• The Grand Challenge of Our Time: Transforming the Place-Based Systems Where We Live, Work, and Play

    1
    To safeguard human civilisation as we know it, we must fundamentally change the way our societies and economies operate. This means transforming the place-based, socio-technical systems that constitute the bedrock of our current way of life: cities, land use, transportation, energy, industry, infrastructure, and aquatic systems. Financial capital is one of the most powerful levers for driving this change. Yet what remains largely unclear is how, exactly, capital needs to be deployed to build a low-carbon, climate-resilient, just, and inclusive future.
  • The Limitations of Traditional Finance in Catalysing Systemic Change

    2
    The paradigms, structures, and practices of today’s financial sector prevent it from unleashing deep, structural change in the real economy. Narrow notions of value, outdated world-views, constraining financial mathematics, and a low sense of responsibility for social outcomes drive a wedge between market values and human values.
  • The Need to Lift Sustainable Finance onto the Next Level

    3
    Dozens of sustainable finance initiatives (SFIs) have set out to mobilise climate finance at the trillion-euro scale—a welcome and important effort. Yet most are still bound to produce incremental outcomes at best in the place-based systems that matter most for human prosperity. This is because most SFIs remain steeped in traditional finance orthodoxy, focus on secondary markets such as stock exchanges, follow a single-asset mentality, and are primarily concerned with reducing risk rather than creating value.
  • TransCap: Towards a Systemic Investment Logic

    4
    What we need now is a radically new approach to investing—one that pursues systems transformation, deploys capital with a broader intent and mindset, is anchored in different methodologies, structures, capabilities, and decision-making frameworks, and moves away from a project-by-project mentality to a strategic blending paradigm. TransCap is that approach.
  • Getting Practical: TransCap's Design Space

    5
    At the core of transformation capital sit strategic portfolios—multi-asset-class investments selected and governed to unlock combinatorial effects and nested within a broader system intervention approach. TransCap reimagines notions of value and how value is generated, captured, and shared. It enables investors to make sense of a system and identify sensitive intervention points. It redefines who participates in the investment process. And it reconceptualises the meaning and measurement of impact.
  • The TransCap Initiative: A Do-Tank for the Sustainable Finance Movement

    6
    The TransCap Initiative is developing, testing, and scaling a mission-oriented systemic investing approach while building a pipeline of strategic investment portfolios at the multi-billion-euro scale. It has an open-ended, multi-stakeholder, and action-oriented structure and borrows methods from human-centred design and systems thinking to build a space for collaborative research, prototyping, and field building.
  • Call to Action

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    The ideas set forth herein act as the starting point for what lies ahead—a journey of exploration and discovery, a systematic inquiry of what is possible, probable, and preferable. We invite challenge owners, systems thinkers, innovation practitioners, investment professionals, ecosystem shapers, and creative voices to join us in figuring out how to deploy financial capital to solve some of the most pressing and tangible problems of our time.

Download the White Paper

The TransCap Initiative is a collective effort. Its contours have been drawn by a community of visionary innovators, finance professionals, scientists, entrepreneurs, systems thinkers, and creative minds who represent some of the most audacious and progressive organisations dedicated to tackling the climate crisis. By participating in co-design sessions and interviews, or by writing about their work and experience, they have contributed invaluable insights to the quest of a new investment logic fit for catalysing the transformation of those systems that matter most for human prosperity. The TransCap white paper synthesises their ideas into a starting point for the journey of exploration and discovery that lies ahead.

Media type
  • Article
  • Book
  • Paper
  • Podcast
  • Report
  • Video
Topic
  • Community Activation
  • Complexity
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Natural Science
  • Policy
  • Society
  • Sustainability Transitions
  • Systems Thinking
Workstream
  • Enabling
  • Field Building
  • Innovation
  • Prototyping
  • Research
Engage

Challenge Owners

Do you represent an ambitious city council, regional or national government, multilateral institution, foundation, or another organization with a mandate to transform a human or natural system?

Contact us to learn more about systemic investing and funding architecture in service of your climate action plan.

Investors

Are you an asset owner, an investment advisor, an asset manager, or a financial intermediary looking to explore the next frontier of sustainable finance?

Reach out to learn more about systemic investing and to discover investment opportunities.

Innovators

Are you working on a novel idea, concept, space, method, strategy, tool, structure, philosophy, or metric relevant for building the field of systemic investing?

Get in touch to find out how to engage in our prototyping work and how to contribute to our community of practice.

Funders

Are you interested in supporting the design and mainstreaming of a new investment logic that challenges existing financial paradigms, structures, and practices?

We’d love to hear from you.

Join the Network

Contact Us

Dominic Hofstetter, Space Building Lead
dh@transformation.capital

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About

What We Do

The TransCap Initiative is a collaborative space for developing, demonstrating, and scaling systemic investing in the places that matter most for human prosperity—such as cities, landscapes, and coastal zones—as well as in value chains and other real-economy systems.

We apply systems thinking, human-centred design, and the principles of mission-driven innovation to explore how financial capital can catalyse the transformation of systems in service of a low-carbon, climate-resilient, just, and inclusive future.

Our mission involves developing a knowledge and innovation base, testing novel concepts and approaches, and building a community of practice. In doing so, we recognise the complex adaptive nature of human and natural systems and the fundamental uncertainty that governs their evolution, and we thus emphasise the need for collaboration, experimentation, and learning.

The places and value chains we intend to transform act as centres of gravity for our work. In each of these systems, we will work with challenge owners, communities, innovators, investors, and other stakeholders to design, structure, and finance strategic investment portfolios nested within a broader systems intervention approach.

Who We Are

The TransCap Initiative convenes a diverse community of partners from the private, public, civic, academic, and philanthropic spheres. Many of our community members are world-leading thinkers and doers in the fields of systems innovation, sustainable finance, public policy, social innovation, and sustainability research. It is a dynamic community, open to anyone committed to our cause and values.

The TransCap Initiative was initiated in 2019 by EIT Climate-KIC with support from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Learn More

Contact Us

Dominic Hofstetter, Space Building Lead
dh@transformation.capital