Responsible Innovation Sustainability Entrepreneurship (RISE)

Responsible Innovation Sustainability Entrepreneurship (RISE) comprises researchers who share the following aims and interests in connection with the transformation of society through the promotion and diffusion of sustainable technologies.


The mission of RISE is to conduct excellent research on sustainability-related innovation and entrepreneurship, with research agenda open to co-design with a diverse range of stakeholders, and to influence related policies and practices.


Directors: Professor Audley Genus (Kingston University), Dr Anne Marie Coles (University of Greenwich)

Founding members:
Dr Marfuga Iskandarova; Leigh Champagnie (Kingston University); Dr Athina Piterou; Anton Sentic; Rosita Aiesha


Prof Audley Genus and Dr Marfuga Iskandarova are working on a 3.2 million euro Horizon 2020 project called ‘ENERGISE', funded by the European Commission. ENERGISE is the European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. ENERGISE seeks to transform energy use in households and communities across the UK and Europe and contribute to European policy-making on reducing energy consumption.

ENERGISE is an innovative pan-European research initiative set up to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy consumption. 


Current projects

More information about Energise

The project is funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme for three years (2016-2019). ENERGISE develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe.

The ten-partner, ten country project brings 430,000 euro to Kingston University over three years, which will run until the end of 2019. ENERGISE is one of a number of activities undertaken over a number of years by the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) Europe, the steering committee of which Audley Genus is a member.

The research team at Kingston University are currently looking to identify interesting initiatives for reducing energy consumption in households and communities across the UK and Europe, inviting people to contact them about their ideas and projects. ENERGISE uses cutting-edge research techniques (e.g. Living Labs) to directly observe existing energy cultures in a real-world setting and to test both household and community-level initiatives to reduce energy consumption.

Across Europe, there are a many people and organisations that take steps towards more sustainable, low-energy living and this initiative would like to showcase and learn from as many different sources as possible.

The ENERGISE team would like to hear and learn from:

  • Those involved in a project that seeks to change the way people use and consume energy; and
  • Those promoting energy efficiency and lower energy consumption in households, for example an NGO, an energy agency, a business, a group of neighbours or a social club.

To participate, please email your contact details and basic information about your project, or a project you are aware of, to, or phone Prof Audley Genus on 0208 417 5665.

Visit the website for further information about the project.

Professor Audley Genus, Kingston University lead investigator on the ENERGISE project, hopes that members of local community groups will get involved and let the Kingston University team know about the many energy initiatives that are taking place all around the country:

"Individual energy consumption is a function of who we are, where we come from, as well as the social and cultural contexts in which we live. We are really keen to hear from groups which are involved in any scale of activities that impact or try to influence the way people use and consume energy."

Projects that are selected as part of the research may contribute to European policy-making seeking to promote and develop innovative measures for reducing energy consumption. The project findings will be shared across 30 European countries through a database the ENERGISE team are creating on their website, and gain international recognition through scientific reports and policy papers.

The ENERGISE consortium includes ten research partners (universities, research institutes, enterprises and NGOs) from Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

K2 Institutional entrepreneurship for Community Energy

This project focused on entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector and the activities that contribute to the creation of sustainable pathways to low carbon futures/society.

The project helped students, researchers, entrepreneurs, practitioners and policy makers to understand the growth of low carbon/community renewable energy enterprises in the UK, the challenges they face, how to improve existing practices, and enable entrepreneurs and communities to learn from each other.

The project was funded via a donation from the YTL Corporation, whose CEO, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, is an alumnus of Kingston University.

Past projects

Knowledge Exchange for Entrepreneurship in Permaculture project

The Knowledge Exchange for Entrepreneurship in Permaculture (KEEP) project aimed to support members of Permaculture Association (PA) who want to set up and grow businesses based on ecological principles. It also aimed to help PA to develop its own capabilities as an enterprise and innovation-supporting organisation.

The project team was led by Prof Audley Genus, who has secured a grant from the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Research and Knowledge Exchange (RAKE) initiative, sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council among others, working with Dr Marfuga Iskandarova from the Small Business Research Centre and Dr Chris Warburton-Brown, Research Director at the PA.

The RAKE project was funded by the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) until the end of 2016. However, the idea is to make the Kingston University/Permaculture Association collaboration an enduring one and we are seeking funding for further collaborative work.

Results from the project were presented at the 2016 ISBE conference. An online support website for practitioners has been created, including case studies of permaculture-inspired entrepreneurship. Visit the Permaculture Enterprise Guide.

An article about the project is featured on the Permaculture Magazine website.

To find out more, visit the KEEP website.

Recent publications

Journal articles


Genus, A. and M. Iskandarova, "Responsible innovation: Review and Future Research Agenda", Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 128, pp. 1-9. Available online.

