The mission of the Green
Enterprise Initiative is to provide a think tank to generate strategies
for the economic revitalization of Santa Cruz. The difficult
economic times that have forced the City of Santa Cruz to cut spending on many programs that are extremely important to area residents, such as education, make
this topic particularly timely.This area is well positioned, though, to benefit from the growing body of knowledge about green enterprise that the Center for
Global, International, and Regional Studies has the capacity to provide.
Within the next six months
to a year, the City of Santa Cruz plans to draft a 10-year plan. This plan
could contain a green enterprise component, one that
will build on the comparative advantage of Santa Cruz in order to revitalize the local economy.Such a green enterprise strategy is well suited to the area’s
inhabitants and natural environment, and will benefit Santa Cruz area residents, visitors, the environment, and the economy.
Several activities leading
up to the goal of a green enterprise plan are currently underway.We are
conducting a baseline survey of local businesses
and NGOs, as well as case studies from other parts of the world.The information gathered in the survey could be combined with information from existing
reports produced for local agencies covering topics such as retail outlook, tourism, transportation, jobs and housing.A synthesis of these sources could lead to
innovative ideas and an informed plan containing insights from a variety of perspectives.A number of students have expressed interest in working on such a
project, and a research cluster such as the one we propose would provide a forum in which to do innovative and collaborative research, as well as networking with
the local organizations and industries whose missions are in line with the kind of work that the Green Enterprise Research Cluster proposes to do.
Description of Green Enterprise Initiative
The aim of the project is to form and effective
and action-oriented group of people that would consist of undergraduate
students, graduate students, and a
faculty advisor.This group will collaborate on an action research project that would generate ideas about environmental comparative advantage in Santa Cruz,
as well as how to organize the most productive kinds of partnerships in service of community revitalization and green enterprise.
The objectives of the Green Enterprise Initiative Research group are the following:
1)Research – the group’s
primary activity will be research on kinds of partnerships, practices,
sustainable development frameworks, and
ecological design possibilities
2)Networking – central to
our research and our overall goal of promoting green enterprise is networking
with area organizations, city
officials, and NGOs
3)Communication – to keep
everyone abreast of the latest developments, the group will be responsible
for maintaining a website and
sending out a biweekly newsletter.They will also be responsible for setting up regular individual meetings with faculty advisors and reporting back to the student
4)Education – the group seeks
to educate the campus and community by putting on a speaker series and
a summer institute. In organizing
these events, as well as in conducting research, developing relationships, and writing grant proposals, involved students will add depth and hands-on experience to
their own educations
•Fresh ideas about business opportunities based on multivocal research
•Usable knowledge (including analytical frameworks)
The people who will directly benefit from the Green Enterprise Initiatives are
•The City of Santa Cruz,
local organizations, and businesses with which we form productive alliances.Such
alliances will lead to innovative
ideas and serve as a source of energy with which to gain momentum.
•The University will benefit from improved relationships with the city and its organizations
•The research community,
including NGOs and businesses working in the areas of sustainable development,
environmental protection, and social
justice will benefit from the growing collection of knowledge that we will make available on our website (and through California Digital Libraries)
•City residents and visitors who will benefit from the improved services and the increased tax base
•Area entrepreneurs will
benefit both financially and otherwise by locating in this vibrant area
The Sustainable Development “Industry”
The sustainable development knowledge production industry is in its
adolescence.16 years after the Brundtland Report and 11 after the Rio Earth
several research institutes, non-governmental organizations, and government policies have achieved enough of a foothold to provide the basis for ongoing work.
Why here and why now?
The time is well suited to begin work on the Green Enterprise Initiative
for several reasons.Enough of a body of knowledge exists to facilitate
and action in this area.The City Council has expressed interest in working on a green development plan.Several people at the university have expressed
interest in being a part of such an initiative.
This particular location boasts an environmentally aware population,
close proximity to one of the most environmentally concerned metropolitan
areas in the nation
with a host of important organizations, the natural beauty draws many tourists and provides opportunities for innovation in greening tourist practices, the university
provides a prime location for conferences (and is 25% underutilized over the summer), and the city council is forward-thinking.Many university faculty
specialize in topics that are important to our enterprise.All of these things will serve as valuable resources for our action group.
Student research cluster – relationship to larger organization
The Green Enterprise Initiative was the brainchild
of a few faculty members and a city councilman.Initial faculty recruitment
onto the project has taken
place, as well as faculty meetings.The roles of faculty vary from directly involving their research in the project to consulting roles.Mostly this has not
been worked out yet.
