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The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship in Radical Innovation and Disruption, supported by Paul and Michelle Gilding

This project studies the potential for radical innovation to disruptively catalyse the transition to a sustainable economy. The subject of radical innovation and disruption is addressed using an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing together contributions from the fields of complex theory, macroeconomics, dynamic systems and technology/engineering.

 

About the project


The area of radical innovation and disruption is a well-established field of study, dating all the way back to Joseph Schumpeter and his concept of ‘creative destruction’. Whilst some scholars have highlighted that innovation, technical transformations and institutional change are strongly correlated with economic development, disruptive innovation as a discipline has been mostly addressed from a business perspective. The evidence shows there is a gap between the current endorsed disruptive innovation theory and the actual impacts of the phenomena in markets, industries, and societies. Aiming to address this gap, this study is an ambitious, interdisciplinary attempt to explore how radical innovation and disruption can catalyse the transition to a sustainable economy. The project has three main objectives: i) provide an updated theoretical framework for the process of radical innovation and disruption, in the context of a dynamic policy environment; ii) identify the main gaps and opportunities to foster radical innovation in strategic technological and business sectors; and iii) develop a strategy to facilitate radical innovations in key technological and business sectors. The project includes a framework for co-production of ideas with key stakeholders.

 

Dr Pablo Salas, Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow

Dr Pablo Salas, Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow

Dr Salas is the Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow in Radical Innovation and Disruption, supported by Paul and Michelle Gilding.

Addressing complex global challenges requires capabilities far beyond the reach of a single field of study. It is with this motivation that Pablo became an interdisciplinary scholar. His academic background combines undergraduate studies on electrical engineering, with extensive training in physics, mathematics, computing sciences and dynamic systems and postgraduate studies in economics and land economy. Throughout his career, Pablo has applied the knowledge acquired in his formal education into innovative and impactful projects. From building robots to support education to designing and implementing the first large scale system for automatic detection of wildfires in Chile, Pablo has always embraced complex challenges and tackles them using collaborative interdisciplinary approaches. After working four years in the telecommunications industry in Chile, he decided to come back to academia, where he has been since 2009, first in Germany and now in the UK.


Office Phone: +44 (0) 12237 68823

Biography:

Research interests

Pablo’s research focuses on the policy responses to major global sustainability challenges, especially climate change and the low-carbon energy transition. Since his PhD, he has been developing cutting-edge tools to assess environmental and macroeconomic impacts of climate policy. Now, as Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow in Radical Innovation, Pablo is leading an ambitious research programme to study the potential for radical innovation to disruptively catalyse the transition to a sustainable economy.

Career

  • Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow in Radical Innovation, CISL.
  • Deputy Director of the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance - C-EENRG
  • Teaching Associate, MPhil in Environmental Policy, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
  • Research Associate, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
  • Senior Business Manager and Project Manager, Interexport Ltd.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Land Economy, University of Cambridge
  • MSc in Economics, University of Hamburg
  • MEng & BEng in Electrical Engineering, University of Chile

Other affiliations

  • Research Fellow, C-EENRG
  • 2019-2020: Co-I of ‘FRANTIC: Financial Risk and the Impact of Climate Change Policy’, C-EENRG & CISL. Grant awarded by NERC to identify policy pathways towards increased resilience in the face of economic and financial transition risk related to climate change.

Funding and awards

  • 2018-2019: PI of ‘Technological Empowerment for family-farming agriculture in Santa Catarina’ (BRIDGE-TESC), C-EENRG. Grant awarded by the University of Cambridge under the Global Challenges Research Funds (GCRF) initiative. https://goo.gl/Q5w3dh
  • 2018-2019: PI of ‘Bridge to Impact (B2I)’, C-EENRG. Grant awarded by the University of Cambridge under the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, to enhance the impact of ‘BRIDGE’. http://bit.ly/2zGJwVY
  • 2016-2019: PDRA of ‘BRIDGE: Building Resilience In a Dynamic Global Economy - Complexity Across Scales in Brazil’. Grant awarded by ESRC and the Newton Fund to study the nexus between food, water and energy in Brazil. The project includes a consortium of five institutions, led by the University of Cambridge. https://goo.gl/YizgMg
  • 2018: Senior Policy Advisor on project ‘Design of a Climate Policy Analysis Modelling and Simulation Tool for Chile’, C-EENRG and Cambridge Econometrics. Project awarded by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Chilean Ministry of Energy, to support the Chilean government in the design of a climate policy analysis tool.
  • 2014-2015: Researcher of ‘LINKS2015: Linkages between energy, food and water consumption for Brazil in the context of climate change mitigation strategies’, C-EENRG. Networking grant awarded by EPSRC and the Newton Fund.

