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At two up-coming gatherings, Forum folks will be coming together. It’ll be a good time to connect, and develop your own transformations agent capacity.

Leverage Points

The Leverage Points 2019 meeting, Feb. 6-8 at Leuphana University, Germany (in the picturesque town of Lüneburg also called Lunenburg, just outside of Hamburg) grows out of work there, which is deeply aligned with the Forum. Through a project called Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformations, the University has been deeply engaged in developing transformations Brightspots in Transylvania in Romania and Lower Saxony in Germany. The name “Leverage Points” derives from Donnella Meadows famous work on the topic, which identified places to intervene in systems. She wrote the article frustrated with people’s focus on low-leverage points, when systems really required transformation.

Forum Stewards Ioan Fazey, Karen O’Brien and Per Olsson will be keynote speakers at Leuphana. Like Transformations2017, the meeting will feature a range of events that will be outside the traditional academic format.   Events organized by Forum participants include:

  • Emerging Financing Transformations Systems: This consists of two session. The goals of Session One are: (1) surfacing leading practice, (2) drafting ideas and opportunities for advancing leading practices, and (3) developing inter-personal connections within and across leading practices. The goal of Session Two is: (1) drafting an agenda for collaborative action for advancing the ideas and opportunities, with the support of the Financing Transformations Working Group.
  • The Power of Memes to Transcend Paradigms: With speed talks, this session will discuss the need for, current action with respect to, and questions associated with developing new narratives about the how we humans view our place in the world—putting storytellers, mythmakers, and sensemakers of all sorts in the role of today’s shaman attempting to heal the world. In particular, we will focus on “memes” as core units of narrative.
  • Developing a Theory of Transformational Change: The term transformational change as used by the SDG Transformations Forum is one of three types of change, involving distinct qualities and issues. As such, it requires a distinct theory. However, today people refer simply to “theories of change” without distinguishing the type of change they mean. This results in muddling of actions. To address this, the Forum is evolving a theory of transformational change (ToTC). This session will advance it.
  • Experiments In Transformative Co-production: A World Café: This session focuses on the possibilities offered by a recent explosion of transformative coproduction experiments which intertwine action, learning and the generation of knowledge, such as “T-Labs”, “Co-Labs”, “Bright Spots”, “Seeds”, and “Learning Networks”
  • Transformative Co-Production Experiments as a Nucleus for Societal Learning: A panel will engage members of a thematic research network on learning in sustainability transitions on the transformative potential of co-production experiments.

In addition to the conference, on Feb. 9 the Forum will have a “leadership event” for participants in the Forum to advance their collaborative work. The following day, Feb. 10, you are welcomed to join a workshop to co-create a meta-measurement (baseline) system for place-based transformative work to better see, connect and accelerate large-scale system change.


Transformations2019 – Santiago, Chile Oct. 16-18, 2019. With the them Learning from Transformative Action and Thinking, the premier gathering of the SDG Transformations Forum community will be in the Southern hemisphere.  Transformations 2019 aims to provide a platform for reciprocal learning between developing and developed national and local contexts, and between researchers and practitioner. The Continuity Committee includes the lead organizers of the previous three Transformations International Gatherings (Karen O’Brien, Per Olsson, Ioan Fazey, Mark Howden), and Paulina Aldunce from the University of Chile; Paulina has organized a Local Strategic Committee.

The gathering aims to provide a platform for reciprocal learning between developing and developed national and local contexts, and between researchers and practitioner in order to enhance both practice and theory to support transformative changes for addressing climate change and other contemporary societal and environmental challenges.

The Forum intends to organize an additional day or two for another Forum Leadership Gathering.



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