The challenges posed by climate change have generated many initiatives aimed at implementing societal transformations. In most cases, these initiatives focus on technology developments, adoption and diffusion but neglect the social and cultural dimensions of transformation. Together with concerned stakeholders, PACESETTERS will build on the cross-disciplinary Transformation Process Framework to integrate heterogenous forms of research, different knowledges from fragmented disciplines, various tools and support mechanisms into a more systematic narrative of transformational change. Based on a solid theoretical fundament, it will explore relevant intervention points for, and contributions of, CCIs while incorporating knowledge on transition pathways from the latest IPCC Sixth Assessment Reports Working Group III in order to better understand possible impacts and their valorisations from an empirical standpoint.

PACESETTERS will create this framework on the basis of the outcomes of the creative case studies and the real-world laboratories, and it will analyse, synthesise and generalise the data, information, knowledge and experience through five complementary lenses co-designed to help the CCIs to contribute and adapt to the climate transition. 

Preparation: PACESETTERS co-research activities will generate a quickly growing body of information about wide-ranging efforts across the CCIs to adapt on all levels to transition-related challenges. Scanning the different fields at stake, reviewing literature, and interviewing protagonists will serve as the basis for a process of gathering and mapping the emerging initiatives to prepare the CCIs for the transition. This information will be synthesised into a set of key of readiness criteria.

Progress: By questioning what is desirable to measure, rather than relying on indicators merely because they are currently available, this approach sets out to define the phenomena to be measured. Analysing its components, selecting individual indicators, weighting them in ways that reflect their relative importance, and the dimensions of the overall composite will form the basis for the identification of a structured set of indicators and variables. The result will be a proposal for a set of progress and performance indicators that is co-created together with a wide range of stakeholders and reflects the specific contexts of the CCIs.

Impact: PACESETTERS will explore the potential of behavioural change assessment and quantification of its social and economic effects designed for the CCIs. Through a combination of different methods (in-depth interviews. focus group discussions and psychometrically validated surveys), a more in-depth understanding of the behaviours undertaken by cultural users in view of their potential impacts on cultural intervention and the environment will be achieved. Behaviours with the most relevant impacts will be identified as targets for the design of interventions through an assessment with relevant stakeholders and in relation to the challenges identified. 

Value: Based on a concept of multiple value creation that is not reducible to monetary exchange, PACESETTERS sets out to investigate the capacities of art and culture to anticipate future strategies of valuation and valorisation. These strategies target values that are obviously of crucial relevance to enable and drive transition processes, but they also call into question traditional forms of individual entrepreneurship and corporate ownership. Through interviews, surveys, mapping and theoretical research, PACESETTERS will develop a more systematic framework to learn more about what constitutes the sustainability of future business models — while, at the same time, preserving the vitality of a multiplicity of co-existing forms of value creation in the CCIs, such as equity, diversity, social cohesion, sense of belonging or cultural restoration.

Trust: Digital technologies do not merely create the current conditions for the generation and circulation of today’s cultural artefacts; they also hold a largely untapped potential for consolidating he support frameworks needed to better prepare the CCIs for the coming transitions. Through research and development concluding in a code sprint and by engaging open-source communities, PACESETTERS will adapt and test decentralised authentication and verification mechanisms built on trust, transparency and reputation. A thorough examination of their practical relevance in the sector aims at regaining control over data and metadata in ways that benefit the creators. This includes experimental proof of concepts for immaterial passports as well as cornerstones for a credit-risk mitigation system.