Frontrunners in action!

Radical participatory method for local sustainable innovation

By Henneman Pepik with participation of Derk Loorbach

We live in an economic and a financial crisis that forces us to rethink our approach to regional development. Communities no longer have the means to enforce long-term plans and politics. Yet innovations carried out from a long-term vision can catalyze the economic, social ecology development of a region.

Frontrunners in action describes a perspective on societal change and proposes a method for local sustainable innovation. In our method we call up on officials of municipalities and departments to radically involve the frontrunners and pioneers to contribute to the development of their region. We call upon leaders of organizations and business to take on the role of regional change agents.

We describe a process where frontrunners, representatives and officials are brought together within an innovation networks (transition arena). Together they co-create a vision and regional long-term agenda (agenda transition) and they propose innovative projects (icon projects) that they launch together.

The book gives an introduction to transition management and co-creation processes. A practical guide is described to lead the process. We present results obtained in regions in the Netherlands in the field of sustainable- food, -tourism,-energy and climate mitigation. Finally we present examples on how, when and where the methods can be applied.

About the authors

Ir. MSc. J.J.H. (Pepik) Henneman

Pepik is director and founder of Mister Lion a lab for societal change. After having graduated at the T.U. Delft (1996) Pepik began his career as a petroleum engineer at Shell International Exploration & Production BV. Taken by the concept of sustainability he developed the basis of his vision and practice at Schumacher College (MSc Holistic Science 2001). In 2000, Pepik founds Innovaders consultancy from which he advises organizations on sustainable business. In 2006 he becomes affiliated to the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) at Rotterdam Erasmus University where he brings the concepts of transition management into practice.

Frontrunners in action is based on this practical experience. Pepik lectures at Schumacher College and is closely involved in an European urban transition project in which the city of Aberbeen is a participant.

Dr. Derk A. Loorbach

Derk Loorbach is director of the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) at Erasmus University. Derk was among the first researchers to develop the concept and approach of transition management. He began his research career at International Centre for Integrative Studies (ICIS) at Maastricht University led by Prof. Dr ir Jan Rotmans founder of transition management. Derk PhD on transition management in 2007. Derk wants to deliver concrete and visible contributions to sustainable innovations in society.