Developing Green Technology at Scale: How Public Entrepreneurship Networks Can Be the Driving Force
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Increasing concern about the risks of climate change and availability of fresh water as well as worries about ecosystem and human health have the world scrambling for new ways to promote more sustainable patterns of development. Implementing more environmentally responsible and less carbon intensive means of production will require both an acceleration and scaling up of green technology innovation. In fact, leveraging green technology "at scale" may provide the best hope of reducing the adverse impacts of economic growth. The question we ask is how can green technology innovation at scale best be promoted? For many years, public-private partnerships (PPPs) were touted as a means of developing and diffusing new ways to reduce pollution, save scarce resources, enhance energy efficiency, and protect human health. But, public Entrepreneurship Networks (PENs) -- collaborations which add civil society as a third partner and distribute responsibilities across the sectors in more dynamic ways -- may be even more important. In this article, we examine why PENs are uniquely suited to green innovation, how they can be used to overcome the obstacles that are hampering important technological breakthroughs, and why PENs should be a cornerstone of efforts around the world to promote sustainable development.