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Key Messages. How to create space for change? Key insights for policy makers and grassroots activists
Insights and discussion points from the in InContext project.

Deutsch: Key Messages. Raum für Wandel schaffen Einsichten für Entscheidungsträger und Aktivisten


Policy Brief. Going out of the town hall
This policy brief explores new ways for local government actors for engaging with local initiatives that work on or want to tackle the sustainability challenges facing their local communities.

En français: Policy Brief. Sortir de la Mairie
Auf Deutsch: Policy Brief: Raus aus dem Rathaus
In het Nederlands: Kom eens het gemeentehuis uit!
Po polsku: Wychodząc poza urząd miasta. Korzyści oraz jak można je osiągnąć

How the EU can support local transition processes
InContext promotes a new form of open and exploratory research for addressing societal challenges toghether with citizens. This policy brief outlines the main characteristics of this approach and the challenges that these pose for research funders. It discusss wehter and how this kind of research can be scaled up and how EU funding mechanisms could support-oriented, transformative research.

Research Brief. Action research for sustainability. Reflections on transition in practice
This brief introduces the concepts of action research, sustainability transitions, and transition management, elaborates on key issues for conducting action research and how
these have been dealt with in the three pilot communities of the InContext project. It furthermore reflects on what engaging in action research means for a researcher.


Rauschmayer, F., Bauler, T., Schäpke, N. (2013): Towards a governance of sustainability transitions: Giving place to individuals.  Leipzig, UFZ - Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ Discussion Papers 17/201.

Schäpke, N., Rauschmayer, F., (2014): Going beyond efficiency: including altruistic motives in behavioral models for sustainability transitions to address sufficiency. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy.

Wittmayer, J.M., N. Schäpke, F. van Steenbergen, I. Omann (2014): Making sense of sustainability transitions locally. How action research contributes to addressing societal challenges. Critical Policy Studies.

Wittmayer, J.M. & N. Schäpke (2014): Action, Research and Participation: Roles of Researchers in Sustainability Transitions. Sustainability Science.

Langsdorf, S., Umpfenbach, K., Wittmayer, J., Rok, A. (2014): Going out of the town hall. The benefits and how they can be achieved. Open Citizenship.

Wittmayer, J.M.,  F. van Steenbergen, A. Rok & C. Roorda (2015): Governing sustainability: a dialogue between Local Agenda 21 and transition management, Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2015.1050658.

Submitted for publication:

 Rauschmayer, F., Bauler, T., Schäpke, N., submitted. Enriching the conceptualisation of the management of sustainability transitions with individual capabilities and social practices. Ecological Economics.


Schäpke, Niko; Omann, Ines;  Wittmayer, Julia; Mock, Mirijam; van Steenbergen, Frank (in preparation) Social learning, empowerment and social capital development for local sustainability transitions: insights on social impacts of transition management projects. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. (previous version presented in Rotterdam)

based on the following conference contribution:

Wittmayer, J. & van Steenbergen, F. (2014) Changing society through changing roles and relations? An exploration of two cases of action research. Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference, July 2014, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Scientific Workshop: Pathways, scenarios and backcasting for low-carbon lifestyles

 Proceedings of SCORAI Europe & InContext Workshop, 7-8 October 2013, Rotterdam

Full proceedings: Quist, J., Wittmayer, J., Umpfenbach, K. and Bauler, T. (2013) Pathways, Transitions and Backcasting for Low-Carbon and Sustainable Lifestyles. Sustainable Consumption Transitions
Series, Issue 3, Proceedings of SCORAI Europe & InContext Workshop, 7-8 October 2013, Rotterdam

Quist, J., Wittmayer, J., Umpfenbach, K. and Bauler, T. (2013) Pathways, Transitions and Backcasting for Low-Carbon and Sustainable Lifestyles. Overview and Introduction

Quist, J., Wittmayer, J., van Steenbergen, F., Loorbach, D. (2013) Combining backcasting and transition management in the community arena

Rauschmayer, F., Bauler, T., Schäpke, N.(2013)Towards a governance of sustainability transitions. Giving place to individuals

Schäpke, N., Omann, I., Mock, M., Wittmayer, J., von Raggamby, A. (2013) Supporting sustainability transitions by enhancing the human dimension via empowerment, social learning and social capital

Wittmayer, J., van Steenbergen, F., Loorbach, D., Mock, M., Omann, I. (2013) Exploring the transformative potential of communities





A theory-driven integration of the experiences made in InContext and similar current projects in a holistic theoretical framework.
Literature Review & Research Survey
This research survey aims to provide an expansive overview of past and current research related to the study of these various contexts of individual behaviour. It assesses their relevance for the work of InContext, and helps situate the work of InContext in the broader research landscape for sustainable behavioural and social change.
Systematic Reflection and Theory Building. Foundations for a Common Approach
This publication provides a common theoretical framework. The common approach outlines two theoretical models: one captures the core aspects in the inner and outer contexts determining sustainable behavior, and the second conceptualizing the transition towards more sustainable behavior at the individual and collective levels. It also presents a common approach towards the concept of sustainable development and its operationalization within the project.

Pilot Projects:

This deliverable is the synthesis report of the action research work package that makes up the balance of three years of researcher engagement with local communities. It focuses on describing the particular action research approaches in depth: The approach through which the transformative potential of specifically Carnisse, Finkenstein and Wolfhagen should be enhanced and its specific outcomes.
This report focuses on the developments and the participatory evaluation of the process and outcome in the final project phase.
This report focuses on pilot specific activities employed in the second project year, between mid-September 2011 and mid-September 2012.

In the pilot projects the “Community Arena” methodology, which shall foster a societal transition towards sustainability was put into action. This report presents the progress within these pilot areas in the first project year, from the beginning of the project in October 2010 until mid September 2011.

The Community Arena. Methodological guidelines and Methodological guidelines Appendix
These two documents present the theoretical and methodological background supporting the three pilot projects: the "Community Arena". The  "tools" elaborated include: transition management, back-casting, social learning and operationilizing the inner context.

Case studies:

Alternative Collective Consumption and Production Niches - Case Study Synthesis Report
This synthesis report reflects on the four cases of alternative consumption and production niches observed in InContext. From the
cross-examination of the empirical material, it distills tentative conclusions on what can be learnt from the emergence and governance patterns of these niches.

Case Studies_Empirical Report
This empirical report presents the four case studies of the InContext project. The general purpose is to provide a better understanding of how niches of alternative and more sustainable consumption and production practices are created, and how they can later be diffused or mainstreamed.

Case Study Analysis. Document Analysis
A document analysis for each of the case studies, drawing preliminary results and hypotheses on drivers and barriers for the creation and diffusion of innovative, more sustainable production and consumption practices in the food and energy domains.

Further deliverables

InContext Flyer
A short presentation of the InContext project including contact details.
This document provides an overview of dissemination tools available to the partners, describes division of tasks among partners and clarifies responsibilities related to reporting and documentation.


Presentations Final Conference

InContext-Project: Creating space for change & Some findings in a nutshell
Anneke von Raggamby, Katharina Umpfenbach
Social Spaces
Tessy Britton
Enabling City
Chiara Camponeschi
Thursday Veggieday
Melanie Jaecques
How to create space for change? Introducing Transition Management
Derk Loorbach, Ines Omann, Stephanie Baasch, Frank van Steenbergen