Doctoral Consortium, Monday, April 22


Jennifer Wyatt Bourgeois, Texas Southern University

Parental incarceration is an understudied adverse childhood experience. As a result, the body of literature has grown which examines the impact of parental incarceration on children. Through the intersection of school and juvenile justice systems, utilizing a culturally responsive and interdisciplinary approach, the purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between parental incarceration and school-based outcomes. This study will also examine its relationship between mental and physical health outcomes.

Suwen Chen, University of Edinburgh Business School

My research focuses on 1) how is impact investing different from other investments in practice, 2) how to measure impact, and 3) what is gender balance in impact investing compared with traditional funds, and what are the implications. The method is largely qualitative. Primary data is collected via Delphi questionnaires, ethnographic observation and interviews. Secondary data comes from published documents (e.g. academic journals, industry reports, government white papers).

Wendy Chen, George Mason University

It is known that the US education system has been lagging behind many other advanced countries in the world, despite the US government’s heavy investment in many educational resources. Under these circumstances, a growing number of entrepreneurs are engaged in the education sector with the hope of improving the education for the US and deprived areas around the world. My research examines the interplay between entrepreneurship and education policy.

Seongkyung Cho, Arizona State University

My research aims to evaluate the impact of housing policies, based on rigorous econometric models. My most recent research discusses limited impacts of antidiscrimination laws against housing vouchers. Despite state and local governments’ efforts to attenuate the poverty gap in urban housing markets, the results reveal potential constraints of the laws and call for an integration of government-led and market-based approaches to deal with the challenges that low-income renters face.

Kurian George, Syracuse University

My research explores the impact of regulatory distortions, such as price controls and guidelines on product specifications, on the pattern of technological innovations found at a particular stage of the industry life cycle. I am particularly interested in studying the implications of such changes in the technological environment for new firm entry, survival and their response to failed innovations.

Polina Koroleva, Johns Hopkins University

The paper contains the review of current trends of urban development in Russia. Different political, social and economic situations determine unique way of development in different countries. The paper points out the main political, social, and economic features that determine premises in this particular country. The research uses four parts of the Smart Growth Manual (Duany et al.2010) as the vectors of comparison: the region, the neighborhood, the street, the building. Smart Growth is a concept developed and applied first in the U.S. as a concept of urban development opposite to automobile-based suburban one. The Russian concept of smart growth is described the best by the word blagoustroistvo. Blagoustroistvo is an untranslatable Russian word referring to the improvement (and/or beautification) of public services or infrastructure. The paper contains overview of successful urban development projects, some of which were decorated by international awards. Analysis of successes and failures of Russian best practices through the lenses of smart growth methodology can be insightful for revitalizing urban spaces in the U.S.

Mengyin Li, Renmin University of China

P2P lending enables borrowers to use financing for business operation, entrepreneurship, improvement of life quality and health condition. P2P lending platform has experienced a prosperity in China. In the process of platforms competition in the market, Chinese P2P platforms are trying to minimize the risk of investors and reduce the interest rate for borrowers to below 10%, which can benefit more borrowers and help them out of financial difficulties.

Malcolm Muhammad, University of Louisville

Research on entrepreneurial ecosystems presents an opportunity to examine the complexity associated with entrepreneurial action embedded within a social system. I discuss how complexity science can be used to identify the boundaries of agents and interactions in an ecosystem, and how collective learning activities lead to the emergence of entrepreneurial opportunities. The structural aspects of the model suggest that entrepreneurial ecosystems are ideal contexts for developing solutions to grand challenges.

Almantas Palubinskas, Syracuse University

Through my research, I advance our understanding of how entrepreneurial firms shape regulations and show that coalition-based nonmarket strategies can be used as a means to gain access to Federal Advisory Committees (FAC). Through their participation on FACs, firms have the opportunity to shape regulations that emerge from Federal Agencies. In turn, my research has practical implications for entrepreneurs, managers, and policy-makers seeking to influence competition in high tech industries.