Genus, A. and A. Stirling, "Collingridge and the Dilemma of Control: Towards Responsible and Accountable Innovation", Research Policy47, pp. 61-69. Available open access.

Jensen, C., G. Goggins, F. Fahy, E. Grealis, E. Vadovics, A. Genus and H. Rau, "Towards a Practice-theoretical Classification of Sustainable Energy Consumption Initiatives: Insights from Social Scientific Energy Research in 30 European countries". Energy Research and Social Science, 45, pp. 297-306. Available online.


Coles, A-M. "Non-linear discourse and control of technology: The Pharmaceutical Society and poisons legislation in nineteenth century Britain". Sociology, 51, 3, pp. 1-16

Genus, A. and C. Jensen, "Beyond 'Behaviour': the Institutionalisation of Practice and the Case of Energy Efficient Lighting in Denmark". Journal of Consumer Culture. Available online.


Coles, A-M, A. Piterou and A. Genus "Sustainable Energy Projects and the Community: Mapping Single Building use of Microgeneration Technologies in London". Urban Studies, 53, 9, pp. 1869-1884.

Genus, A and K. Theobald "Creating Low Carbon Neighbourhoods: a Critical Discourse Analysis". European Urban and Regional Studies, 23, 4, pp. 782-797.

Iskandarova, M. "From the idea of scale to the idea of agency: an actor-network theory perspective on policy development for renewable energy". Science and Public Policy, 44, 4, pp. 476-485.


Genus, A and K. Theobald "Roles for University Researchers in Urban Sustainability Initiatives: the UK Newcastle Low Carbon Neighbourhoods project". Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, 1, pp. 119-126.


Attar, A and A. Genus "Framing Public Engagement: a Critical Discourse Analysis of GM Nation?" Technological Forecasting and Social Change 88, pp. 241-250.

Genus, A. '"Coinquiry' for Environmental Sustainability: a Review of the UK Beacons for Public Engagement". Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 32, 3, pp. 491-508.



Backhaus, J., A. Genus, S. Lorek, E. Vadovics and  J. Wittmayer (eds.) Social Innovation and Sustainable Consumption, Routledge, London, 173pp.


Genus, A. (ed.) Sustainable Consumption: Design, Innovation and Practice, Series on Sustainable Development and Sustainability Transitions, Springer. Heidelberg, 183pp.

Book chapters


Iskandarova, M and A. Genus "UK responses to the energy challenge; dominant framings and new imaginaries", in: F. Fahy, G. Goggins and C. Jensen (eds.) Energy Demand Challenges in Europe: implications for Policy, Planning and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham pp. 59-70.


Backhaus, J., A. Genus J. Wittmayer, "Introduction: the nexus of social innovation, sustainable consumption and societal transformation", in: J. Backhaus, A. Genus, S. Lorek, E. Vadovics and J. Wittmayer (eds.) Social innovation and Sustainable Consumption: Research and Action for Societal Transformation, Routledge, London, pp. 1-11.

Genus A., F. Fahy, G. Goggins, M. Iskandarova and S. Laakso, "Imaginaries and practices: learning from 'ENERGISE' about the integration of social sciences with the EU Energy Union", in: C. Foulds and R. Robison (eds.) Advancing Energy Policy. Palgrave Pivot, Cham, pp. 131-144. Free Open Access.

Genus, A., M. Iskandarova and L. Champagnie, "Energy system transformation and inertia in the UK: a discourse-institutional perspective". In: J. Schippl, C. Büscher and P. Sumpf (eds.) Energy as Socio-Technical Problems, Routledge Series Studies in Energy Transitions, Routledge, London, pp. 161-179.


Jack, M., Coles, A-M. and A. Piterou, "Urban development projects: a case study of the Greater Port Harcourt city development project in Rivers State, Nigeria", in: Sustainable Development and Planning VIII. Wessex Institute, Southampton. pp. 209-217.


Coles, A-M. "The potential for sustainable production and consumption in a technological society", in: A. Genus (ed.) Sustainable Consumption: Design Innovation and Practice. Springer: Heidelberg, pp. 119-134.

Genus, A., "Sustainability transitions: a discourse-institutional perspective", in: H. Brauch, Ú. Oswald Spring, J. Grin and J. Scheffran (eds.) Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace, Springer, Berlin, pp. 527-541.

Piterou, A. and F. Steward, "From print to digital: textual technologiies and reading as a sociotechnical practice", in: A. Genus (ed.) Sustainable Consumption: Design, Innovation and Practice. Springer: Heidelberg, pp. 51-64.

