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Masterclass Societal Transitions

Do you work on societal change and want to boost your knowledge and strategies for transformative impact? Register now for our popular Masterclass Societal Transitions: a 6-month learning programme in transition governance and transformative entrepreneurship that inspires you to drive systemic change from within and beyond your organisation. Sign-up closes mid-March. Read on to find the full course programme below.

Due to COVID-19, the 2021 edition will take place online. Impact Hub Amsterdam has excellent facilities for hosting high-quality digital courses. The course consists of two parts, one in April; one in September, with two additional online peer-learning sessions in between. COVID-19 regulations permitting, the September segment will take place in a blended, both in-person and online format.

The Masterclass Societal Transitions, designed by Impact Hub Amsterdam and DRIFT Transition Academy, combines the latest scientific research on sustainability transitions, social innovation and entrepreneurship with pragmatic insights. Special attention is paid to issues of power relations and processes of empowerment, including the paradoxes and dilemmas underlying change.
Step back from your daily routines to connect with other motivated change agents and gain a new perspective on your role and mission

What are sustainability transitions?

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


… 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 changemakers, to set and encourage the change agenda within our own projects and organisations?

Who is this for?

This Masterclass is designed for a diverse combination of policy and decision-makers, sustainability professionals, network leaders, researchers and other changemakers. You represent a variety of fields, ranging from energy, food and circular economy, to inclusivity, participation, health and education, and/or holistic perspectives on sustainable and just cities and regions. You share a strong commitment to being in a learning trajectory that combines intellectual input with active participation and learning from and with each other.

You will learn how to:

  • Apply systems thinking
  • Analyse transition dynamics in your field
  • Identify relevant actors and power relations
  • Recognise societal trends and movements
  • Design a transition intervention
  • Construct your own transition strategy


2021 course fees
€3995 for corporate / government / public sector
€3241 for NGOs / small organisations / freelance / individuals

Early-bird fees (valid until 12 February 2021)
€ 3395 for corporate / government / public sector
€ 2755 for NGOs / small organisations / freelance / individuals

All prices listed are excluding 21% VAT. The course price includes full participation in the course, personal feedback, lunches and a dinner. Upon successful completion of the course participants will be granted a certificate from DRIFT Transition Academy, Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Application deadline
15 March
12 - 14 April
01. Intensive course
12 - 14 April
02. Online peer learning
20 May & 17 June
16 - 17 September
Online or blended (TBC)
03. Deepening & closing
16 - 17 September
Online or blended (TBC)


The masterclass integrates a diverse set of modules that combine interactive lectures, guided discussions and participatory exercises. The course consists of a 3-day online kick-off in April 2021, 2 online peer-learning sessions and a 2-day online or blended deepening and course closure in September 2021. In the period between the kick-off and the deepening, we will challenge and guide you to experiment and apply concepts and insights in your own context through a transition case-study and a transition intervention.  

Our speakers and facilitators are action researchers, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are specialised in diverse fields of work, including climate change, energy, agri-food, inclusiveness & participation, sustainable urbanism and circular economy.


3-Day online course in April

  • Sharing learning questions
  • Interactive multi-level constellation
  • Interactive lecture:

Introduction to transition thinking with Dr. PJ Beers (Lecturer New Business Models for Agriculture & Food Transition at HAS University of Applied Sciences)

  • X-curve exercise on transition dynamics & intervention opportunities
  • Interactive lectures:

Transition governance – urban transition cases in Rotterdam & Amsterdam with prof. dr. Derk Loorbach (director DRIFT)

Entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and ecosystems for change with Tatiana Glad (director Impact Hub Amsterdam)

  • Deep Dive: applying learnings to your own work & peer-2-peer exchange
  • Power dialogue on power dynamics in your own field & work
  • Synthesis & moving forward: harvesting and integrating learnings and key insights
  • Working session: Preparing learning case work in real-life contexts
  • Interactive lectures:

Shifting power dynamics in social innovation and transitions – examples from energy with Dr. Flor Avelino (Researcher DRIFT & academic director Transition Academy)

Experiencing & changing power relations through Theatre of the Oppressed” with Luc Opdebeeck (Director Formaat)

Empowerment of people, movements and networks for sustainable & just transitions with Dr. Flor Avelino & Giorgia Silvestri (Researcher & facilitator DRIFT & UrbanA)

Online peer-learning sessions

14:00 – 17:00 CET
Fully online session designed to support participants in their casework.

14:00 – 17:00 CET
Fully online session designed to support participants in their casework.


Interactive lecture:

Transitions in Action: Daring Strategies to Accelerate Societal Change with Marjan Minnesma (director Urgenda)

  • Sharing and peer review of learning cases
  • Feedback & feedforward into a personal transition strategy
  • Interactive Lecture followed by Public Talk & drinks.

Speaker to be confirmed. Speakers in previous years included: Marjan Minnesma (Urgenda), Jan Rotmans (DRIFT) and Eva Gladek (Metabolic)