Abraham Song, George Mason University

My research interests are in policy analysis, entrepreneurship, and labor economics. My dissertation examines the impact of state business incentives on job creation and small businesses. Using a novel incentives and tax database, I carefully search for employment and wage effects across business cycles. I also study whether business incentives that benefit large firms come at the expense of small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Vyas Sreenivas, Temple University

I am interested in studying the various aspects of entrepreneurship and how it can play a key role in solving social problems. I am currently working on my first project to develop a model of urban entrepreneurship which can be used to solve the problems of cities. Given the complex nature of the phenomenon, the research looks at insights from multi-disciplines including social entrepreneurship, urban economics and innovation.

Yusi W. Turell, University of New Hampshire

I am interested in how innovative market-based approaches to grand challenges can drive public policy change that, in turn, helps those new markets to grow. My dissertation cases include social entrepreneurs who have been instrumental in lifting burdensome regulations (insurance, health) and embedding disenfranchised groups into formal institutions (finance, housing). Early findings suggest entrepreneurs can parlay their ‘proof of concept’ to engage stakeholders across complex ecosystems, thereby benefiting both their enterprise and also future sustainable, scalable ventures.

Laurens Vandeweghe, Imperial College Business School of London

Our society faces challenges as a consequence of widespread urban lifestyle and consumption. Responsible corporations that endeavor to tackle grand challenges both have to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries and sustain internal and external engagement. I explore the convening efforts of “Sky Ocean Ventures”, a corporate impact venturing initiative combatting ocean plastic pollution. Analysis of my ongoing data collection uncovers the processes, paradoxical tensions and coping mechanisms of robust corporate action.

Tuesday-Wednesday, April 23-24


David B. Audretsch, PhD, Indiana University at Bloomington

A recent literature has emerged proposing and identifying strategies for generating and sustaining a strong and sustainable economic performance for cities, regions and states. Entrepreneurship has emerged as a key element in shaping the economic performance of places, which has given rise to a plethora of policies encouraging entrepreneurship. This research examines whether the cultural context of a particular place influences the efficacy of those policies in particular, and the strategic management of place more broadly. The empirical evidence suggests that, based on a data set measuring entrepreneurship culture at the local level, the efficacy of place-based policies to generate entrepreneurial activity may be more nuanced and idiosyncratic to the cultural context of the specific place and ultimately frustrate policies implementing prescribed policy algorithms to enhance entrepreneurial activity as well as economic performance.

Robert J. Barro, PhD, Harvard University

The 2017 U.S. tax reform cut tax rates for C-corporations, expanded expensing for business equipment, and cut marginal tax rates in the individual income tax. When the provisions in place for 2018 are treated as permanent, the added incentives for investment are estimated to raise output per worker in the long run by around 5% for C-corporations, 3% for pass-through businesses, and 4% for the overall economy. Over 10 years, the estimated boost to the growth rate of per capita GDP is about 0.2 percentage points per year. The cut in individual marginal income-tax rates has a larger estimated short-run effect on economic growth, 0.9 percentage points per year for 2018-19. Hence, the main short-run growth response involves the individual income tax, and the main long-run response involves business taxes. The estimation factors in tax-induced shifting of legal form between C‑corporate and pass-through status. Ongoing research provides better quantification of this shifting. Since 1968, there has been a large drop in a measure of the tax wedge between C‑corporate and pass-through form—falling from 48% in 1968 to 0 in 2018. The cumulative estimated positive effect on productivity is 4%. At the same time, there has been a marked negative trend in the C-corporate share of economic activity, likely reflecting mostly legal changes that changed the attractiveness of pass-through alternatives, notably partnerships in the form of LLCs.

Cheryl R. Dennison Himmelfarb, PhD, RN, ANP, FAAN, FAHA, FPCNA, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Social Determinants of Cardiovascular Health. Social determinants of health, including economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, food, community and social context, and the health Social Determinants of Cardiovascular Health. Social determinants of health, including economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, food, community and social context, and the health care system, impact the capacity of individuals and communities to improve cardiovascular care and outcomes. Major disparities in cardiovascular care, control, and outcomes remain, despite availability of effective interventions. In order to drive improvements in population cardiovascular health, we must address these social determinants – this is where we have the opportunity to make the greatest impact. A multi-level approach is required to bridge the cardiovascular care quality gap and reduce health inequities.

