Wednesday, 27 September 2023, Wroclaw, Poland - The picturesque city of Wroclaw in Lower Silesia, Poland, hosted the third meeting of TRANSFORMER consortium partners. Over the course of two days, participants engaged in dynamic discussions and brainstorming sessions and updated each other on the latest progress of the TRANSFORMER project.
The meeting commenced with a warm welcome from the excellent host Robert Pudelko who provided important insights into the city of Wroclaw (yes, there are more than 382 dwarfs living in the city!), and was officially inaugurated by project manager Morgane Juliat and project coordinator Thomas Meister.
Administrative matters kicked off the agenda, followed by the latest developments within Work Package 2. This work package focuses on mapping, defining and categorising Transition Super-Labs, and Thomas Meister reported substantial progress, highlighting that two academic papers are currently in the works.
Part of TRANSFORMER’s road to success includes the Transition Readiness Assessment, which seeks to identify the ecosystem needed for establishing Transition Super-Labs. Maria Konstantinidou from CERTH presented the latest advancements in this area. Transition Readiness of a region will be established through a self-assessment tool that will determine an overall “readiness score”, shedding light on the region's current blind spots. An important point raised was the political implications of such an assessment, with Judith Wiemann suggesting the inclusion of a section on positionality.
Brainstorming sessions such as “the world cafe” were particularly useful, as they allowed participants to explore certain concepts and proposals in more depth. This included a fruitful discussion around the Transition Model and its blueprint. The Transition Model illustrates the transition process towards climate neutrality along with the main phases that a Transition Super-Lab should go through, mainly serving as guidance.
Participants also engaged in an evaluation of the draft of a Roadmap as a blueprint process to transition. Paola from Fit Consulting presented the Matchmaking Tool and Transitioncamps designed to aid regions in the transition process, emphasising stakeholder collaboration and capacity building. TRANSFORMER is concurrently developing a Knowledge Hub to disseminate insights and knowledge gained.
An important intervention was made by Dmitri Domanski who pointed towards civil society engagement and ownership of the TSL concept and process. All too often civil society is not properly involved in political processes - TRANSFORMER aims to counteract this by actively involving citizens through, for instance, preference studies, or events like Transitioncamps.
Post lunch, partners got slightly more technical by focusing on impact assessment. Questions arose regarding the definition of Key Performance Indicators for the pilot use cases, their expected impact, and who would measure them. Many KPIs may only be measurable a decade from now, prompting the need for more immediate metrics to assess the project's current direction.
As the consortium meeting marked the second half of the project timeline, key questions included: how can TRANSFORMER ensure Transition Super-Lab development after the project has come to an end? What may other future Transition Super-Labs need to help guide them? And what structures need to be established before the project comes to a close that will help TRANSFORMER TSLs to continue on their journey towards climate neutrality? The Action plans aim to address those questions and more.
The first day ended with a highlight: delicious Polish food and Marshal Tymoteusz Dominik Myrda joining the dinner.