Structural problems in modern societies, such as climate change and congestion problems, require ‘transitions’ towards a more sustainable fulfilment of social needs. Recent research shows that experimenting in niches is crucial for learning about social challenges and stimulating transitions. Through a series of ‘transition experiments’ in different niches, social innovations can be improved and eventually replace dominant practice.
This article reviews the literature on transitions and strategic niche management and argues that it has a strong analytical core, but less effort has been made to develop a managerial perspective. The authors aim to contribute to such perspective by developing a ‘competence kit’: a learning module that provides practitioners (e.g., policy makers, companies, intermediary organisations and NGO’s) that are involved in transition experiments with an analytical framework, guidelines and tools and recognisable examples. The results from the first workshop with practitioners to explore potential applications of the competence kit are promising.
Keywords: transition, experiment, transition management, TM, strategic niche management, SNM, competence kit