Tool Catalogue of Tools

Visual toolbox for system innovation | A resource book for practitioners to map, analyse and facilitate sustainability transitions.

Uploaded by RRI Tools on November 9, 2020

The EIT Climate-KIC Transitions Hub

What is this book about? 

The book is a collection of ready-to-implement tools to structure and manage the challenges and exploit opportunities of sustainability innovations and transitions.  

The goal is twofold: improving the understanding of a challenge by going deeper, broader and by improving the quality of the discussions and conversations around the problem among participants.  It means to put the focus not only on the problem solving process but also on the learning process while designing and implementing solutions.  

The tools are presented in a simple and visual approach with the purpose of supporting practitioners’ every-day work on climate change, transition and system innovation.  The toolbox is rooted in a modular structure, built upon four modules that account for the main steps in the system innovation process before getting into the prototyping phase. That is:

  1. stakeholder management
  2. multi-level perspective
  3. visioning and back- casting and
  4. niche management.

This structure is meant to facilitate the problem-solving process by setting out a pathway in the always blurred, uncertain and fuzzy process for system innovation. In addition to these modules, a standalone tool has been added to help users define the real problem they are facing. The four modules holding the tools feed into a multi-disciplinary setting, including transitions management but also practical elements from innovation management, systemic thinking, design thinking and project management. Based on this structure, the  learning approach is based on the assertion “learning by doing through the application of  tools on the users’ cases”.  

In this regard, the toolbox  is designed to help pick out  those tools that best adapt to the practitioners’ needs and background. The design of  the tools has been sculpted around four features to maximise the learning experience under this approach: 

  • Flexible. The book is designed for you to pick out the tools that best fit your challenge and then you can adapt those you chose to your own context. To make it easy to find the most proper tool, a variety of alter natives with different levels of complexity have been designed.  
  • Standalone. The tools have been conceived to work individually and as a full suite. That means, you can single out one tool and apply it to your project, whether you are going to use more tools or not. Regardless of this capacity to be applied in a standalone way, it is highly advisable to conceive a pathway to follow within your innovation project including a coherent set of tools. 
  • Visual. Most of the tools have been designed as visual devices to spark creativity, systemic and lateral thinking. The book is not illustrated to make it pretty. The pictures have a clear purpose and shouldn´t be skipped. It may take you time to feel comfortable with the visual metaphors proposed,  but these techniques will help your non-linear and creative  thinking (you just might need to practise a bit).  
  • Systemic. The toolbox aims for a systemic understanding  of problems and challenges. Therefore, you can expect this  type of conceptualisation underlying every tool instead of  a linear process of reasoning.  This is why all the tools have been designed to be used in multidisciplinary and even multicultural frameworks, and to  factor-in data and inputs from  the context surrounding the project. 

This book was developed simultaneously with eLearning  material based on the main  elements of flipped and seam less learning. In that sense, the tools are presented to facilitate a learning process  where different types of ac tivities, at different times and with multiple resources can be applied. The tools are also designed to support project management, organisational change and capacity building process for organisations or multi-stakeholder project set ups. Thus, group work, project development and peer-to-peer interactions are included as key elements for this flexible and tailored approach for practitioners.  



  1. What is this book about? 
  2. How to use this book? 

Chapter 1 - Introduction Stakeholder management  

  • Tool 1 - Pentagonal problem  
  • Tool 2 - Actor tree 
  • Tool 3  - Enlarged empathy map  
  • Tool 4 - Credential cards 
  • Tool 5 - Skateholder mapping 
  • Tool 6 - Skateholder universe 
Chapter 2 - Introduction Multi-level perspective 
  • Tool 7 - The context map 
  • Tool 8 - Trajectories of change  
  • Tool 9 - Flourishing multi-level 
  • Tool 10 - Fishing for barriers 
Chapter 3  - Introduction Visioning and backcasting 
  • Tool 11 - Ocean of opportunities 
  • Tool 12 - Visual story 
  • Tool 13 - Future radars 
  • Tool 14 - Sociotechnical roadmap 
Chapter 4  - Introduction Niche management 
  • Tool 15 - Transition waves 
  • Tool 16 - Six systemic strengths 










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