This article scrutinizes the potential of transformative innovations to contribute to social-ecological transformations. It problematizes the positive connotation linked to innovations in tackling contemporary social and environmental challenges by giving an overview of theories of innovation, with a focus on social innovations, and systematizing the multiple meanings of the term transformation. We define transformative innovations as innovations that contribute to those transformations that are desirable and feasible in a specific conjuncture. Desirable are innovations that enable a good life for all within planetary boundaries, feasible are those that can be implemented here and now, given specific constellations of actors, power relations and structural constraints and possibilities. Furthermore, we describe the current conjuncture, dwell on collective and political actions and explore one promising transformative innovation: creating and strengthening sustainable and inclusive provisioning systems, that are feasible in the short term and effective in the long-term.
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