the meantime, please take a look at the 2018 Brochure for an impression of the programme.


Teaching team

The Masterclass Societal Transitions is taught by both academics and practitioners, all experts in a variety of fields, from sustainability to social entrepreneurship and transitions. The course is guided by Dr. Flor Avelino (DRIFT) and Tatiana Glad (Impact Hub). A digital reading package and learning case assignment is used during the course. Participants who complete the course will be granted a certificate from DRIFT’s Transition Academy, Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Registration for the 2019 edition will open in the first or second week of November. If you want to express your interest before that time, you can send an email to Marijke de Pous: 


€2,641 (ex. BTW)  incl. lunches & 1 dinner


Are you interested in participating in the Masterclass Societal Transitions, but does your budget hold you back? We believe that diversity is a crucial aspect for societal transitions and equally important in our learning environments and recognize that the participation costs can be a barrier. That is why we offer two Wildcards: the opportunity to participate in our Masterclass free of charge for two motivated change makers with limited funds. Do you want to apply for the Wildcard? The call for applications will be launched when we open the registration in the first half of November. If you want to be kept up to date you can send an email to


The course takes place in and around the vibrant Impact Hub Amsterdam, located in the city of Amsterdam, home to many creative, cultural and innovative entrepreneurs. For more information on the directions, look at


More information
please don’t hesitate to get in touch with course coordinator Marijke de Pous if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions


    • I am not working at a project at this moment, but I am looking for a new direction in my career. Does this masterclass provide for my needs and ambitions? It certainly does: the Masterclass Societal Transitions can offer you input and inspiration to give your career a new impulse, or to help early ideas grow and become more concrete.


    • How much time do I need to spend on this course? The Masterclass Societal Transitions consists of four parts: (1) Reading the recommended literature for preparation, (2) writing your pitch, (3) writing your learning paper and (4) attending the classes. If you want to get your ECTS credits, you need to spend a minimum amount of time on each part of the course (see question 4). If you don't want to get your ECTS credits, the investment of time is up to you. Our estimation is that a time investment of at least 24 hours (excluding classes!) is needed to make your participation worthwhile.


    • As an entrepreneur, I am not able to bear the participation fee. What are my options? Please contact our course coördinator Marijke de Pous ( or +31 (0)649869542) to discuss the possibilities. We are happy to think along!


  • Can I get ECTS credits for my participation in the Masterclass Societal Transitions? After full participation, every participant receives a certificate. It is possible to receive a letter of recommendation to, in which we provide advice on the number of ECTS this course represents. You can subsequently make an application for recognition of these ECTS at the responsible committee of your organisation. For more information on ECTS credits, please contact course coordinator Marijke de Pous.