Publications

Peer reviewed journals

  1. Mercure, J.-F., Paim, M. A., Bocquillon, P., Lindner, S., Salas, P., Martinelli, P., Berchin, I., Guerra, J.B.S.O., Derani, C., de Albuquerque Junior, C. L., Marcello, J., Knobloch, F., Pollitt, H., Edwards, N. R., Holden, P. B., Foley, A. Schaphoff, S., Faraco, R., Vinuales, J. E. (2019). ‘System complexity and policy integration challenges: the Brazilian Energy- Water-Food Nexus’. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 105, pp 230-243.
  2. Paim, M., Dalmarco, A., Yang, C.-H., Salas, P., Lindner, S., Mercure, J-F., Guerra, B., Derani, C., da Silva, T., and Viñuales, J. E. (2019). ‘Evaluating regulatory strategies for mitigating hydrological risk in Brazil through diversification of its electricity mix’. Energy Policy, 128, pp 383-401.
  3. Mercure, J-F., Pollitt, H., Viñuales, J. E., Edwards, N., Holden, P., Chewpreecha, U., Salas, P., Sognaes, I., Lam, A., Knoblosh, F., (2018). ‘Macroeconomic impact of stranded fossil-fuel assets’. Nature Climate Change, 8, pp 588-593.
  4. Holden, P., Edwards, N., Ridgwell, A., Wilkinson, R., Fraedrich, K., Lunkeit, F., Pollitt, H., Mercure, J-F., Salas, P., Lam, A., Knoblosh, F., Chewpreecha, U. and Viñuales, J. E., (2018). ‘Climate-carbon cycle uncertainties and the Paris Agreement’. Nature Climate Change, 8, pp 609-613
  5. Mercure, J-F., Pollitt, H., Edwards, N., Holden, P., Chewpreecha, U., Salas, P., Lam, A., Knoblosh, F., Vinuales, J., (2018). ‘Environmental impact assessment for climate change policy with the simulation-based integrated assessment model E3ME-FTT-GENIE’. Energy Strategy Reviews, 20, pp 195-208.
  6. Foley, A., Holden, P., Edwards, N., Mercure, J-F., Salas, P., Pollitt, H., Chewpreecha, U. (2016). ‘Climate model emulation in an integrated assessment framework: a case study for mitigation policies in the electricity sector’. Earth System Dynamics, 7, pp 119-132.
  7. Mercure, J-F., Pollitt, H., Chewpreecha, U., Salas, P., Foley, A., Holden, P., Edwards, N. (2014). ‘The dynamics of technology diffusion and the impacts of climate policy instruments in the decarbonisation of the global electricity sector’. Energy Policy 73, pp 686-700. 
  8. Mercure, J-F. and Salas, P. (2013). ‘On the global economic potentials and marginal costs of non-renewable resources and the price of energy commodities’. Energy Policy, 63, pp 469-483.
  9. Mercure, J-F. and Salas, P. (2012). ‘An assessment of global energy resource economic potentials’. Energy 46, pp 322-336.

Book chapters

  1. Grubb, M., Lange, R-J. and Salas, P. (2014). ‘The importance of inertia and adaptability’. Chapter on Planetary Economics, by Grubb, M., Hourcade, J-C. and Neuhoff, K. ISBN: 978-0-415-51882-6.
  2. Mercure, J-F. and Salas, P. (2014). ‘Feasibility of Decarbonisation from a Technology Perspective’. Book chapter on Decarbonising the World’s Economy, by Barker and Crawford-Brown. ISBN: 978-1-78326-511-4.

"The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship is giving me the opportunity to study radical innovation strategies that can shape our planet’s future. We are living in a pivotal age in human history where our actions can influence the state of our planet for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The private sector, especially large corporations, are driving large part of those changes. Therefore, implementing this research programme on radical innovation at CISL gives me the perfect opportunity to engage with a world-class network of stakeholders that can, and hopefully will adopt radical innovation strategies for building a sustainable future."

Pablo Salas

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"Universities contribute to society through the creation of new knowledge and the development of new skills. It is our aspiration to do this in ways that are relevant and purposeful.

The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme, hosted by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, will help us to do just that by allowing academics to engage productively with business, government and financial institutions for society's benefit – both in the UK and globally."

Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge

Contact

Theo Hacking

Jake Reynolds

Contact research@cisl.cam.ac.uk for further inquiries about the Fellowship Programme or the application process.