Samantha Sharpe is Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures. Her research focuses on the intersect of the 'world of work' and climate change. This includes understanding the process of business and industrial transition to sustainability, at the firm, sector, and labour market levels. Her particular focus is innovation processes and systems that allow sustainable development pathways for firms and industries, through the development and adoption of new business models and enterprise types, and understanding how collective action through corporate social responsibility, stewardship and labour and environmental standards support innovation. Green jobs and greening employment have been a particular focus of her work with current projects investigating employment impacts of circular economy, increasing climate resilience in SMEs and employment and emerging markets in climate adaptation services.
Outcomes of this research are policy development and industry advice around enhancing environmental outcomes in supply chains, supporting of eco-innovative activity in places, the incubation of new technology, and the role public policy can play in establishing emerging markets for environment and ‘green’ technologies.
At the Institute she leads the business research theme of the NSW Government Adaptive Communities node, as well as lead investigator on two projects for the International Labour Organisation. Previously, she has been lead investigator on research projects funded by CSIRO, UK EPSRC, European Union and OECD. Samantha is a research associate of the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge, UK, and has held senior policy positions in environmental policy and economic development in government.
Can supervise: YES
Business transitions to sustainability
Circular economy - policy and practice
Climate change adaptation in SMEs
Sustainable production systems
Dominish, E, Retamal, M, Sharpe, S, Lane, R, Rhamdhani, MA, Corder, G, Giurco, D & Florin, N 2018, '"Slowing" and "narrowing" the flow of metals for consumer goods: Evaluating opportunities and barriers', Sustainability (Switzerland), vol. 10, no. 4.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 by the authors. Metal resources are essential materials for many consumer products, including vehicles and a wide array of electrical and electronic goods. These metal resources often cause adverse social and environmental impacts from their extraction, supply and disposal, and it is therefore important to increase the sustainability of their production and use. A broad range of strategies and actions to improve the sustainability of resources are increasingly being discussed within the evolving concept of the circular economy. This paper uses this lens to evaluate the opportunities and barriers to improve the sustainability of metals in consumer products in Australia, with a focus on strategies that "slow" and "narrow" material flow loops. We have drawn on Allwood's characterisation of material efficiency strategies, as they have the potential to reduce the total demand for metals. These strategies target the distribution, sale, and use of products, which have received less research attention compared to the sustainability of mining, production, and recycling, yet it is vitally important for changing patterns of consumption in a circular economy. Specifically, we have considered the strategies of product longevity (life extension, intensity of use, repair, and resale), remanufacturing, component reuse, and using less material for the same product or service (digitisation, servicisation, and light-weighting). Within the Australian context, this paper identifies the strategies that have the greatest opportunity to increase material efficiency for metal-containing products (such as mobility, household appliances, and personal electronics), by evaluating current implementation of these strategies and identifying the material, economic, and social barriers to and opportunities for expanding these strategies. We find that many of these strategies have been successfully implemented for mobility, while applying these strategies to personal electronics remains the...
Sharpe, SA & Agarwal, R 2014, 'Strengthening Industrial Ecology's Links with Business Studies: Insights and Potential Contributions from the Innovation and Business Models Literature', Resources, vol. 3, pp. 362-382.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The declining availability of natural resources and the environmental impacts of continued extraction of primary resources for production activities have forced greater focus on waste streams and recycling activities. Industrial ecology as a field of practice and theory has been closely related to sustainability issues, yet despite the development of much theory and specific tools and methodologies, the link between natural, industrial and economic systems is not convincing. Not only that, the need for delivering sustainable production and consumption practices is increasing, which is demanding new solutions to existing problems, particularly around the degree of novelty. The interaction of industrial ecology with business studies and industrial investment decision-making remains under-developed, and this is likely impacting on the adoption of more sustainable and resource-efficient practices. As such, this paper uses a constructive approach and explores how two areas of the literature can support the development of the industrial ecology field into strategic business practice: firstly, the innovation literature, particularly the emerging work on open innovation and sustainable innovation as a model to understand radical innovation processes and the creation and maintenance of networked systems of firms; secondly, the closely related area of business model (BM) innovation, specifically the emerging typologies of sustainable BMs and how these typologies can be developed and used as a route to positioning recycling activities at the strategic management level of the firm.
