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Deadline extended! Systems innovation in action. Hosts and guests welcome to apply!

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Information in Estonian:

Operating in over 20 locations across Europe, Pioneers into Practice is EIT Climate-KIC’s professional mobility program, that provides ingredients for systems innovation through its innovative blend of e-learning, workshops, coaching, group projects and practical, learning-by-doing placements in the field of sustainability.

Apply as a participant or as a host providing placement in your organization or business for 4-6 weeks for trained environmental expert. We would like to have climate change professionals and organisations from industries, small companies, universities, research institutes, municipalities, governments and nonprofits to apply and take part in 2019.

Application deadline is 26th of April 2019.

Pioneers into Practice is Europe-wide professional mobility program for climate change professionals. It brings together people from industries, universities, non-profit and public organisations. Selected environmental experts will go through System Innovation Training, prepare a group project with tangible outcome and receive a 2000 euros scholarship for a 1 month long professional internship in another country in Europe.

What is systems innovation?

Systems innovation entails a completely different approach in the way we define and address problems. Problems are no longer simple or isolated. Instead, they can affect a myriad of stakeholders with different perceptions and interests, are cross-sectorial, long-term, and interconnected with the ecosystem and the societal structures.

Let us explain with an example. If you make an electric car without changing the system around it, it is unlikely to have widespread appeal, and the potential for huge positive environmental impact would be lost. A car isn't made in a vacuum. It exists within a system which includes:

  • The infrastructure and roads it drives on

  • The fueling stations

  • The loans people may use to buy it

  • The service stations

  • The cultural significance attributed to car ownership etc

That is where systems innovation comes in and the program introduces numerous practical tools to bring innovation that is integrated, long-lasting and brings maximum benefit for the society and our environment.

Systems innovation has some key characteristics in terms of innovation management which sets it apart from more conventional perceptions and/or ways of dealing with innovation. The program aim is to coach next generation climate innovators that every business and organisation needs. Step outside of your comfort zone, educate yourself to bring innovation and get higher results in your future actions!

Pioneers into Practice Program Timeline 2019

14th January –26th April – Applications open for Pioneers & Hosts 26th April – Selected Pioneers and Hosts announced

26th April – 10th May – Placement Opportunities open 14th – 15th May + 1 day in June – Introductory Workshop for Systems Innovation (in Tallinn) 10th May – 28th June – Placement matching. Choose hosting business/organisation for your 4-6 weeks placement or choose environmental expert to join your team for 4-6 weeks. May – November – Group Projects about solving one local environmental issue by implementing systems innovation tools

September – October – Attending placements for 4-6 weeks 6th – 7th November – Final Workshop and presenting Group Project outcomes (in Tallinn) 1st week of November – International Workshop and Innovation Festival (in Italy)


For more information about the program in Estonia, please contact Kadri Kaarna

You are still not sure whether you should apply? Remember that the best investment is educating yourself! Take a look at a short selection of pictures from Estonian program in 2018 and just a few places Estonian participants visited. According to the feedback survey, 100% of the participants recommend this experience to others.

What Estonian participants of Pioneers into Practice program 2018 thought about it?

"It was a broadening experience".

"I would recommend to participate in this program, because if this program got your attention, you are the right person to apply and meet the like-minded people. It is a great opportunity to move towards the goals on environmental field which you always have been thinking to achieve. This program could be the trigger for great environmental friendly activities".

"It's an opportunity to easily try something different and spend some time abroad learning exiting new things".

"I had a feeling of being in part of something bigger. It was a motivating project to do something for the Estonian environment. I met interesting people. This experience opened doors to new places and gave me possibility for networking. This is the place to support others with your knowledge".

"A fabulous opportunity to connect with a wonderful community of like-minded people and work in another country on something you care about. Worthwhile at whatever stage of your career you’re at".

"It was an excellent experience and opportunity to learn new things and get out of your comfort zone".

"Extremely recommendable! Gained new experiences. Give a chance to yourself, you will not regret".

"Amazing learning experience that everyone should try to do".

"Interesting way to spend one month with a new organisation for increasing your understanding of climate-change".

For more information visit about the program, please visit:

Pioneers into Practice is funded by Climate-KIC. Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero-carbon economy. It addressed climate change across four priority themes: urban areas, land use, production systems, and climate metrics and finance. Education is at the heart of these themes to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders. Climate-KIC runs programmes for students, professionals, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities, convening a community of the best people and organisations. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

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