What background information should I collect?

Besides technical information for a transition programme, gather:

  • information about shortcomings in existing practices that underscore the urgency of system innovation
  • information about networks of actors
  • information about general social developments and important events. Some trends might confirm the importance and urgency of major reform; others could have the opposite effect
  • information about regime obstacles and success factors of previous and related change initiatives. These are obstacles and success factors relating to power relations, rules, routines, knowledge gaps, etc.


  • Integrated system analyses to assemble and analyse information about a complex problem. Methods that can be used include causal loop diagrams, SCENE, narrative analysis, socio-technical problem analysis, collective system analysis
  • Actor or network analyses (also known as stakeholder analyses) to identify the major stakeholders, their interests and the interactions between them insofar as they relevant for opportunities and/or problems. See, for example, the methods of Actor, network or stakeholder analysis, DEED, the and Cognitive model and Interpretive frame approach
  • Trend analyses, which describe developments that may occur in the future and which could influence the nature and scale of problems and/or opportunities. Such trends can be discovered by means of a literature study or by conducting interviews, for example.
  • Historical analyses
  • When a vision is created in a collective process, the participants with their various academic and practical backgrounds are also an important source of relevant knowledge.