Major challenges and ambitious plans are emerging thick and fast: the economic recovery, a competent labour market, social and mental health, a robust healthcare system, the climate and energy transition, a sustainable food chain, strengthening biodiversity, and so on.

But how do we shift from 'paper' analyses and intentions to achieving structural and qualitative changes in our neighbourhood, society and economy? All too often, citizens, governments and entrepreneurs wait for one of the other parties to take that essential step. Each one is trapped by its particular sector, interests or powers. No one can achieve the desired changes alone. How do we overcome this together?

We have the major challenges for the future in our sights, but they are bogged down in the pilot project or experimental phase. Mainstreaming these sites requires new forms of cooperation between sectors, policy areas and social actors. A sectoral and polarised field makes cooperation difficult or even impossible. We need a new workspace where insights and capacities can evolve into structural Investment Programmes.

The Great Transformation 2020–2030 is not a government, commercial initiative or a pressure group. It is a social connecting space that supports and accelerates the transformation of our living environment. We bundle the insights and resources of various actors to transform every street, neighbourhood, work environment and landscape into a vital Future Place. We open up the Future Places through learning and public programmes. If we can replicate the transformations in many locations simultaneously, they will constitute the greatest transformation project of our time. They will initiate a chain reaction. There will be new partnerships and social networks, new skills, employment and economic chains, a flourishing ecosystem and a new energy system.

As an independent learning environment, incubator and public programme, The Great Transformation provides enterprising citizens, governments, businesses, financiers, scientists and organisations with the context, the knowledge and the support to work on actual breakthroughs and achievements. Using design and the power of the imagination, we are forming coalitions and formulating strategic sites that can be achieved on a huge scale between now and 2030.