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Join the webinar: What is “Transformation” and why is understanding its qualities important?

Join us for an upcoming webinar on what researchers mean when they talk about "transformation" and why understanding its qualities is critical. This webinar is hosted by Future Earth and supported by the SDG Transformation Forum, the Future Earth Transformation Knowledge Action Network and Geneva2030. The event is the fourth webinar in a series about transformations to sustainability.

The webinar will run on Thursday, 18 May at 16.00 CEST. Register to take part in the discussion here.

If you can't make the webinar live, a recording will be archived here.


The term “transformation” is popularly used as a loose metaphor by many. However, a large number of researchers and other leaders in sustainability view it as a rigorous analytic concept. This webinar focuses on the academic approach to transformation and investigates the qualities of transformation with three people who are using the concept in their work. 

Karen O'Brien, Professor, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway: O'Brien works on issues related to global environmental change, globalisation, vulnerability, climate change adaptation and human security. She is particularly interested in how societies both create and respond to change. Her research explores the ways that processes such as climate change, biodiversity loss and other large-scale environmental transformations interact with global processes to exacerbate inequity, increase vulnerability and undermine sustainability.

Derk Loorbach, Director, DRIFT; Professor of Socio-Economic Transitions, Erasmus University: Loorbach is one of the founders of the transition management approach as new form of governance for sustainable development. He has written more than one hundred publications in this area and has been involved as an action researcher in numerous transition processes with government, business, civil society and science.

Steve Waddell, Principal, NetworkingAction: For 35 years, Steve has worked on large systems change, of which transformation is a key ingredient. He does this largely as an action researcher and consultant and through personal leadership on a broad range of issues. They include sustainable energy, poverty, water and sanitation, corruption and disaster relief