Led by Dr. Heike Schroeder, School of International Development at the University of East Anglia, and Dr. Sarah Burch at the Environmental Change Institute and Prof. Steve Rayner at the Said Business School, both Oxford University, the Novel Multi-sector Networks and Entrepreneurship (NMNE) project theorizes small businesses as agents of change in the multi-level governance of climate change, and cities as niche spaces in which sustainable development paths might be explored.
Using the cases of Metro Vancouver, Canada, and London, UK, this work examines the drivers of emerging partnerships between various levels of government and small businesses in the interests of climate change mitigation. Rooted in an understanding of multi-level governance, and the role of non-state actors (such as municipal governments and the private sector) in climate change action, this new research agenda may facilitate a greater understanding of socio-technical transitions toward resilient, low-carbon development pathways in cities. This research agenda is asking the following questions: what are the political and legislative triggers of these emerging private/public sector partnerships? How can these arrangements help to manage or alter institutional path dependence in cities? What is the long term potential for ongoing partnerships, entrepreneurship in support of greenhouse gas management, and ultimately the mitigation of climate change? How feasible might it be for this model to extend beyond mitigation to climate change adaptation and sustainability more broadly?