Pioneers into Practice


Diversity is at the heart of  Pioneers into Practice; we bring together climate change professionals and organisations from across public, private, research & not­for­profit backgrounds from a range of different climate change sectors. We offer the unique opportunity to engage with others on a European level, share expertise & best practice, expand networks and create new products and services in the field of the climate change.


During the programme you will complete one placement (4 to ­6 weeks, regional or international), work in groups on real climate challenges and receive tailored mentoring and support on transition thinking and system innovation in the area of climate change adaptation and mitigation. We take you of your comfort zone and place you into new settings.  


Your 4 to 6 week placement will take place in one of our partner regions in Europe: Lower Silesia (Poland), Hessen (Germany), Valencia (Spain), Emilia Romagna (Italy), the West Midlands (United Kingdom), Helsinki/Uussimaa (Finland) and Central Hungary (Hungary). You will be given a project to work on by your host organisation or encouraged to develop your own, while both benefit from shared experience and expertise. Placements take place in the second half of the year, in the meantime, you and your fellow Pioneers will work together on a group project addressing regional challenges.


This placement is complemented by a mentoring programme which is complemented by workshops and an e-learning module. Pioneers share their placement experiences and wider thinking on systemic innovation.



The following video gives you a taste of the Pioneers into Practice experience:


  • 4 April 2016: Opening of the 2016 call for applications
  • 2 May 2016: Closing of the 2016 call for applications
  • 2 May- 17 May 2016: Interview and selection process of candidates and hosts.
  • 17 May: Announcement of the selected candidates. A reserve list may be created.
  • 27 May: Welcome Event
  • 15 & 16 June: Introductory Workshop
  • September - November: Placement period


Are you part of a new generation of specialists, entrepreneurs and policy makers whose common goal lies in the development of a low-carbon society? For more information, please get in touch with Leila Maria Scott or go here to apply for our 2016 programme.


Admission and funding

Who are we looking for?

Professionals from industry, small companies, universities, research institutes, public bodies as well as NGOs from selected regions are invited to apply. A broad range of multi-skilled professionals, able to combine technical specialisms with social understanding and entrepreneurial spirit is what we are looking for in order to develop a cross-disciplinary and international understanding.



To apply for the programme, candidates will need to fulfil the following criteria:

  • To live in a participating country. The following countries deliver the programme: Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK.
  • To have a University degree related to the field of climate change and/or sustainability OR other equivalent degree in another field plus at least 2 years of working experience in a field related to climate change and/or sustainability.
  • Additional documentation on experience, for example recommendation letters or references, may be requested to support your application.
  • To be fluent in English (at least B2 equivalent). This will be tested during the selection process. 


Host organisations:

  • To be a host organization for the Pioneers into Practice programme, organisations will need to meet all the following criteria:
  • To be located in the Netherlands
  • To involve internal staff fluent in English
  • To provide a workstation, a full working place for the pioneer and supervision during the placement 
  • To be committed to taking climate action and/or improving their sustainability.



  • Pioneers and hosts will exchange knowledge to make the project a success
  • Improved products and services: pioneers provide fresh insights into product development
  • Pioneers and hosts exchange knowledge, gaining knowledge that can be applied to their own projects or organisation
  • You get the chance to network on both individual and corporate level and get exclusive access to a world-class network of climate change professionals and innovators


Pioneers who choose to complete their placement abroad may be reimbursed up to EUR 2,000 for accommodation and travel costs.