The Green Enterprise Initiative has the potential
to grow—faculty envision developing partnerships with the City and other
organizations (including translocal
organizations).These partnerships will be strategically pursued after a brief stage of initial project development.
Since the project is in its early stages, and
because faculty are very short on time, the student research cluster will
provide energy, start up momentum, and
time in order to provide the organization with a solid base from which to build.The student action research cluster will conduct much of the organizing, the
legwork for research, and the communication capacity of the Green Enterprise Initiative.
Management and Organization
Growth Strategy and Management:
Two students work on the GEI at present.By the fall we hope to have
recruited at least three more, and continue recruiting on into the fall.Our
group size would be between 7 and 10 people—enough to build a sizable body of research while maintaining a small enough number to keep meetings effective,
collaborative, and productive.We are in contact with a handful of other interested students, and have made the following initial identifications of people to
target for group membership.
•Students writing theses in Environmental Studies, Sociology and Community Studies
•Students in Global Information Internship Sustainable Environments Working Group
•Students doing internships
with environmental organizations
Information Collection and Management:
In order to systematically produce work that will be useful in terms of implementing green enterprise strategies, the following preliminary research tasks will serve as a way of organizing our activities in the short term:
·interviews with area entrepreneurs, city officials, and NGO leaders
·baseline survey of local environmental organizations and businesses
·examination of case studies looking at best and worst practices
·development of analytical
frameworks to evaluate the case studies
To meet the research cluster’s aim of investigating and
implementing green enterprise programs, the group will meet weekly to plan,
discuss, pool resources, and
make connections between our findings.The research cluster will draw on the resources and energy of UCSC students, under the guidance of UCSC faculty.
Members of the group would network with people and organizations
that are doing similar work, and perform research that will bring together
the existing local
reports, case studies from other cities, and new field data in order to generate ideas that will lead to recommendations for the City’s ten-year plan.
Meetings will be conducted according to green meeting guidelines
adopted by GreenBiz.com.The initial meeting sessions will involve extensive
to how best organize our projects to capture many perspectives while attempting to streamline them all into a final report summary of findings.Streamlining
findings while accounting for many perspectives is a principle we will pay continued attention to.We also want to generate fresh ideas, and as such, would like
to organize ourselves to allow for optimal creativity.This will include borrowing concepts from leading design firms and Soc. 35 about how to develop
processes to produce innovative and effective solutions that are in line with our principles.
In sum, meetings will be
•Green – use resources and energy effectively and with as little waste as possible
•Efficient – well planned, productive
•Innovative – creative, fresh, and collaborative atmosphere
And will result in a final product that is much more than
the sum of its parts.
There are several target markets here, or parties that we would like to interest in what we are doing.
First of all, we are targeting motivated and mature students to do the work required to get the organization up and running.
Secondly, we are targeting the City of Santa Cruz to take up our ideas.
Thirdly, we are targeting businesses and local environmental NGOs to
form partnerships with us.(The kinds of partnerships that would be most
useful is one of
the first items on the research agenda.)
Fourthly, we are targeting companies and NGOs in developing and transition
economies for the purpose of sharing knowledge (two-way sharing) about
Most of our “competitors” are business schools, and as such, we have
a special niche in that our focus is sociology, economics, and environmental
studies in a
scale-sensitive perspective.This angle gives us something unique to offer.(It should also be noted that we may compete with these kinds of institutions for
funding, but that ultimately, we want to be networking with them.)
•Center fro Sustainable Enterprise, Kenan Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
•Haas School of Business – Berkeley
•Fuqua School of Business – Duke
A good deal thought will go into the outward presentation of our vision
and mission. This will be key in forming the partnerships on which our
hinges.We will need to develop a series of similarly themed outreach materials, key points for presentation, uniform and attractive styles of documents, and a
promotional pitch geared toward different target groups. The first step in marketing and public relations will be to get everyone working on the initiative on the same
page as to what the project is about. This is actually a significant challenge for several reasons.With several target markets having different interests, forming a
unified marketing package will be challenging.
The most immediate concerns are gaining access to entrepreneurs, and
making a presentation to the City Council, possibly in July.We will have
their interests in such and initiative.We also have to display a great deal of knowledge, practicality, good ideas, and willingness to listen to many different
interests.We will need to work out further how, exactly, we are going to do this.
