Social Learning Workshop 2016

TRANSIT – Synthesis WorkshopMotivations, relations and transformations: the role of social learning in individual and collective agency for social innovation

University of Coruña, 8-9 June, 2016, Faculty of Educational Sciences.


Prof. Ricardo García Mira (University of A Coruña)


Adina Dumitru, Ricardo García Mira & Isabel Lema (University of Coruña)

The TRANSIT project aims at developing a middle-range theory of transformative social innovation (TSI), through a combination of interdisciplinary theoretical development and empirical research on a series of case studies of social innovation initiatives. To achieve an understanding of how the phenomenon of social innovation contributes to transformative change, we combine a systemic perspective with a micro-theory of change, informed by social psychological perspectives that can bring an understanding of human agency and processes of individual and collective empowerment that are key to understanding how societal change comes about.

Such a theory is unconceivable without an understanding of processes of learning. Social learning has become a much used concept in debates on participatory democratic processes and social change more generally. Social learning is described alternatively as a desired outcome of participation, as a process that can lead to other valued outcomes such as individual and collective empowerment, consensus-building, and skill development, and as a cause or an integral part of processes of individual and collective agency. Scientific work on social learning draws on multi-disciplinary resources and has become a well-defined domain of inquiry. However, the concept is often used in rather fuzzy ways, there is a lack of clarity in differentiating between what social learning is, what forms it takes in the different contexts in which it is used, what its outcomes are, and how it can best be assessed and measured in empirical research.

The TRANSIT Synthesis Workshop focused on the following questions: what drives the quest for social innovation and how does social learning contribute to the creation of new social relations, involving new ways of thinking, knowing, doing and framing?

The workshop focused on the following three themes for discussion:

1) Motivations in transformative social innovation ambitions

2) Processes through which new social relationships are established, contexts that foster satisfaction of basic psychological needs and the role of social learning in such processes

3) The role of social learning in achieving transformative impact.

The workshop consisted of a combination of invited presentations that aimed to bring a novel perspective to TRANSIT discussions; paper presentations by TRANSIT researchers; and a series of group discussions that aimed to distill a series of useful practical insights on social learning.

Besides, we counted on the presence of two keynote speakers. The inaugural and inspirational lecture was delivered by Peru Sasía, leader of the credit cooperative movement in Spain and Professor at Deusto University, Basque Country, Spain and was titled “Agency in processes of personal and collective change: the role of social learning in the case of Fiare Banca Etica.”

View video

The second day of the workshop, Professor Kennon Sheldon, from the University of Missouri, USA, gave the invited lecture of the event on “Motivations for change: Self-determination theory –a motivational account of the quest for social change”


From the 8th-9th of June 2016 the Synthesis Workshop of the EU project TRANSIT, was held in A Coruna (Spain). Please find all presentations and materials of the event below:

- Proceedings

- Concept and Agenda

- Videos

- Presentations

Wednesday 8TH June,2016:


Welcome speech by Ricardo Garcia Mira & Adina Dumitru. 4.5MB

Presentation 1 – Inspirational lecture: Agency in processes of personal and collective change: the role of social learning in the case of Fiare Banca Etica by Pedro Manuel Sasia. 2.5MB

Presentation 2 – Social learning for transformative social innovation: empirical research outcomes of TRANSIT by Adina Dumitru. 3.4MB

Presentation 3 – Social media, social learning and the basic income movement by Rene Kemp. 4.6MB

Presentation 4 – Practitioner engagement in social innovation: the role of social learning by Tim Strasser.

Presentation 5 – Increasing the learning potential and reflective agency capacities through a critical turning points database by Bonno Pel. 12.8MB

Presentation 6 – Searching for a new mode of community in social innovation initiatives by Iris Kunze. 11.9MB

Presentation 7 – Transforming social relations in social innovation initiatives Carla Cipolla. 2.3MB

Thursday, 9th June 2016

Presentation 1 – Invited lecture: Self-determination theory –a motivational account of the quest for social change by Kennon Sheldon. 1.9 MB

Presentation 2 – Motivations for transformative social innovations: TRANSIT results by Adina Dumitru. 2.5 MB

Presentation 3 – Becoming a change agent in sustainability initiatives by Ferdinando Fornara. 12.3 MB

Presentation 4 – Temporal Autonomy: Exploring Flexibility, Everyday Life, and Wellbeing by Tony Craig. 1.8 MB

Presentation 5 – Conceptualizing empowerment in social innovation initiatives and its relationship to motivations for action by Flor Avelino

.1.7 MB

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