Tool: MOTION Transformative Theory of Change

Estimated Time
90 minutes
Resource Type
TIPC Region

This is a test Miro tool duplicated from the MOTION Handbook: Developing a Transformative Theory of Change.

It can be used to help us develop and/or revise a transformative system change strategy for a project, programme or organisation. This strategy can be applied within an initiative and accompany it throughout its lifecycle, serving as an apparatus to reflect on its evolution and key learnings.

  • The first part of the tool (relevant for Component 1 of the Resource Lab) walks us through the process of creating a transformative theory of change for a project, programme or policy, starting with a pathway, and then developing each of the elements of the theory of change.
  • The second part of the tool (relevant for Component 3) helps us to consider whether our project, programme or initiative is contributing to systems transformation  by relating the outcomes from theory of change canvas (in the first part) to transition dynamics and transformative outcomes.

Key features of the tool, outlined within the MOTION Handbook:

  • This is a co-creation tool that can be used by teams and groups of stakeholders to collectively develop, revise and reflect upon how an initiative can contribute to systems transformation.
  • It is a formative tool that enables learning by providing a framework to systematically understand how the project’s goals and desired outcomes are achieved over time.
  • It is a reflexive tool, as it prompts us users to think about the underlying assumptions that guide our strategy, inviting us to look at different alternatives and perspectives.



The MOTION Handbook is the result of close collaboration and teamwork of the project team throughout 2020 and 2021. In the handbook, the authors give special thanks to:

  • Johan Schot, Alejandra Boni, Jordi Molas Gallart and Matthias Weber
  • Project partners from ACT on NBS, SATURN and SuSMo, specifically Beth Morley, Francesco Guaraldi, Theodora Skordili, Elitsa Petkova, Alessandro Gretter, Anastasia Nikologianni, Nick Grayson, Nieves Mestre, Luisa Fernanda Guerra, Manuel Almestar, Stephen Passmore, Juraj Jurik and Monserrat Budding
  • Elzemiek Zinkstok and Naz Costante for design
  • Jose Manuel Martin Corvillo for learning materials and tools
  • Irene Vivas Lalinde at EIT Climate-KIC
  • Oscar Romero Goyeneche, Bipashyee Ghosh and Victoria Shaw at the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium
  • The two organisations that made the work possible: EIT Climate-KIC and the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium

Alvial Palavicino, C., Matti, C., Witte, J., Brodnik, C., Keesman, S., Mendez, P.F., Penna, C., Terrazas, P., Costante, N., Zinkstock, E. (2021) MOTION Handbook: Developing a Transformative Theory of Change, p. 46. Available at

Facilitators Instructions

Important: Duplicating the tool

This resource is a Master version of the tool. To use it, you will need to duplicate it to your own Miro account.

How to duplicate the Board

  • First, make sure you have your own Miro account. Researchers may be able to access a free educational plan for staff at educational institutions
  • Click on the ‘download’ link to access the Lab master board
  • Then click on the title
  • Click ‘duplicate’ – this will open another board with ‘Copy’ in the title
  • Rename the tool and save the URL

You will need to complete this process for each board. If you are using a tool with multiple groups, you can either: (a) create a different board for each group or (b) copy the tool multiple times on the same board. We recommend (b) to avoid confusion over board links.

If you are new to Miro, there is a short intro here.

If you accidentally change the Resource Lab Master, don’t worry! – please leave a message in the feedback section below and the Lab team will be able to update it.

Reflections on TIPC use

Guidance for using the tool from the MOTION Handbook

  • How many people? This is a collaborative tool for groups of 2 to 15 people.
  • Difficulty: Medium-high. It is a time consuming tool that requires iterative exploration in various workshops.
  • How long? 90 minutes to start exploring the tool and as many additional workshops as needed.
  • What you need: A team or group of stakeholders working on a shared initiative, with a shared goal or vision within a well defined context (a project call, organisation, timeframe, etc.)
  • Where to use? You can use this tool in an online workshop with the Miro canvas provided or in an in-person workshop. In both cases, we recommend that one or two of the team members act as facilitator, familiarising themselves with the material and setting up the workshop.
  • What next? You can use this tool several times to reflect on the changes of your project. Additionally, you can combine it with the self-assessment tool in the MOTION Handbook for evaluation.

One thought on “Tool: MOTION Transformative Theory of Change

  1. I really liked the tool!!! I am working now on several projects that require a theory of change, and I think this are very useful questions that can allow the theory of change to be created to take the ideas into action.

    The only small comment that I would give, is that there are different elements that are added in some theories of theory of change. For me it has been useful to also include the element of ”needs”, before the element of “inputs”. I think it is important to differentiate what are the needs that are being faced with a project/idea to underline the importance of aligning the work to resolve it.

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