Enacting transformative change as an intermediary actor: the role of EIT ClimateKIC in addressing the climate crisis.

Christoph Brodnik, Carla Alvial Palavicino, Sandro Giachi, Bipashyee Ghosh, Oscar Romero-Goyeneche, Johan Schot, Jordi Mollas-Gallart, Christian Matti, Susannah Fisher

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch oder TagungsbandVortrag mit Beitrag in TagungsbandBegutachtung


Fundamental system transformations in different sectors of society are needed to address climate change. Yet, it is less clear what is the role of organizations who mobilize and coordinate a large diversity of actors in innovation-led systemic change processes. While there are different streams of literature that describe how system transformation can be conceptualized, the literature on sustainability transitions is particularly relevant since it has started to operationalize transformative change and analyzed the role intermediary organizations in this process. This paper aims to understand how system-level intermediaries can foster transformations, combining insights from research on intermediaries as well as research on transformative outcomes. Empirically, the paper looks at EIT Climate-KIC, a climate-change innovation agency from the European Commission. Methodologically, a mixed methods approach is used combining content-analysis of strategy documents of EIT Climate-KIC; content analysis of two of its core programs as well as network analysis of its funding recipients. The paper finds that EIT Climate KIC is a systemic intermediary which works towards addressing the climate crisis through systems change. More specifically, it shines a light on the evolution of EIT Climate KIC, how it understood its role in addressing climate change and the translation of this rational in its portfolio of activities and project structure. The paper reveals that both programs analyzed predominately exemplify Transformative Outcomes associated with niche emergence and formation while illustrating Transformative Outcomes associated with regime destabilization to a lesser extent. This is mainly structured around supporting bottom up entrepreneurial activities, education and capacity development as well as building networks around thematic areas. The paper concludes on the implications of these findings for EIT Climate KIC and how the transformative potential of these programs could be strengthened by going beyond niche level intermediation and addressing regime level elements more proactively.
TitelProceedings of the 11th International Sustainability Transition conference
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020
VeranstaltungIST 2020 - 11th International Sustainability Transition conference -
Dauer: 18 Aug. 202021 Aug. 2020


KonferenzIST 2020 - 11th International Sustainability Transition conference

Research Field

  • Ehemaliges Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy


  • Intermediaries
  • Transformative Change
  • Transformative Outcomes
  • Climate Change


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