A space for innovation

Deep Transitions Lab

Welcome to the lab

The DT Lab is a platform to accelerate systems change. Why? Because humanity is on a trajectory towards a breakdown, with huge associated costs of human displacement, ecosystems collapse and stranded assets. We need a solution to create the deep, fundamental societal transformations that are desperately needed. This is recognised, but investors need sound science, tools and practices to gear investments towards long-term, systems change and create a portfolio that is resilient in light of the radical uncertainty we face.

Using the Transformative Investment Philosophy, the lab will help organisations move away from a case-by-case focus that favours system optimisation. And instead stretch investment portfolios to contribute to systems change by targeting the rules that underpin our current systems. This directs investments towards the root causes of unsustainable practices that increase social inequality and can induce a Second Deep Transition.

what we do

The lab’s mission is to establish a niche in the investment industry and contribute to its scaling. Ultimately, this will plant the seeds for change in the broader financial industry and be one of the sparks of the Second Deep Transition: a sustainability revolution. The work programme of the Deep Transitions Lab consists of three core elements that jointly contribute to its mission: experimentation, research and learning.


We run an experimentation programme, executed with partners from the investment industry, to build practical skills, knowledge and experience in implementing transformative investment in their organisations. The experiments also aim to uncover (and even create) new investment opportunities in overlooked areas with high transformative potential.


Our training and outreach programme creates a global network of investors, policy makers and academics. The learning programme will build knowledge, foster mutual learning and provide training and capacity-building to practitioners, as well as for the next generation.


Our research programme develops tools and metrics that feed the experimentation programme. It will also conduct foundational research to deepen the theoretical understanding of Deep Transitions and transformative investment, and to further advance its concepts, tools and metrics.

Shapers of the future

The DT Lab supports the change in investment needed to ignite systems change and deliver impact. Joining the lab can position partners as shapers of a niche in the finance industry, building a new transformative investment practice. We are also uniquely positioned to create connections with others similarly engaged across the globe and across different parts of the investment and public innovation spaces. 

Why partner with us?

─ Get access to tools, support and assessment frameworks for you to effectively pursue a strategy that moves your portfolio towards achieving systems change.

─ Build an investment portfolio that’s geared towards the long-term – dealing with the shocks and uncertainties expected to unfold as a result of climate change and social tensions. 

─ Potentially uncover (and even create) complementary investments that enhance the transformative potential of a portfolio, as well as identify new investment opportunities.Join a community of frontrunners – located in the Global North and Global South and across the private and public sector, as well as in academia. 

─ For impact investors, the findings of the Lab can make impact strategies more effective and can be used to describe, measure and communicate the transformative potential of these investments.

Getting involved with the lab

We welcome both partners and donors to join the lab. If you’re interested in hearing more about our experimentation process and how you can benefit as a partner, get in touch. 

For donors, the lab is a means to advance the practice of Transformative Investment by globally mobilising partners who can generate the experience and knowledge for this investment to deliver positive outcomes, both in terms of investment strategy and in terms of social and environmental outcomes. If you would like to hear more about our research and learning programmes, we’d be happy to talk.


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Discover more about deep transitions

Shocks, institutional change, and sustainability transitions
Journal article

Shocks, institutional change, and sustainability transitions

Shocks such as wars, financial crises, and environmental disasters, play an important role in influencing the direction of sociotechnical systems such as energy, food, and mobility. We develop understandings of the effects of shocks on systems through the concept of imprinting, which looks at how the different conditions of a time-restricted period of a shock can bring about rapid changes in sociotechnical systems with long-lasting changes. We explore this concept through analysing two shocks and effects on the energy system: World War II and the 1973 Oil crisis. Prospective sustainability transitions will be effected by shocks such as climate change impacts and conflicts and thus understanding the long-term effects of shocks through imprinting will be a useful additional perspective.

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Transformative investment: New rules for investing in sustainability transitions
Journal article

Transformative investment: New rules for investing in sustainability transitions

Closing the financial gap for promoting systemic socio-economic transformations to achieve sustainability requires both a substantial increase in investment levels and a qualitative change in investment strategies. In this Perspective, we elaborate on this claim and discuss why existing investment approaches that aim to make positive contributions to sustainability are unlikely to foster the systemic transformations needed for sustainability. Qualitative change means changing the current rules that guide investment practices and we outline a new set of rules that should guide transformative investment. These rules are based on the well-established socio-technical sustainability transition theory and the recent development of a theory of deep transitions. We explain why these transformative investment rules offer a promising alternative base for assessing investment opportunities and monitoring progress toward the multi-system changes required to achieve a socially just deep transition to sustainability.

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Let's talk

Get in touch if you want to hear more about what we do or start your journey towards transformative investment.

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