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Responsible Innovation Sustainability Entrepreneurship Collaboratory (RISE)

The RISE Collaboratory 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

Current Projects


Members of RISE 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. 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.
  • 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 on reducing energy consumption. The projects may also 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.


The Knowledge Exchange for Entrepreneurship in Permaculture (KEEP) project aims to support members of Permaculture Association (PA) who want to set up and grow businesses based on ecological principles. It will also help PA to develop its own capabilities as an enterprise and innovation-supporting organisation.The project team is led by Prof Audley Genus, who has secured a grant from the ISBE Research and Knowledge Exchange (RAKE) initiative, sponsored by the ESRC among others, working with Dr Marfuga Iskandarova from the SBRC 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.

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 website Permaculture Magazine. Read 'Permaculture-inspired businesses in the UK'. 

To find out more, visit the KEEP website.

K2 Institutional entrepreneurship for Community Energy

This project focuses 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 will help 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 will seek to help entrepreneurs and communities to learn from each other.

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

Recent Publications

Journal articles

Coles, A-M, Piterou, A, and A. Genus (2016) "Sustainable energy projects and the community: mapping single building use of microgeneration technologies in London", Urban Studies, 53, 9, pp. 1869-1884

Coles, Anne-Marie (2015) Non-linear discourse and control of technology: The Pharmaceutical Society and poisons legislation in nineteenth century Britain. Sociology. Sage Publications. pp. 1-16

Genus, A. and C.L. Jensen (forthcoming) Beyond ‘Behaviour': the Institutionalisation of Practice and the Case of Energy-efficient Lighting in Denmark, Journal of Consumer Culture

Genus, A. and K. Theobald (2016) "Creating Low Carbon Neighbourhoods: a Critical Discourse Analysis", European Urban and Regional Studies, 23, 4, pp. 782-797.

Iskandarova, M (2016) 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, (Epub Ahead of Print)


Genus, A. (2016) Sustainable Consumption: Design, Innovation and Practice, Series on Sustainable Development and Sustainability Transitions, Springer. Heidelberg, 183pp.

Book chapters

Coles, A-M. (2016) 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. (2016) "Sustainability Transitions: a Discourse-institutional Perspective", H. Brauch, Ú. Oswald Spring, J. Grin, J. Scheffran (Eds.) Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace, Springer, Berlin, Chapter 24, pp. 527-541.

Jack, M., Coles, A-M. and Piterou, A. (2017) 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.

Piterou, A. and Steward, F. (2016) From print to digital: textual technologies and reading as a sociotechnical practice. In: Sustainable Consumption : Design, Innovation and Practice. Springer: Heidelberg, pp. 51-64.

Conference papers and project reports

Selected conference papers

Genus, A and M. Iskandarova (2016) Community energy as institutional innovation: rules, discourses and grassroots agency. In: Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) 50th Anniversary Conference: Transforming Innovation; 7-9 Sep 2016, Brighton (Unpublished)

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

Genus, A., M. Iskandarova and C. Warburton Brown (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.

Project Report

Genus, A., M. Iskandarova and C. Warburton Brown (2016) Institutional entrepreneurship for permaculture

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

Invited talk

Genus, A. Changing Institutions in a Changing Climate. Invited seminar at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester 19 January 2017

Past Events

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

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