Successful Collaborations in Transition Experiments: 14 guidelines from a value network perspective

Waldo Galle, Wim Debacker, Yves De Weerdt, Niels De Temmerman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


The transition to a circular construction economy, which has been receiving more and more attention in Flanders and Brussels like in many other regions, requires new collaborations in transition experiments. Since such experiments are demanding, facilitating more effectively the formation of partnerships and support collaborations in initiatives such as transition arenas and living labs is of interest for everyone who wants to establish systemic change, but especially for public authorities. Therefore, we explore in this study the collaboration qualities that foster successful learning and initiating systemic change in transition experiments. For our exploration we take an a value network approach which makes it possible to review and compare the inherent qualities of collaborations. From industrial network theory and supply chain management actors, resources and activities, as well as cultural, collaborative and strategic elements are taken as the basic components to define the form, structure and dynamics of value networks. The adopted analytic framework is subsequently used to map relevant experiences reported in literature and in practice. Reviewed writings include literature on transition management that makes notice of case studies as well as best practices on supporting experiments, or that includes empiric reviews of experimental initiatives in the transition to a circular economy. Further, we reviewed two experimental niche practices. One is focused on affordable housing in Flanders, and one on reversible refurbishment in Brussels. The third and last set of practical experience is collected during interviews with four policy actors that are active in the field of circular construction or regional development. Following these observations, we drafted a proposal for a policy advice including 38 patterns of successful learning and initiating systemic change in transition experiments, synthesised in 14 guidelines and presented in five categories. Although these guidelines need further validation, they trigger questions about collective learning within transition experiments and nourish the concept’s further theorization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. of the International Sustainability Transitions Conference 2019
Publisher Austrian Institute of Technology AIT
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2020
EventInternational Sustainability Transitions Conference 2020: Governance in an Era of Change – Making Sustainability Transitions Happen - Online, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 18 Aug 202021 Aug 2020


ConferenceInternational Sustainability Transitions Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleIST 2020
Internet address


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