Meredith J. Greif, PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Cities nationwide struggle to solve crises of homelessness, housing insecurity, poverty, and neighborhood decline. Through federal policy shifts, private market actors, including landlords, have become key providers for marginalized populations. Drawing on fieldwork in Baltimore, Cleveland, and New York City, this talk addresses several questions: Is the private market prepared to meet housing and other essential needs of vulnerable populations? How do federal and local policies support, or constrain, the capacity for private housing providers to lift up struggling households and communities?

Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

All of the biggest challenges that cities face involve complex systems, whether it is poverty, crime, child hunger, obesity, substance abuse, educational underachievement, housing blight, or communicable diseases. That is because urban areas are complex systems, composed of a wide range of different people, organizations, businesses, physical structures, and components interconnected in various complicated ways. Unaided, decision makers may struggle to understand and address these complex systems. However, just as computational modeling has transformed fields such as meteorology and air traffic control, such methods can transform urban decision making, serving as a virtual laboratory to help design and test different policies and interventions. Here we present examples of how our VPOP (Virtual Populations for Obesity Prevention) computational modeling work has helped decision makers tackle key nutrition and physical activity-related issues in various cities.

Maria Minniti, PhD, Syracuse University

An increasing amount of empirical evidence shows that, in spite of all parties’ best intentions, government solutions to complex social dilemmas such as poverty, homelessness, and crime often fail to yield the desired outcomes. The problem stems largely from different epistemic positions held by government and local actors, and from the fact that one-size policies do not fit all. In an alternative, Hayek’s theory of markets and Ostrom’s principles for self-governance provide an adaptive policy framework that allows market, social, and policy entrepreneurs to experiment. Many solutions enabled by such a framework foster involvement, cooperation, and monitoring thereby producing better outcomes.

Timothy H. Moran, PhD, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dopaminergic and opioidergic systems in the brain mediate reward. The ventral tegmental - nucleus accumbens dopaminergic pathway mediates incentive motivation (or “wanting”) and the nucleus accumbens µ opioid system mediates positive responses (of ‘liking”) to a variety of natural rewards. Drugs of abuse have their effects by activating these reward pathways and, with repeated use, do so in ways that down-regulates their responsivity making them less responsive to natural rewards. Western high fat, high sugar diets consisting of highly processed foods have been shown to have similar effects on these reward pathways leading to the concept of food addiction as a pathway to obesity. Inner city populations are especially burdened by drug addiction and obesity.

Ashley Rogers Berner, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Education

This discussion focuses upon educational pluralism, which means a school system in which the government funds and regulates, but does not necessarily provide, public education. Educational pluralism is the democratic norm around the world. The list of educationally plural systems is long – it includes the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Belgium, Denmark, Indonesia, Israel, Sweden, and France. Educational pluralism rests upon political and philosophical claims, including that the “right school” must be accessible for all families; education is not merely an individual good, but also a common good; education belongs within the realm of civil society rather than exclusively within the realm of the State or the Individual.

Donald Siegel, PhD, Arizona State University

In recent years, academic scientists have been strongly encouraged by university administrators to engage in academic entrepreneurship, or the commercialization of university-based research via patenting, licensing, and startup formation. In this paper, we examine the relationship between role conflict and scientists’ propensity to engage in academic entrepreneurship. Our model starts with the realization that all academics who are contemplating such activity struggle with multiple identities as scientists and entrepreneurs and different roles. We propose that foreign-born scientists are more adept at both developing an entrepreneurial identity and managing role conflict. To test our theory, we analyze data from 1,980 university scientists at 25 major research universities. Our findings provide support for the moderating effect of foreign-born status on the relationship between role conflict and entrepreneurial identity. Specifically, the relationship decreases for foreign-born scientists. We also found that foreign-born scientists were more likely to patent, license, and form startup companies, and that such prior entrepreneurial activity mediates the relationship between foreign-born status and entrepreneurial identity. In sum, our findings imply that a more open immigration policy will produce scientists are better able to deal with role conflict and achieve higher levels of academic entrepreneurship.

