Masterclass (EN) Societal Transitions

21 May, 2019 - 13 Sep, 2019


Do you strive for societal change, but are you looking for knowledge and strategies 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 transformative innovation and gain a fresh perspective on your role and your work.


The Masterclass Societal Transitions, designed by Impact Hub Amsterdam and DRIFT Transition Academy, combines a critical and theoretical perspective on sustainability transitions, social innovation and entrepreneurship, with conceptual and pragmatic insights from transition management and entrepreneurial practice. We will also pay explicit attention to issues of power and empowerment. 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 transition narrative



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. Across society, we observe how community initiatives, activists, entrepreneurs and policy-makers are working on innovative solutions to tackle societal challenges and enable societal transformation


But how do  innovations contribute to systemic change? Under which conditions can innovation drive transitions towards more sustainable, just and fair societies? 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 transition narrative.


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, design & communication, the cacao sector, community led change, transport, water and sanitation, higher education, funding and social justice.


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. For a detailed programme, please see the Brochure.


Introduction Webinar: 17th April 2019, 13.30 – 15.00 CET


Day 1  “Transition Theory & Transformative Social Innovation”, May 21st 2019

  • Welcome & setting the scene by Tatiana Glad & Flor Avelino
  • Interactive lecture “Transition Theory and Transformative Social Innovation” with Flor Avelino
  • Action: Field trip to local change initiative
  • Working session: Applying Multi-Actor Perspective and MLP to real life case.


Day 2  “Transition Governance & Entrepreneurship”, May 22nd 2019

  • Interactive lecture: Transition Governance & Change Dynamics, with prof.dr. Derk Loorbach
  • Working session: Analyzing Transition Dynamics & Intervention Opportunities (with X-curve)
  • Interactive lecture: “Entrepreneurship and Societal Transition”, with Tatiana Glad
  • Learning Exchange: Learning from Transformative Entrepreneurs & Each Other


Day 3 “Power, Empowerment & Leadership for Sustainability Transitions”, May 23rd 2019

  • Interactive lecture: Power and Empowerment, by Flor Avelino
  • Working session: Identifying Personal Power and Empowerment Potentials
  • Power dynamics: an interactive experience, Theatre of the Oppressed, with Luc Opdebeeck t.b.c.
  • Dinner & Provocation: with Linda Vermaat and Erik Loots, Twenty Four


Day 4 “Synthesis & Moving Forward”, May 24th 2019

  • Interactive Lecture: Accelerating a Circular Economy: stories and learnings from practice, t.b.c.
  • Deep Dive: applying learnings to a concrete challenge
  • Reflection: Harvesting and integrating learnings and key insights
  • Working session: Preparing learning case work in real-life contexts


Day 5 “Learning in Action”, Sept 13th 2019

  • Reflection: Sharing and peer review of learning cases
  • Working session: Feeding forward into an intervention action plan.
  • Interactive Session: Transitions in Action, with Marjan Minnesma, director Urgenda
  • Public Talk & Drinks: Daring Strategies to Accelerate Societal Change, with Marjan Minnesma, director Urgenda.


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.


€2,741 (ex. BTW)  incl. lunches & 1 dinner


Registration is possible via the online registration form.


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? Please do so via this application form.


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

Please click below, to expand:

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.