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2013/2014  KAN-CM_A43  Innovation Networks Involved in Urban Sustainability and Climate Adaption

English Title
Innovation Networks Involved in Urban Sustainability and Climate Adaption

Course information

Language English
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Changes in course schedule may occur
Wednesday 09.50-12.25, week 06, 08-13-17
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Niels Kornum - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Lecturers include:
Sofie Dam - CBS
Jesper Vej - CBS
Sara J. Møhlenberg - CBS
Mark Vacher - KU Ethnology
Birgitte Hofmann - Aalborg University

This course forms part of the Green Innovation in Cities program sponsored by CIEL - http:/​/​ciel-lab.dk/​green-innovation-in-cities/​
Main academic disciplines
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Organization
  • Political leadership, public management and international politics
Last updated on 23-10-2013
Learning objectives
Based on practical hands‐on experience with real‐world projects this course aims to provide students with an opportunity to gain insights from this and from applying and reflecting on the innovation projects based on models, concepts and theories from curriculum. The Learning Objectives for the course specify that at the end of the course the student should be able to manage competently the following objectives in the context of innovation networks involved in urban sustainability and climate adaption:
  • To demonstrate an understanding of how, why and when to apply relevant models, concepts and theories from the curriculum to the selected projects
  • To identify and analyze the relationships between these models, concepts and theories mutually and in relation to the selected projects
  • To assess critically the value of these models, concepts and theories for developing green innovations in relation to the selected projects
  • Besides these objectives, it is an important objective that the student develops an understanding of how different scientific fields contribute to an understanding of the overall course topic and how the students own scientific field relate to other scientific fields activated in the processes of the course, i.e. reflect on potential synergy from cross-disciplinarity
Course prerequisites
A basic knowledge and understanding of innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing, organization, management and sustainability is a good preparation for this course
Oral Exam on the Basis of Miniproject - Group Oral Exams and Individual Grades:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 4 students in the group
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
30 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term, Week 24 (oral exams)
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
By 2008, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and by 2030 it is expected that more than 5 billion people live in urban settings. Changing the cities in a more sustainable direction is not an easy task, among other things, because it is costly to change existing structures, for instance, sewer systems. In recent years Europe and Denmark has experienced increasingly intense cloudbursts with the consequence of more frequent flooding incidents causing large damages on houses, for instance, the flooding incidence last summer in Copenhagen the insurance companies’ costs amounted to app. 6 billion DKK. Instead of just implementing the costly solution of increasing the capacity of the existing sewage system, the advantages of delaying surface rainwater to avoid flooding have been recognized among experts. The first projects to avoid flooding recently begin to materialize, and finding measures in this field have high priority to the Danish government. Thus, it would be interesting to further investigate the innovation potential among networks of companies and public - private collaborations related to the water, urban greening / sustainabilityand landscape based stormwater management sectors; not only as climate adaptation, but also as climate mitigation. Innovation in this field is complex by nature and involves many different organizations, i.e. actorsthat need to collaborate in order to create new ideas. In this course the students will have the opportunity to explore and identify the potentials for innovation and businessdevelopment among a broad array of public and private stakeholdersthat develop solutions in relation to landscape based stormwater management.

Without effective multi-stakeholder collaboration that involves, for instance, suppliers, public sector, business partners, employees, users / citizens and investors, progress is likely to be severely compromised. This course focuses on two areas of collaboration that to date have been largely overlooked despite their importance for green innovation – network collaboration of businesses with the public sector, e.g. public-private partnerships and network collaboration of businesses with users or consumers and public sector collaboration with citizens . Today the public sector shapes the conditions under which many green innovation initiatives unfold through. New solutions that require changes in functionality may require large investments and, as a consequence, it is important to unleash the creative potential of multi-stakeholderpublic-private partnerships by involving them in the design and implementation of new solutions that most often involve process innovation and to a lesser degree product innovation. I line with this, knowledge and appropriation of technology is always embedded in local systems and implementation of sustainable solutions, understanding the nature of various contextualizing processes is of great importance. By adding cultural analysis and ethnographic methodology to theories on innovation processes the course aims at embracing sustainability not only in its potentiality (as possible technical solutions) but as possible implemented functionality, and understanding the context in which this functionality is provided.

In the course the students will work with case topics that are relevant to the study of urban sustainability and climate adaption. These topics and the course are in general developed in collaboration with Copenhagen and Aalborg University.

The academic world has only recently begun to study how innovation in the field of urban sustainabilityand climate adaption from a multi-stakeholder public-private perspective. Consequently, the course will have to borrow theories from a number of other disciplines, e.g., organization, multi-stakeholder management , cultural analysis, public-private partnerships, innovation, etc.

