The role of intermediary actors in transformative change

Estimated Time
45 minutes
Resource Type

This short report created with EIT Climate-KIC defines and illustrates the role of intermediaries in relation to the transformative outcomes sought by TIP practitioners.

It explores how intermediaries can push change beyond system optimisation into more transformative territory, outlining three key messages:

• that intermediaries can play a role in enabling transformative outcomes by building and expanding innovative niches, unlocking the existing rules, technologies and social contexts in which they operate, and shaping the wider landscape;
• that systemic intermediaries can play important roles in building niches by facilitating knowledge sharing and exchange together with other actors, and establishing a common language and vision amongst them; and
• that an additional focus on expanding and embedding new niches as well as destabilising existing carbon-intensive regimes could strengthen the transformative potential of projects and programmes.



Brodnik, C., Alvial Palavicino, C., Giachi, S., Ghosh, B., Romero-Goyeneche, O., Schot, J., Weber, M., Molas-Gallart, J., Matti, C., Fisher, S. (2020) The role of intermediary actors in transformative change. Available at 

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