Making ‘greener’ connections: An introduction to the Special Issue

Blundel, Richard; Smith, David; Ackrill, Robert and Schaefer, Anja (2018). Making ‘greener’ connections: An introduction to the Special Issue. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 19(1) pp. 3–8.



This Special Issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (‘Green innovation’ – connecting governance, practices and outcomes) brings together a set of papers that focus on social and technological innovations designed to address the environmental sustainability challenges that we face today. Several contributions were first presented as part of the Economic and Social Research Council seminar series, ‘Green Innovation: Making it Work’, which took place between 2015 and 2017.1 Co-organized by Nottingham Trent University and The Open University, the series examined many types of pro-environmental innovation, with a particular focus on the factors that constrain and enable their practical implementation.

The choice of the broad and populist term ‘green innovation’ (Schiederig et al., 2012), rather than more specific terms like ‘eco-innovation’ or ‘environmental innovation’, was quite deliberate and intended to signal the intention to create a forum for the interchange of ideas and research findings between academics with sustainability-related research interests, and sustainability practitioners drawn from the private, public and voluntary sectors. Practitioner engagement and participation was a prominent feature of the series, reflecting a desire to maximize the impact of the seminars outside academia. We were fortunate not merely to have practitioners attend the seminars, but to include papers from a number of them during the course of the series. Among the practitioners who gave papers during the course of the series were a Principal Administrator from the Energy Directorate of the European Commission, a transport consultant, a local authority transport planner, a property developer and a representative of a leading European train manufacturer. The Special Issue includes an article based on one of these practitioner-led presentations, while other seminar contributions have informed its overall shape and focus.

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