Tool: Identifying transformative outcomes in projects and policies

Estimated Time
1 hr 40 mins
Resource Type

This introductory workshop tool helps us to think about how we might identify the 12 transformative outcomes in experimental projects and policies.

In group, users start by picking one or more transformative outcomes from three macro-process that lead to transformation. They then answer a series of questions to aid thinking about how that transformative outcome can be evidenced. The aim is to stimulate discussion and thinking about the practical manifestation of transformative outcomes in experiments and how this can be identified for monitoring, evaluation and learning purposes.



The tool draws on contents and learnings from the MOTION Handbook: Developing a Transformative Theory of Change, a step-by-step guide on how to develop a Transformative Theory of Change, for innovation projects, programmes and organisations working on systems transformation. Created by the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium and Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges, with support from EIT Climate-KIC, Ingenio (CSIC-UPV) and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT).


Alvial Palavicino, C., Bernal Hernandez, P., Ghosh, B., Shaw, V., Zinkstock, E. (2022) Identifying transformative outcomes in projects and policies. 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

A shorter version of this tool was developed and tested with participants at a TIPC’s Open Learning Series session in November 2021: Transformative Outcomes: Practical Tools to Empower and Scale System Change Initiatives.

2 thoughts on “Tool: Identifying transformative outcomes in projects and policies

  1. I really like this tool for initial planning for transformative outcomes. I think it gives you a general idea of which are the possibilities for you to act for transformative outcomes, and not only to assess what you are doing. For this tool, I would add a way in which they can choose the more relevant transformative outcomes for their cases. Not only to assess which they are already working on.

    Also, I had a related question, is there a link and/or alignment between experiment types and transformative outcomes? This would be a good way to give continuity to the process that has been created in TIPC.

    Thanks again for all these tools!

  2. I’m working on a particular thought experiment in my area (deriving real world benefits from university knowledge) at the moment: Is it right that universities collaborate with industry on bridge technology innovation (i.e. technologies to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel processes)? On the one hand, reducing emissions is obviously desirable, but on the other, these projects can generate climate protests, and there is evidence that continuing bridge technology innovation may slow transition to clean tech.

    I found this tool, and Bipashyee et al.’s original paper on transformative outcomes, really useful for this thought experiment. For example, universities could focus on building and nurturing/expanding and mainstreaming clean tech niches while working to unlock fossil fuel-based regimes.

    One thought has occured to me: the timing of interventions is critical. For example, if bridge tech innovation stopped today while fossil fuel processes were still common, we’d likely see more carbon emissions in the atmosphere. With that in mind, I wonder if there has been any thought within the community given to inflexion points or dynamic capabilities to help ensure effective timing of interventions.

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