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.

Explore the lab

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.


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, thus stretching the transformative potential of investment portfolios.


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


A research programme to develop tools and metrics that feed the experimentation programme and support standardisation and broader uptake. 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

The Effect Of Shocks On Sustainability Transitions
Journal article

The Effect Of Shocks On Sustainability Transitions

The role of exogenous shocks in influencing transition process is of significant interest to diverse literatures in Sustainability Science. Such events disturb and interrupt path dependent processes in ecological, economic, social, and technological systems. Sometimes this can lead to radical departures from existing trajectories and at other times existing systems can be more resilient, adapting or reconfiguring in response to a shock.

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The Promise Of Transformative Investment: Mapping The Field Of Sustainability Investing
Working paper

The Promise Of Transformative Investment: Mapping The Field Of Sustainability Investing

This paper addresses the question: How can private finance be mobilized for sociotechnical sustainability transitions? In answering this question, maps the sustainability investment literature, which leads to four propositions: (1) The literature on sustainability investing coevolved with corporate social responsibility theory and with the practice and events of the field, revealing four distinctive waves of “sustainable investing”; (2) Each wave of sustainability investing triggers new investment strategies, while propelling preceding ones upwards (‘tidal effect’); (3) Sustainability investing strategies can be classified into certain categories, namely: (a) approach (top-down/ investment thesis or bottom-up/ valuation); (b) orientation (mitigating negative externalities or inducing positive externalities); (c) return on investment (from zero to risk-adjusted); and (4) We may be witnessing the emergence of a fifth wave of sustainability investing triggered by new research and practices on “impact investing”. We discuss these propositions against socio-technical sustainability transitions’ theory.

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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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