Symposium Researchers (Tuesday-Wednesday, April 23-24)

Byron B. Carson, PhD, Hampden-Sydney College

Parisian garbage collectors rioted to prevent the introduction and use of horse-drawn garbage carriers in the early 19th century. Guilds in Shanghai literally stood against encroaching water pipelines around 1900. American physicians decried the introduction of minority groups from entering the profession until the early 20th century. These cases highlight a central tension many societies face between private and public interests, which can ultimately block public health improvements. While private interests are better off, societies are worse off because there are poorer quality public services, higher prevalence rates of infectious diseases, or fewer innovations in healthcare. This essay uses the lens of political economy and public choice economics to clarify the leading causes of these tensions and to explore potential solutions. In particular, blocking public health improvements require the successful pursuit and acquisition of legal rights and other special privileges, which might restrict entry into markets or resist the introduction of novel technologies. Resolving these tensions and improving public health requires a social and political commitment to competitive markets and the creation of general rules that do not favor particular individuals, firms, or groups. This approach suggests that markets the general rules that facilitate market-based societies offer novel and underexplored ways to improve public health outcomes for the betterment of health and well-being. That is, of course, unless special interests block such improvements.

Peter T. Gianiodis, PhD, Duquesne University

Opportunity recognition and exploitation are foundational to studying entrepreneurship and regional economic development. Not surprisingly, the root of urban poverty and inequality often results from limited economic opportunity. We examine how limited economic opportunities occur not just at venture creation, but also throughout the entrepreneurial process. Specifically, we examine how ventures formed in distressed, urban neighborhoods face unique challenges when scaling up their operations. These challenges relate to securing/exploiting four types of capital: 1) financial – via lenders and/or investors; 2) physical – adequate space and equipment; 3) human –skilled workers to support growth; 4) social –a network that includes mentors as well as individuals who “open doors”. We employ a case study methodology to examine this grand challenge. Our case organization operates a unique collective organizational form in a historically significant, but recently distressed neighborhood in a mid-sized American city. The organization supports its members in launching arts/crafts-based businesses by providing limited financial and operational support. In addition, the collective operates a retail outlet in the neighborhood, and is setting up a for-profit entity to facilitate exporting by its members. Members objective differ greatly; some join purely for social reasons, using a crafts as a means to engage like-minded individuals. By contrast, most members use the collective to launch a new venture, and a minority of these members aspire to grow the business beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood. For this workshop, we will discuss strategies the collective have used to support scaling, and best practices employed in other urban areas.

Richard T. Harrison, PhD, University of Edinburgh Business School

In this paper we examine the need to respond to the deterioration of the urban environment and with it the rise in inequalities (of health, employment, educational attainment) and the decline in sociality (crime, addiction, homelessness) associated with deindustrialization and the ‘hollowing out’ of the city with the flight to the suburbs. This post-metropolitan transition (Soja) calls for a new sense of spatial justice to create better ways of dealing with social barriers through affirmative action. We explore this through the articulation and integration of two constructs. First, in response to Weber’s ‘disenchantment of the world’, re-enchantment recognizes the necessity of the “third space” (Jacobs’ ‘shared space’ and Lefebvre’s socially produced public space) as the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of democracy (Oldenburg). Second, topophilia, the strong sense of place and cultural identity, identified by philosophers and urban theorists (Bachelard, Tuan, Gibson) as critical to human spatiality, has been fractured (disenchantment) and needs to be rebuilt (re-enchantment) if urban grand challenges are to be met through material spatial practices, newly conceived spaces and the development of the fully lived space (Soja). Through six exploratory cases studies drawing on various sources of data, we explore how former urban public spaces have been repurposed by civil society organizations – generally hybrids in terms of business model and legal form – and how they negotiate between often competing imperatives of economic rationality required for sustainability and social value creation for the common good.

J. Howard Kucher, DPA, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Micro credit programs have proven to be an effective tool for developing independence and economic self-reliance in underserved populations. While these programs are quite prevalent overseas, they have not yet become a significant factor in the United States; in large part due to distinct cultural practices that work against the basic assumptions of microlending. After reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of microlending programs in developing countries, this study examines the unique factors in American society that have impacted the adoption of microlending programs. It then discusses a recently developed model that combines many of the stronger elements of microlending and with specific aspects of the growing phenomenon of peer-to-peer lending. The paper reviews various operational issues that have impacted the implementation and growth of this new model and suggests some practical adjustments that might improve the assimilation of such programs into the American entrepreneurship ecosystem.