Sharpe, SA & Martinez-Fernandez, C 2007, 'Measuring regional knowledge resources: What do knowledge occupations have to offer?', Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice: an International Journal for Innovation Research, Commercialization, Policy Analysis and Best Practice, vol. 9, no. 3-4, pp. 262-275.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In this paper we will examine one of the most locally specific resources within regions: their workforce. We will consider how the specific types and quantities of knowledge workers evident in a region could be measured, and suggest that these workers form an integral but underestimated component of a region's innovative capability. To illustrate this hypothesis we use an established breakdown of occupations by aspects of knowledge and function, by sub-regions for the metropolitan region of Sydney. This paper aims to highlight two key points. Firstly the recognition that examining knowledge workers, especially in a broader sense than is currently utilised in the innovation literature (R&D scientific employment) is a useful way for examining and interpreting the knowledge dynamics of a region, and secondly, the importance of aggregation and scale when examining regional innovation systems. Adequate consideration for the distribution of these dynamics is essential for policymakers engaged in activities to encourage innovative activity as well as promoting equitable access to knowledge resources particularly in urban, metropolitan regions.
Wright, S, Sharpe, S & Giurco, D 2018, 'Greening Regional Cities: The Role of Government in Sustainability Transitions' in World Sustainability Series, pp. 327-343.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG. The scale and complexity of the 'wicked problems' posed by sustainability are forcing collaborations between unlikely partners. In many instances, government is choosing to play a critical role in the sustainable innovation process. Yet much of the innovation literature pushes to the fore the ingenuity of the firm, leaving government to play a secondary supporting role. Drawing on ideas from innovations and transitions theory on the role of government in supporting green niches, this paper analyses the example of an evolving biomass project in regional NSW. In particular, the paper focuses upon the role that regional government plays in supporting this community-led collaboration. Based on circular economy principles, the project aims to achieve energy independence whilst simultaneously generating bio-products for the agricultural sector. Utilising a case study methodology including in-depth semi-structured interviews with more than 20 key stakeholders from government, business and the local community, analysis of the data suggests that government is a critical actor in the innovation process; plays a multiplicity of roles across the network; and that these roles vary to a greater degree than previously suggested in the literature. A number of factors are also identified that shape these roles at different stages of the innovation process. This paper sheds new light on the critical role played by government in facilitating and leading sustainability transitions and contributes to our knowledge of sustainable innovations more broadly. It also highlights a need for more research to improve our understanding of appropriate actors at different stages of sustainability transitions.
Florin, N, Sharpe, S, Wright, S & Giurco, D 2015, 'Business models for a circular world: the case of metals' in Ludwig, C, Matasci, C & Edelmann, X (eds), Part IV Circular Economy and Decoupling, Natural Resources: Sustainable targets, Technologies, Lifestyles and Governance, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, pp. 253-259.
Martinez-Fernandez, C, Ranieri, A & Sharpe, SA 2014, 'Green skills for a low-carbon future' in Martinez-Fernandez, CM, Ranieri, A & Sharpe, SA (eds), Green skills for a low-carbon future, OECD Publishing, Paris, pp. 15-31.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This chapter defines the key concepts that are central to this volume: what are green jobs and green skills and what are the implications for low-carbon economies if there is not enough of either. Labour market impacts from the transition from high to low carbon intense production will affect all workers.
Sharpe, SA 2011, 'Venture Capitalists as Knowledge Intensive Service Activity Providers' in Martinez-Fernandez, C, Miles, I & Weyman, T (eds), The Knowledge Economy At Work: Skills and Innovation in Knowledge Intensive Service Activities, Edward Elgar Publishing, London, pp. 214-238.
