New Masterclass – an innovative learning cocktail

From October 28 to 31, the Impact Hub Amsterdam (IHA) was home to the very first international Masterclass in Societal Transitions. The course, co-organised by Transition Academy and IHA brought together an interesting mixture of researchers, entrepreneurs, government officers and other professionals.

The course ends with an open lecture by prof. dr. Jan Rotmans on December 11. More information and registration

The participants, coming from a wide variety of industries, gathered around a wide range of topics on sustainability and social transformation. They were nourished by a group of expert lecturers, both academics and practitioners, sharing insights varying from sustainability transitions and societal change to circular economy and social entrepreneurship.

About winning and illusions
Amongst the lecturers were Marjan Minnesma, who vividly analysed the events around winning the Climate Case and Maarten Hajer, calling for a step beyond ‘cockpit-ism’: the illusion that top-down steering by governments and intergovernmental organizations alone can address global problems.

Tackeling complexity
Sabine Oberhuber (Turntoo) explained the application of circular economy within the business context and Edwin Janssen introduced The Natural Step approach to Sustainability. Tatiana Glad, director of Impact Hub Amsterdam, introduced participants to an even more personal approach, sharing mental models such as the Chaordic and the 5th Paradigm of Organising to be agile and purposeful in addressing the fast changing, complex problems of our times. DRIFTS own teaching corps, consisting of NIki Frantzeskaki, Flor Avelino and Derk Loorbach were aboard to share thoughts on urban sustainability, power and transition management.

This course is not about presenting you a truth about societal transitions, but about giving you a diversity of perspectives to wrestle with. Dr. Flor Avelino, Co-organiser and Lecturer

Rethink and rebuild
All ingredients led to a cocktail of vivid, intense, and highly inspiring conversations between both lecturers and participants. The latter were challenged to rethink their own thoughts and beliefs, discuss navigating change within their contexts and to build and discuss their own ‘narratives of change’.

Diversity of perspectives
This narrative of change is part of the assignment for the Comeback Day, set on December 11, giving participants a couple of weeks to work with the great variety of methods and approaches. A variety of concepts that might feel confusing. But, as noted by co-organiser Flor Avelino: “This course is not about convincing you a truth about societal transitions, but about giving you a diversity of perspectives to wrestle with. You can discover what resonates best with you”. It’s part of what makes this Masterclass an innovative, creative experiment in itself.


Comeback day: open lecture
The comeback day on December 11 (also at Impact Hub Amsterdam) will close off with an open lecture of dr. Jan Rotmans, professor in Transitions. In this open lecture, Rotmans will address the role of change makers in the governance of Dutch sustainability transitions. Find out more & register for free.

Interesting links

Tweets about the course
The programme with links to the lecturers

More information about the modules

Information and registration for Jan Rotmans open lecture on December 11

sotra collage 1

Photos: Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY 4.0, 3 originals gathered in collage