Transition theory examines pathways towards a more sustainable society. In this context, bottom-up initiatives are understood as a source of innovation and can become engines of transition. This thesis discuses the contribution of governance innovations for the success of community initiatives; it scrutinises the emergence of a socio-cultural centre in Potsdam (Germany) called Freiland. By using process tracing methods, I reveal the causal mechanisms that allowed the development and institutionalisation of the initiative. Furthermore, it enables me to test the influence of different barriers for collaboration, derived from transition literature. Thanks to a number of semi-structured interviews, with both the initiative and the local governance institutions, it was possible to gather an in-depth understanding of the contextual dynamics. For analytical purposes, the narrative is divided into four phases. This allows me to dissect the findings, identify different strategies that overcome collaboration barriers and evaluate their contribution for reflexive governance theory. In doing so, I use the transition management cycle as an analytical tool and join others in arguing for a stronger inclusion of politics in the governance debate surrounding transition theory. Moreover, I formulate the motion that governance institutions can promote a more sustainable society by collaborating with community initiatives.