David S. Lucas, PhD, Syracuse University

The present paper provides an overview of the grand challenge of urban homelessness and assesses the prospect of market-based solutions to this issue. Over 550,000 people were homeless as of January 2018, and millions experience homelessness each year in the United States alone. Urban homelessness is particularly problematic and intertwined with other urban grand challenges, including poverty, housing blight, substance abuse, and crime. Policymakers and scholars have increasingly turned to “systemic,” interorganizational and cross-sector collaborations to fight homelessness; however, existing efforts have yielded few results. Market enterprise has been noticeably absent from both academic and policy discourse. If anything, urban homelessness is typically viewed as a byproduct of the entrepreneurial society, exacerbated by widening social gaps, rising rents, and dwindling opportunities for society’s most marginalized. I provide an alternative view: namely, that entrepreneurship is an overlooked but essential input to society’s response to homelessness. I first review the state of urban homelessness in the United States, beginning with the emergence of “modern” homelessness in the 1980’s. I analyze existing efforts to alleviate homelessness, paying special attention to the incentives facing public and nonprofit providers in the six-billion-dollar-a-year homeless shelter industry. I then assess common arguments about the relationship between homelessness and the market. Finally, I highlight three specific sources of market-oriented solutions to urban homelessness: innovative housing sources, transformative employment opportunities, and impact-focused social ventures. Rather than a cause of urban homelessness, the entrepreneurial society offers a diverse and promising array of solutions to this grand challenge.

Sheela Pandey, PhD, Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg


Social impact bonds (SIBs), first launched in the UK in 2010, have rapidly gained worldwide attention. State and local governments, strapped for cash, have welcomed the financing of social experiments by SIBs. These SIBs target diverse urban challenges such as child welfare, early childhood education, homelessness, juvenile justice, recidivism, and unemployment. There is bipartisan policy support in the US Congress for federal financing of SIBs. Despite the potential upside of SIBs in bringing market-based solutions to urban challenges, there is skepticism in some circles about the novelty of SIBs and concern about the role of free market players in addressing social problems. Our goal in this paper is to answer two questions: 1) From a business model perspective what is new about SIBs? 2) How does the business model innovation in SIBs better address urban challenges? Following prior studies which have used business models as a unit of analysis to understand social enterprises, we assess three dimensions of business model innovation—content innovation, structure innovation, and governance innovation. We apply this approach to all twenty SIBs launched in the U.S. Our preliminary findings indicate an emphasis on structural and governance innovation, with only half the SIBs adopting content innovation. We discuss how market-based solutions are being used to design new approaches or scale up existing programs to address urban challenges.

Jacob Park, PhD, Green Mountain College

Goal 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) states that “a successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society” and that “urgent action is needed to mobilize, redirect and unlock the transformative power of trillions of dollars of private resources to deliver on sustainable development objectives” (UN 2017). Because urban design, infrastructure, and planning have historically come from government donors and agencies (such as the World Bank), particularly in emerging and developing countries, there is a critical need to design and develop a more market-based, urban-focused business models and technology innovations (e.g. urban farm technologies, smart energy grid/infrastructure, autonomous vehicles/smart transportation) to meet the $2.5 trillion in the expected SDGs investment gap between 2015-2030 (UN 2014). Using a case study approach and building on the emerging circular economy and urban climate resilience literature, this paper/presentation examines new and emerging business models and technology innovations with the best potential to deliver the necessary triple bottom line (social, environmental, economic) impacts in the urban sector. What are the most important new and emerging business models and technology innovations for the urban sector? What are the important blended finance tools and instruments (e.g. market-priced co-financing, seed capital for collective investment vehicles, etc.) which can most effectively catalyze urban-based business models and technology innovations? How can cross-sector institutional collaboration to rapidly scale up urban-based circular models of innovation and entrepreneurship?

Tammi C. Redd, PhD, Ramapo College of New Jersey


Many communities facing grand social issues whether it be education, poverty, or environmental detriment rely on neighboring communities to identify opportunities for creating innovative solutions to solve these problems. While colleges and universities strive to build social entrepreneurship programs to align with institutional visions and missions for positive societal impact, the challenge of connecting the means to the ends still remains. In many cases, colleges and universities have resources to allocate for social entrepreneurship research and programming, but for many of these institutions there lies a challenge in identifying an accessible problem to solve; particularly for those institutions located in rural or remote areas. They may have students and faculty who are passionate about problem solving and creating a social impact, but it is difficult to create a solution for a problem if you do not know it exists. The ultimate goal for many college and university programs geared toward social entrepreneurship remains in creating a sustainable social impact rather than simply donating money to an issue. Students who attend these institutions however are unable to create solutions for grand challenges and social issues they can’t see or experience for themselves. They can read books and see videos of social issues as stimuli, but it is not until they experience it in person that it truly drives them to make the difference. They have the means to make a difference through funding, grants and education, but what happens when you have the means but you are unaware of the ends?

