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Innovator Catalyst

Boosting Sustainable Economy in Rural Areas

Innovator Catalyst Series

Budapest – 17-25. October, 2015


Working on the rural challenges we face and how to overcome them, Climate-KIC offers a coached 8 day programme for experienced professionals in the field of climate smart economic development of rural areas, held in Budapest, Hungary, 17-25. October, 2015. The programme will focus on how to enhance your organization’s resilience towards climate change challenges. The organizers have realized the potential and necessity for innovation as being a crucial answer to these climate change challenges, and to maintain or even improve the business case by discovering new solutions. We believe that introduction of new technologies, business models and approaches as well as learning from other partners are vital for maintaining or even enhancing the production level and revenues, as well as introducing new business areas. The programme will allow you and your organization to apply a complex and systematic mindset and become an early mover in sustainable practices that will contribute to the economic development, climate change resilience and social inclusion of rural areas. 

Climate KIC promotes transformative innovation to address the challenge of climate change, whereas this programme as part of the Innovator Catalyst series targets experienced professionals with the enthusiasm and potential for influencing organizational change and system innovation. It offers the key competencies and capabilities to be an innovator in the broad sense of this term. It is designed to be international, time effective and stimulating.

Fundamental to this mission are people with the ability to enable organizations, both private and public, to lead a transformation of sociotechnical systems of rural areas. Hence, participants will get the opportunity to work on their own cases; to develop the necessary skills and enable practitioners to make transitions happen themselves locally. Participants will become early movers to act as an agent provocateur and change leader as innovation enablers.

Headline topics and why to attend

As the outcome of the program you will learn how to grow your agricultural organization, tackle climate change challenges, develop your business into sustainability and apply innovation, with main focus on the following topics: 

  • economically viable and resilient irrigation system against climate change impacts
  • opportunities smart agriculture and precision farming can hold for you,
  • valorization of by-product and waste streams by circular economy approach and supply chain management practices

These are the key issues for boosting rural economy by creating new revenue streams and markets while enhancing sustainability performance and delivering a major opportunity for local economic development. Through the 8 day programme participants will have the opportunity by Climate-KIC methodologies and competences to: 

  • understand actor and stakeholder analysis, 
  • understand Transition Thinking and System Innovation and develop the key skills;
  • increase system level thinking and awareness to understand broader perspectives, 
  • find solutions and business models to your challenges via innovation;
  • promote social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas;
  • enhance and accelerate individual projects and ventures of the participants;
  • avoid economic and climate change traps affecting rural economy;
  • create a network of system innovators for sharing experiences and best practices.

Participants will develop an in-depth understanding of applying transitions theories using real rural examples and their own cases.


The course works with a transdisciplinary approach and starts out with a diagnosis of the challenges of all participants.

Systems approach

This intensive 8 day programme will take a systems approach to:

  • Address challenges from multiple perspectives through coached individual and group learning working on concrete plans and initiatives;
  • Focus on interaction between different stakeholders in order to foster new ideas;
  • Develop a practical skill set concerning problem solving, the acquisition of resources as well as negotiation skills;
  • Understand and overcome barriers (including attitude, lack of motivation, etc) for boosting transitions in rural development.
  • Get an international perspective on sustainable transitions with participants and speakers from across Europe;
  • Engage with multidisciplinary practitioners to build an international network and exchange experiences and best practices.

Who can apply? 

Experienced professionals who are influential and capable of activating networks and partners from the following sectors: 

  • Governmental sector responsible for public policies;
  • Technology providers, business people, entrepreneurs in agriculture;
  • Representatives of the rural areas – farmers, majors;
  • Farmer Associations, NGOs, anyone, who could facilitate transitions;
  • Consultants from social, financial, engineering areas.

Location and dates: Budapest – 17-25. October, 2015


The full course fee is €2000 which covers the programme activities, refreshments and lunch during the days, and two group evening dinners. There is a 50% discount (€1000 off) if you are from a start-up company, a non-profit organisation, or the public sector. To submit your application, click on the APPLICATION FORM.

Early bird:

In addition, there is a further 20% ‘early bird’ discount available for all applicants who apply before 5th August 2015.

Application Deadline:  15th September, 2015 


Downloadable files