Martinez-Fernandez, C & Sharpe, SA 2008, 'Intellectual Assets and Knowledge Vitality in Urban Regions: The Role of Universities' in Technology, TYQUO, Australia, Technology, KVIIO, Turkey, University, SBG & Australia (eds), Creative Urban Regions: Harnessing Urban Technologies to Support Knowledge City Initiatives, IGI Global, New York, pp. 48-64.
Wright, S, Giurco, D & Sharpe, S 2017, 'Greening Regional Cities: The Role of Government in Sustainability Transitions', Sustainable Development Research in the Asia-Pacific Region: Education, Cities, Infrastructure and Buildings, Symposium on Sustainable Development Research in Asia Pacific, Springer, Australia, pp. 327-344.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This multidisciplinary book focuses on best practices in sustainability research in the Asia-Pacific Region.
McLellan, B, Giurco, D, Corder, G, Golev, A, Kishita, Y & Sharpe, S 2015, 'Mineral-Water-Energy Nexus: Implications of Localized Production and Consumption for Industrial Ecology', The Tipping Point: Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity, 21st International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference: The Tipping Point: Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity, Geelong, Australia.
Urban and remote areas are increasingly using decentralised systems for renewable energy production and storage, as well as for water harvesting and recycling and to a lesser extent for product manufacture via 3D printing. This paper asks two questions – how will these developments affect (i) the end-uses of minerals, including critical minerals and (ii) the implications for industrial ecology and the development of a sound materials cycle society. We find a trade-off between using higherperformance critical minerals in low concentrations which are complex to recycle, and unalloyed, standardised materials for increased effectiveness across multiple reuse cycles. Design and operational challenges for managing decentralised infrastructure are also discussed as their uptake approaches a tipping point.
Herriman, J & Sharpe, SA 2013, 'Population and Australian cities', French-Australian Researcher Workshop: Thematic and methodological exchanges, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
Sharpe, SA 2013, 'The race is not to the swift: breakthrough technology commercialization and implications for public policy', Proceedings of the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference 2013, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, QUT, Brisbane, pp. 1-17.
Sharpe, SA 2009, 'Profiting from the breakthrough: Technology commercialisation in the global age, the case of LCD technology', Conference Proceedings of the 12th Uddevalla Symposium on The Geography of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Bari, Italy 11-13th June 2009, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden, Bari, Italy, pp. 899-921.
The purpose of this case study is to investigate business innovation activity in response to
impacts associated with a changing climate in the Alpine and Highland regions of New South
Wales. Climate change includes temperature changes, changes in the frequency and intensity
of weather events such as heat waves, severe storms and rain events and bushfires.
Dominish, E, Florin, N, Giurco, D, Corder, G, Golev, A, Lane, R, Rhamdhani, A, Reck, B, Graedel, T, Sharpe, S, Edwards, M, Benn, S & Brooks, G 2017, Australian Opportunities in a Circular Economy for Metals: Findings of the Wealth from Waste Cluster, Sydney, Australia.
Florin, N, Madden, B, Sharpe, S, Benn, S, Agarwal, R, Perey, R & Giurco, D University of Technology Sydney 2015, Shifting Business Models for a Circular Economy: Metals Management for Multi-Product-Use Cycles, pp. 1-90, Sydney, Australia.
The overarching aim of this report is to explore how the Australian metals and minerals sector could embrace new business models and build on its strengths to harness new value in a global economy orientated more towards sustainable futures
McGee, CM, Wynne, LE, Milne, GR, Dovey, C, Mitchell, CA, Prior, JH, Sharpe, SA & Wilmot, K 2014, Guiding World Class Urban Renewal: A Framework for UrbanGrowth NSW, prepared by Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
This study sets out to explore the potential for smart work centres in the local government areas of Liverpool, Blacktown and Penrith in Western Sydney. Smart work centres are differentiated from other work environments like main workplace, serviced offices, coworking spaces, third spaces and home offices by location, operations and atmosphere. Targeted to serve teleworkers, they are located close to where people live, provide a fully serviced formal workplace but operate with a community atmosphere that engenders creativity and innovation. This report investigates the circumstances that support teleworking, examines the commuting patterns and demographics of the 3 LGAs, and then analyses census data to predict a demand for a centre in any one of the 3 locations. The report goes on to propose a scenario for a successful centre based on the findings from the research.