Key business topics include the following related to urban sustainabilityand climate adaptation / mitigation:
  • The role of business and public sector (process) innovations
  • The role of multi-stakeholder networks supporting these innovations
  • Public-private partnerships related to organizing, managing or implementing innovative projects
  • Entreprenuership
  • Market Creation
  • Innovation in relation to processes of greening and “blueing” the city
  • Appropriation and implementation of technology
The course aims to provide students with an opportunity to gain practical hands‐on experience with real‐world urban sustainabilityand climate adaption innovation projects and processes in the context of multi-stakeholder public-private collaboration, and reflect academically on the selected topics and processes
Teaching methods
The intention is that students work in teams on project topics or cases developed in collaboration with core public and / or business stakeholders. These stakeholders will also be involved as experts in the course. Presentation of the solutions developed by the student teams to relevant stakeholders is a central element of the course. This is guided by general and project specific lectures
Expected literature
Lieberherr-Gardiol, F. (2009). Urban sustainability and governance : issues for the twenty-first century. International Social Science Journal, 59(193/194), 331–342. Hossein Azadi, Peter Ho, Erni Hafni, Kiumars Zarafshani & Frank Witlox (2011): Multi-stakeholder involvement and urban green space performance, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 54:6, 785-811
Schlange, L.E. (2009). Stakeholder Identification in Sustainability Entrepreneurship The Role of Managerial and Organisational Cognition.Greener Management International, Winter (55), 13–32.
Jones, R., Kornum, N. (2012). Managing the co-created brand: Value and cultural complementarity in online and offline multi stakeholder ecosystems.Journal of Business Research, Forthcoming
Greve, Carsten (2010): Public-private partnerships in Business and Government. Ch. 25 in The Oxford Handbook of Business and Government, pp.585-599
Entwistle, Tom & Martin, Steve (2005): From completion to collaboration in public service delivery: A new agenda for research. Public Administration, Vol 83, No 1, pp. 233-242
Slater, R., Frederickson, J., Thomas, C., Wield, D. and Potter, S. (2007): A critical evaluation of partnerships in municipal waste management in England. Resources, Conservation and recycling, No. 51, pp. 643-664.
Heidegger, Martin: 1977, ”The Question Concerning Technology”, in The Question Concerning Technology – and Other Essays, Garland Publishing, INC, New York.
Vacher, Mark:  2010,  “Looking at Houses, Searching For Homes.: An Anthropological Analysis of the Relationship Between Danish Homeowners and Their Houses”.  Ethnologia Scandinavica.
Kusenbach, Margarethe: 2003, “Street Phenomenology : The Go-Along as Ethnographic Research Tool”,Ethnography 2003 4: 455,
Nidumolu, Ram, Prahalad, C.K. and Rangaswami, M.R. (2009), “Why sustainability is now the key driver of innovation,” Harvard Business Review, Vol. 87, No. 9, pp. 57-64 Johnson , Mark W. and Suskiewicz, Josh (2009), “How to jump start the cleantech economy,” Harvard Business Review, November, pp. 52-60.   
Amram, Martha and Kulatilaka, Nalin (2009), “The invisible green hand: How individual decisions and markets can reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” California Management Review, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 194-219. Prahalad, C.K. and Ramaswamy, Venkat (2004), “Cocreation experiences: The next practice in value creation,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 5-14
Patzelt, Holger; Shepherd, Dean A.(2011). Recognizing Opportunities for Sustainable Development.  Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice. Jul, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p631-652
Bos-Brouwers, H. E. J. (2010). Corporate Sustainability and Innovation in SMEs: Evidence of Themes and Activities in Practice. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19, 417–435.
Amabile et al (1996) Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 5. 1154-1184.
Neill, G. D. O., Hershauer, J. C., & Golden, J. S. (2009). The Cultural Context of Entrepreneurship Greener Management International, Winter(55), 33–47.
Dew, Nicholas; Read, Stuart; Sarasvathy, Saras D.; Wiltbank, Robert. (2008) Outlines of a behavioral theory of the entrepreneurial firm. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. Apr, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p37-59.
Kim, W.C. and Mauborgne, R. (1999), “Creating new market space”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 77 No. 1, pp. 83-93. 
Montgomery (1988), First-Mover Advantages. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 9, Summer (Special Issue), p. 41-58
Kornum & Bjerre (2007), Grocery E-commerce- Strategic Market Creation International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2007
Schick, H., Marxen, S., & Freimann, J. (2004). Sustainability Issues for Start-up Entrepreneurs *. Greener Management International, Summer (38), 59–71.
Tilley, F., & Young, W. (2009). Sustainability Entrepreneurs: Could They Be the True Wealth Generators of the Future? Greener Management International, Winter(55), 79–93.
Gibbs, D. (2009). Sustainability Entrepreneurs, Ecopreneurs and the Development of a Sustainable Economy. Greener Management International, Winter(55), 63–79.
Last updated on 23-10-2013