Sim B. Sitkin, PhD, Duke University

Recent press reports as well as casual observations suggest that we have serious urban and broader societal problems. Many of these problems, however, have not been sufficiently addressed, and in some instances they have been entirely ignored. Ongoing encroachment of the Gulf of Mexico in the New Orleans area and staggering municipal debt in Chicago are but two of the most recognized challenges. Addressing grand societal challenges implies that organizations must pursue stretch goals, which are goals that may seem impossible to attain given current capabilities but would have significant positive effects if achieved. Drawing upon studies of organizational effectiveness in undertaking such goals, recent theoretical and empirical work (Sitkin et al., 2011; 2017; 2018) has clarified a systematic pattern of organizational conditions that lead to the successful or unsuccessful pursuit of grand challenges in areas as diverse as the environment, education, technological innovation, employment, justice, and health. What has been found is a paradox – namely that the very organizations that are best suited to effectively pursue grand challenges (for example, well-resourced organizations such as high performing corporations, large foundations, or elite universities) tend to become conservative and shy away from them, while organizations not well positioned for pursuing these challenges (for example, cash-strapped social service organizations) do try to tackle them only to stumble and fail. We plan to present our research underpinning this observed paradox in the pursuit of stretch goals, potential remedies, and the implications for effective pursuit of today’s grand challenges.

Tatiana R. Stettler, PhD, Kent State University

Following rapid changes in the competitive environment imposed by digitalization and open access, modern universities need to reinvent their educational processes. To prepare students for the future that is much different from the past, a focus on innovation, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration becomes essential. In this context, Design Innovation (DI) has emerged as an approach that motivates students to search for answers to complex and difficult problems that have multiple viable solutions and, thereby, develops their ability to serve as change agents. In our ethnographic study, we analyze the reorganization process at a large public research-extensive university in the Midwestern U.S. from June 2017 until January 2019. This reorganization represents a “wicked” problem because it implies the creation of a cross-disciplinary learning environment. The classical structure of the university in which colleges operate as autonomous units with competing budgets imposes a major constraint. In this context, Design Thinking (DT) represents a dynamic capability which allows organizations “to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competencies to address rapidly changing environments” (Teece et al., 1997: 516). Building on the strategy as process and practice (SAPP) view (Burgelman et al., 2018), we study university’s evolution and analyze how transformational processes are shaped and implemented. Specifically, we scrutinize the processes of routine enactment and DC development at three levels: micro- (individuals, members of the initiative), mezzo- (both DI Team and university colleges and departments), as well as macro-level (university as a whole and larger community).

Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, PhD, University of Duesto, Spain

Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city. It is geographically situated in Skåne, the southern region of Sweden, one of the most densely populated areas of the country. Although the Swedish policy system is rather centralized at the national level, the increase in autonomy for Skåne dates back to 1997. Innovation has traditionally been a regional political priority. One of the most recent efforts in this regard is the “International Innovation Strategy” for Skåne 2012-2020. This strategy aims to make Skåne the most innovative region in Europe by 2020. It identifies three priority areas: smart sustainable cities, smart materials and health. Here we focus on the ‘Smart Sustainable Cities’ priority, and in particular, in Malmö's local investment program for ecological development, which aimed to accelerate the development of an environmentally sustainable Malmö. The execution of Malmö's local investment program for ecological development was targeted by public procurement for innovation (PPI). The paper shows the additionality of PPI as a policy instrument, when this is part of a wide strategic innovation policy. The Western Harbor in Malmö has become Sweden’s first urban area with a climate-neutral energy system, using entirely locally produced energy from renewable sources. It has also become the location of the headquarters of some of the high-tech companies that have developed in recent years in Malmö, creating new employment opportunities. This case study deepens into the operationalization of PPI, identifying key elements that made the procurement process work in Malmö so as to make it extensible to other cases.