How to get people to embrace sustainable changes? Unveiling SMARTEES main findings!

8 October 2021

How to get people to embrace sustainable changes? Unveiling SMARTEES main findings!

SMARTEES has since 2018 supported local sustainability transitions by analysing and modelling five types of energy- and mobility-related social innovations. It built locally embedded policy scenarios that foster citizen inclusion, and developed a policy sandbox tool to evaluate the effects of policy interventions and social innovation. Watch this video for the main findings of SMARTEES and learn how to get people on board towards a sustainable future!

The project’s transdisciplinary research proves that when it comes to people, it is crucial to inform, open feedback channels, involve, be transparent and engage in conflict resolution. All of this should be prepared and planned for alongside the structural planning of sustainability transitions. Throughout the successful transitions assessed in SMARTEES cities, communication campaigns were great at increasing acceptance. Further consulting citizens on the problems faced and addressing those where possible in transitions contributed to enhanced acceptance,

The planning process itself can utilise a variety of tools to assist in determining good approaches, such as agent-based modelling (ABM). With ABM it is crucial to take into account normative and political conditions, varied social dynamics, psychological needs and remember that individuals are embedded in networks that also affect their experiences.

The successes and failures of social innovations can depend on small factors, which is why SMARTEES is launching the Policy Sandbox Tool in October 2021 allowing decision makers to simulate different scenarios ahead of their planned transition.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 763912. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SMARTEES project. It does not necessarily represent the opinion of the European Union.