• Develop methods capable of addressing social, economic, and environmental issues at once
•devise a way of working that is truly collaborative
•lay out a research program
Possibilities for research:
• Role of small cities in sustainable development
• Most effective structures for public-private-NGO partnerships
• Components of successful North-South translocal partnerships
• Role of technology in environmental and social impact assessment
• Political possibilities
and constraints regarding natural capitalism projects
Generate list of target organizations
Possibilities for partnerships
• City of Santa Cruz
• Santa Cruz Work Investment Board (WIB)
• Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
• Santa Cruz Action Network (SCAN)
• Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG)
• International Coalition of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
• Bay Area International Development Agency (BAIDO)
Develop newsletter template
Work out the logistics – do students get credit? And other bureaucratic things
Schedule weekly meetings
A possible guideline for group research might be the Environmental Protection
Agency’s green cities kit, which provides online tools for community
assessment and plan implementation.Other informative resources include academic works that have compared case studies on sustainable cities, reports from
the OECD and various branches of the UN, the work of NGOs and research institutes, such as those below.
Reports - Rocky Mountain Institute, Natural Step, CERES,
Redefining Progress, Greening Industry Network, and others who are interested
environmentally and socially sustainable solutions to economic problems have produced a growing body of work on which we will build and push forward.
Students - 5 to 10 motivated students from a variety of backgrounds
and a commitment to sustainable development and creative thinking
Timeline and Action Steps
Spring 2003 : Understand and conceptualize
- Make detailed plans to form GEI working group
- Get support of faculty advisors
- Write initial proposal documents
- Expand and refine
defined working group activities
SUMMER 2003: Observe and Envision
• Continue weekly meetings
• Seek external funding
• Write review of local reports, literature
• Construct website with space for members and for public
• Make initial contacts with potential partners (orgs and people)
• Refine action plan and
research program for GEI working group
•Locate existing student papers relevant to green enterprise, partnerships, community development
•Start sustainable development field statement
•Develop sustainable development
research methods design
FALL and WINTER 2003: Gain momentum
• Get expanded working group started
• Maintain website
• Continue networking
• Post working-paper series on CDL
• Write preliminary report on Santa Cruz Assessment based on series
• Invite speakers
• Make initial plans for
summer institute (2005)
The long-term tasks of the research cluster to address
to the problem of economic revitalization are four-fold.We plan to continue
to research relevant
issues, form local and international partnerships with other organizations with similar missions, look for ways to promote new environmentally and socially healthy
business, and use the space of the university to conduct seminars, workshops, and conferences about green enterprise.We also intend to construct new ways
to measure quality and progress in different kinds of sustainable development activities.
Summer 2003 – Initial report – based on pilot study interviews, baseline survey, Santa Cruz area report review, and identification of relevant case studies
Fall 2003– Fully functioning working group
Winter 2004 - working paper series based on working group research
Spring 2004- Full Report - assessment of Santa Cruz based on interviews,
review of existing area reports
We have been assuming that the City is interested
in working with us.There has been interest, but it is not a given.We plan
to continue even if the
City connection falls through, though we will make every effort to engage the city in our efforts.
Uncertainty and Risks
If we do engage the city, one of the uncertainties
we will face is political support.People might not agree with our goals
or our methods.We will
have to combat this, to the extent possible, with knowledge.We will have to know more about environmental problems, possibilities, and solutions.
The green enterprise student group will need to find money for at least
two of its researchers at any given time, and might look to seek outside
funding for the entire
group when it solidifies.The group will need money for the following:
Research assistants to organize the research cluster, find external
funding, write the research program document for working paper series,
build the cluster website,
and ensure deliverables are met.
$15/hr- 20 hours/week for 8 weeks – 2 paid research assistants - $4800.
$20 *20 interviews - lunch or coffee for interviewees in entrepreneur
Lots of money, need partners
Rooms of various sizes will need to be secured for speakers.Some of
these venues will be in town, and will therefore cost money.
Every effort will be made to take advantage of the computing equipment
provided by the school.In an event that we need something that is not available,
will need money for that as well
We want to spend presenters and participants to conferences, one of
the first being the Greening of Industry Network in October.Several of
are in San Francisco, which will keep travel costs low, but others are in places a little further afield.
In the long term, as we try to forge connections with companies and
organizations in the developing world, visits might become necessary.Advance
for this will be required.
Before we find external money to fund our ongoing research project,
rewards for student researchers will remain somewhat more intangible, but
important.Students who work on the project will gain valuable experience in starting and running an organization, they will become practiced at grant proposal
writing and collaborative research, and they will be able to develop close relationships with faculty.All of these things will be useful in their future careers.