RSS03.03 Transformative Change for Sustainability Action

Climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution… Societies are confronted with unprecedented environmental challenges endangering the lives and well-being of current and future generations of humans and non-humans worldwide. Business-as-usual is not the solution as current practices and institutions are in fact the underlying causes of the problem. Rather, we need systematic, society-wide transformations towards sustainability. But, how to achieve it?

To address this question, this course consists of two interrelated building blocks. On the one hand, we will discuss conceptual knowledge about the societal drivers for and barriers of transformative changes, and the role that transformative governance can play in supporting transformative change (= building block 1). But this course will not only focus on the conceptual debates. We will also explore and apply practical approaches and methods that can support transformative change (=building block 2).

In building block 1, we will discuss the conceptual state of the art of transformative change and transformative governance (i.e., formal and informal rules, procedures and actor networks that enable transformative change). Adopting a multi-level and a multi-actor approach, we will explore the role of local to global state, market and civil society actors and their interconnection in enabling and hindering transformative change.

In building block 2, we will explore approaches and methods that can initiate, facilitate or accelerate (transformative) change among citizens, companies, governments. The discussed approaches address different aspects of transformative governance by offering possibilities to create integrated, inclusive, adaptive, anticipatory, and transdisciplinary governance. We combine insights from future studies, group-model building, participatory approaches, etc. We will pay special attention to discuss approaches that support/ensure a just and equal transformations (e.g., being inclusive and facilitating a just distribution of burdens and benefits).

Understanding the dynamics of transformative governance is complex and demands a transdisciplinary approach. This is why our multi-disciplinary teaching team represents different backgrounds, including political sciences, economics, environmental sciences, and business administration. The course adopts an interactive and application-based learning approach. During the course, you will work on real-life problems and practically apply the knowledge and insights.


3 July 2023 - 7 July 2023
Course Fee

Regular: €390

Early Bird: €351 (application deadline* April 1st)

Scholarships and discounts Find more information here
Application deadline

May 1st

*Your application is only completed when the course fee has been paid

Course leader Maria Kaufmann
Juliette Alenda-Demoutiez
Level of participant
  • Advanced Master
  • PhD
Admission requirements ​Interest in the social science perspective of sustainable transformations. Some general ideas and pre-knowledge in governance is of added value. However, the course is also open for non-social science researchers.
Admission documents
  • Motivation letter
  • CV
Mode of Study On Campus
Location Radboud University