Section 2: Organisational learning

Organisations play a role in carrying routines and practices, codifying and implementing rules. Although individual choices drive change – or lack of change – they operate within wider systems that make some choices easier than others. Organisational learning is required for TIP to develop the dynamic capabilities to navigate the turbulence and uncertainty surrounding systemic challenges.

Creating relational spaces for experimentation and learning

Relational spaces are necessary for the emergence of many of the transformative outcomes described in Component 3, such as networking, navigating expectations, aligning visions and unlearning. These resources introduce how TIPC has tried to create more relational learning arenas – particularly online, in response to the pandemic – and the lessons taken from this experience.

Translational capabilities and the role of intermediaries

Intermediaries include people and organisations that bridge parts of society that might otherwise be disconnected.  Intermediaries develop and utilise knowledge about the various actors, capabilities and needs in order to find the appropriate partners for the exchange of knowledge and the cooperative undertaking of tasks.  This knowledge often amounts to effective translation of understanding between contexts and cultures, lubricating the circulation of knowledge and the formation of social ties in ways that hasten and extend co-production and other forms of collaboration.

Organisational learning in response to Covid-19

The theory of change used in TIP highlights the importance of shocks and large-scale trends in motivating and shaping transformation in socio-technical systems.  Our recent (and continuing) experience with the Covid-19 pandemic has been a shock that challenges existing practices (rules) in mobility, food, and energy systems.  The decimation of work force availability due to illness, the need for restructuring workplaces to be safer, and the need for limiting close contact between people on public transit, retail outlets and hospitality venues has had major impacts on employment, productivity and revenue.  Efforts to adjust and adapt to this shock are ongoing and thinking about how to improve resilience is causing people to question the existing practices (rules) in all of our socio-technical systems.

Adapting to virtual spaces for TIPC learning and research

Although TIPC began before the Covid-19 crisis, much of TIPC’s life has been influenced by the pandemic.  One of the most prominent features has been the difficulties in international and domestic travel that have led to many TIPC events being held online rather than in person.  In an important sense, this is an acceleration of a development that is needed in order to respond to environmental and social justic objectives of TIPC.  Virtual conferencing and learning make a significant contribution to the reduction in the environmental costs of travel.  The old phrase — necessity is the mother of invention — aptly conveys the more positive side of these developments.  Online activities can be participatory and democratic.  However, to use these activities to their best advantage new skills and creative efforts are required.

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