Changing the game training

Based on the eight steps in the previous section, we have developed a workbook with all the templates that you can use to guide you through these steps. Furthermore, we created a website where you can download this workbook free of charge.

On this website you can also find podcasts about market transformation, additional case studies, research reports, academic articles and other resources. And, of course, we want to make it easy for you to receive updates about the news on this website.

We have also used this eight-step approach to develop an intensive learning experience of one week for a maximum of 25 participants. This five-day intensive training program will be hosted by various business schools around the world. If you are interested, you can also find the latest information about this training program on the abovementioned website. We are also offering an in-company training program for organizations that want to take the lead in dealing with the sustainability issues in their sector and want to gain competitive advantage in doing so. The power of an in-company training is that a group of your colleagues are developing the same language, insights and way of thinking at the same time. This will greatly increase the chance that you are able to convince the rest of your organization to apply the Sustainable Market Transformation strategies, and be much more effective in leading the sustainable change required.

How research can help to further advance the thinking

In this book we expressed our understanding of market transformations to higher levels of sustainability. This is based on many years of experience and many research projects in different markets. But knowledge development is ongoing and we encourage any scholar interested in this topic to continue the exploration. More specifically, we see three promising domains for future research.

A first angle for future research should challenge the assumptions we put forward in relation to market transformations. The main assumptions are:

  • 1. Any sustainability issue can result in a full market transformation;
  • 2. This transformation always goes through four phases;
  • 3. You cannot skip phases because the previous phase creates the market conditions for the next phase;
  • 4. Specific roles are effective for each market actor in each phase;
  • 5. Resistance is predictable because your friends in one phase are your enemies in the next phase;
  • 6. Changing the game requires knowing who should do what and when.

So far we have investigated these assumptions with research projects based on evolutionary economics, viable systems theory, neo-institutional theory, stakeholder salience theory and deliberative democracy theory. That was helpful to refine these assumptions and to explain them. But we addressed only parts of these assumptions. For example, viable systems theory is helpful to understand the cybernetic processes underlying the evolutionary development of markets based on positive and negative reinforcing loops and balancing loops. And deliberative democracy theory helps to understand why and when companies should become political actors imposing certain norms on a market. However, strengthening the theoretical foundation to explain market transformations toward higher levels of sustainability is still very important.

A second angle for research concerns the stakeholder matrix with the roles for the various market actors in each phase. We have noted that a qualitative research approach is best suited for obtaining insightful results, especially if a study investigates two questions: 1) What role is performed by a certain market actor and how does it influence market transformation? and 2) What additional role should be fulfilled by this market actor to support the market transformation? By investigating this based on expert interviews and comparing the results, we refined the stakeholder matrix for the roles of governments, companies and financial institutions. However, some market actors are still missing, and the research was biased toward certain markets, especially food and energy. Additional research is therefore needed to refine and strengthen our understanding of the roles of various market actors.

A third angle for future research is the most challenging one. In the end we claim that by enacting effective market transformation strategies, we should be able to deal with all sustainability challenges. But what is the impact of the market transformations happening in reality? Do they indeed result in effective solutions in relation to the SDGs? This would require longitudinal research to measure the outcomes of a market at different time points and determine whether they become more sustainable over time. Or it would require a cross-case analysis comparing the impacts created so far in different markets and determining why some markets have been more successful in becoming sustainable than others. These are complicated methodologies and will require in-depth discussion to determine the best approach. But any research project based on this third angle will help to remind us that in the end it is not about successful market transformation, but whether these market transformations actually contribute to a more sustainable world.

Become part of a global movement of change-makers

You have probably noticed by now that we would love to develop a global community around market transformations toward higher levels of sustainability. And that means that we would welcome any contribution you would like to make. Have you applied the teachings in this book to a specific market and turned it into an additional case study? If so, we would love to hear from you and add this to the website. Have you made a vlog expressing your experiences as a change- maker for market transformation? We would love to hear from you and also add this to our website. Are you a scholar doing research on market transformation, and one of your publications can help to close the research gap? We would love to hear from you and add a reference to your publication on our website. Or perhaps you did something else. As long as it seems valuable for this community, please share it with us. You can do this directly by leaving comments on the website or by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it to inform us. Your feedback is always welcome and we hope to stay connected with you for a long time.

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