Conference papers and project reports

Selected conference papers

Genus, Audley and Iskandarova, Marfuga (2017) Challenging business-as-usual? The problematic institutionalisation of community renewable energy in the UK. In: Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) Annual International Conference 2017: Decolonising geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world; 29 Aug - 01 Sep 2017, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Genus, Audley and Iskandarova, Marfuga (2017) Legitimacy : the key to unlocking the transformational potential of community renewable energy (CRE)? In: 3rd International Conference of the Global Research Forum (GRF) on Sustainable Production and Consumption: Sustainable Lifestyles, Livelihoods and the Circular Economy; 27-29 Jun 2017, Brighton, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Genus, Audley, Iskandarova, Marfuga and Warburton Brown, Chris (2016) Institutional entrepreneurship for permaculture: findings from a 'RAKE' project. In: 39th Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Annual Conference: Institutional Voids, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development; 27-28 Oct 2016, Paris, France.

Genus, Audley and Iskandarova, Marfuga (2016) Community energy as institutional innovation : rules, discourses and grassroots agency. In: Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) 50th Anniversary Conference: Transforming Innovation; 07 - 09 Sep 2016, Brighton, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Genus, Audley and Iskandarova, Marfuga (2016) Institutional entrepreneurship and community renewable energy in England. In: 3rd Energy and Society Conference: Transforming Energy for Society; 12-14 Sep 2016, Leipzig, Germany. (Unpublished)

Genus, Audley and Iskandarova, Marfuga (2015) Emerging themes and controversies in responsible research and innovation: a narrative review. In: First International Conference on Anticipation; 5-7 Nov 2015, Trento, Italy. (Unpublished)

Project Reports


Genus, A. and M. Iskandarova, Integrating social sciences research with EU energy policy-making: policy brief and recommendations. (Project Brief) ENERGISE - European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. 6pp.

Genus, A. and M. Iskandarova, Policy integration workshop report. ENERGISE - European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. 17pp.

Genus, A. and M. Iskandarova, Policy paper 1: state of the art and future of policy integration for EU policy on energy consumption. (Project Report) ENERGISE - European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. 82pp.

Jensen, C., A. Genus and E. Vadovics, Typology reports of results for WP6 and WP7. (Project Report) ENERGISE - European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. 24pp.

Jensen, C., I. Ropke, G. Goggins, et al., Production of 30 national summary briefs. (Project Report) ENERGISE - European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. 375pp.


Jensen, C., F. Fahy, G. Goggins, et al. Comprehensive open access dataset of sustainable energy consumption initiatives (SECIS). (Project Report) ENERGISE - European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. 13pp.


Genus, A. "Knowledge Exchange for Entrepreneurship in Permaculture  ('KEEP')", Final Project Report for ISBE RAKE fund, Kingston University London, November, 14pp.


Genus, A. "Report on SCORAI (Europe)/Kingston University Sustainable Consumption Workshop", Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, held in London, 30 September and 1 October, 2014, available online.

Engagement and Impact Activities

For the ‘KEEP' ISBE-funded RAKE project:

a) Project website

b) Permaculture Enterprise Guide

c) Workshop at London Permaculture Festival, Cecil Sharp House, London, July 2016

d).'KEEP' end of award project workshop, Cecil Sharp House, Regents Park, London, September 2016

Recent Invited talks

  • Genus, A. Responsible Research and Innovation. Invited talk at ICCE, Goldsmiths, University of London 9 July 2019
  • Genus, A. Implications of Responsible Innovation for Insurance. Invited talk, Technology and Innovation Summit, London 3 July 2019
  • Genus, A. Transforming Energy Systems: Learning from the ENERGISE project. Invited keynote talk to the closing conference for Climate Action Neighbourhoods project, Arnhem 11 April 2019
  • Genus, A. Re-imagining the citizen for a transformed energy system: reflecting on the ENERGISE project. Invited talk to workshop on Human Behavior and Decisions in the Energy Transition, Trondheim 27 March 2019 
  • Genus, A. An Agenda for Future Research on Responsible Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship. Invited keynote to annual conference at Amity University, Delhi 21 March 2018
  • Genus, A. Publishing Research in Innovation Journals. Invited panel member and workshop leader, at annual research conference, Anglia Ruskin University Business School 23 January 2018
  • Genus, A. Changing Institutions in a Changing Climate. Invited seminar at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester 19 January 2017
  • Genus, A. Changing Institutions in a Changing Climate. Invited seminar at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester 19 January 2017


Selected Past Events Organised

25 April 2019 - Closing workshop for UK Living Labs, Hastings

8 June 2018 - Workshop on Sustainable Entrepreneurship, in association with ISBE Social and Sustainable Enterprise special interest group, Cecil Sharp House, London

27 April 2017 - Business breakfast briefing on energy efficiency, in association with ISBE and the Carbon Trust, Kingston Business School

22 June 2017 - Workshop on the contribution of innovation/STS research to sustainability, University of Greenwich

20 June 2016 - Workshop on Steps to Sustainability (PDF), University of Greenwich

1 July 2015 - Sustainable innovation doctoral training workshop, University of Greenwich