Dunstan, C, Sharpe, SA & Downes, J Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Investing in Savings: Finance and cooperative approaches to electricity demand management - A scoping study for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, pp. 1-124, Sydney, Australia.
Martinez-Fernandez, C & Sharpe, SA OECD Publishing 2013, Formal training and skills development: The state of play, Skills Development and Training in SMEs (Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), pp. 27-40, Paris, France.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Martinez-Fernandez, C & Sharpe, SA OECD Publishing 2013, Innovators, exporters and new skills development, Skills Development and Training in SMEs (Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), pp. 57-69, Paris, France.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Martinez-Fernandez, C & Sharpe, SA OECD Publishing 2013, Overview of training and skills development in SMEs, Skills Development and Training in SMEs (Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), pp. 15-24, Paris, France.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Martinez-Fernandez, C & Sharpe, SA OECD Publishing 2013, Skills development on the ground: Formal and alternative approaches by firms, Skills Development and Training in SMEs, Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), pp. 41-55, Paris, France.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Green skills, that is, skills needed in a low-carbon economy, will be required in all sectors and at all levels in the workforce as emerging economic activities create new (or renewed) occupations. Structural changes will realign sectors that are likely to decline as a result of the greening of the economy and workers will need to be retrained accordingly. The successful transition to a low-carbon economy will only be possible if workers can flexibly adapt and transfer from areas of decreasing employment to new industries. This paper suggests that the role of skills and education and training policies should be an important component of the ecological transformation process.
Martinez-Fernandez, C, Sharpe, SA, Bruyninckx, H & Konig, A OECD Publishing 2013, Green Growth in the Benelux: Indicators of local transition to a low-carbon economy in Cross-Border Regions (OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Working Papers, 2013/09), pp. 1-147, Paris, France.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Martinez-Fernandez, C, Sharpe, SA, Hughes, M & Avellaner, DSC OECD Publishing 2013, Improving the effectiveness of green local development: The role and impact of public sector-led initiatives in renewable energy, pp. 1-60, Paris, France.
Sharpe, SA, Moore, DD & Paddon, M Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Green Square, NSW, pp. 1-51, Sydney, Australia.
Paddon, M, Partridge, E, Sharpe, S, Moore, D, Herriman, E & Ross, K Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, The economic, social and environmental implications of population growth in Australian cities, Sydney, Australia.
Paddon, M, Partridge, EY, Sharpe, SA, Moore, DD & Ross, K Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, The economic, social and environmental implications of population growth in Australian cities, pp. 1-88, Sydney, Australia.
Sharpe, SA, Ross, K, Moore, DD, Partridge, EY & Paddon, M Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Melton, VIC, pp. 1-64, Sydney, Australia.
Mason, LM, Mikhailovich, N, Mudd, GM, Sharpe, SA & Giurco, D Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University 2013, Advantage Australia: Resource Governance and Innovation for the Asian Century - Final Report, pp. 1-94, Sydney.
Herriman, E, Partridge, EY, Moore, DD, Sharpe, SA & Paddon, M Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Mandurah, WA, pp. 1-65, Sydney, Australia.
Sharpe, SA, Partridge, EY, Paddon, M, Moore, DD & Lederwasch, AJ Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Blacktown, NSW, pp. 1-51, Sydney, Australia.
Herriman, E, Sharpe, SA, Moore, DD, Ross, K, Partridge, EY & Paddon, M Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Playford, SA, pp. 1-56, Sydney, Australia.
Sharpe, SA, Cosh, A, Connell, D & Parnell, H NESTA 2009, Start-up finance The role of micro funds in the financing of new technology-based firms, pp. 1-30, London.
Appendix A: The Cambridge context 4 Appendix B: A study of Micro Funds through a Cambridge exemplar 8 ??Appendix C: Overview of Government policy & support Appendix D: Detailed Case Study Results Appendix E: Further research results