Mesopartner sees the need for a post-fossil economic development strategy, also often called “The Great Transformation”, by think tanks. It urges all of us to rethink our role in and contribution to a more socially, economically, and ecologically healthy way of life to a greener and more inclusive development path.

With our work on “Green Economic Development (GED),” we want to contribute to the Great Transformation. Instead of taking a strongly normative approach, we build on our existing and additional principles. Yet, among local and national actors working in business networks, support organisations, and policymakers, we can convey an understanding of the planetary boundaries and the innovation and contributions that each of them can play to develop within  boundaries. Our experiences of how business development happens, how innovation is strengthened and applied and how knowledge- and learning networks can be supported in a complex environment help us to find various entry points for the GED work.

Principles that are shaping our work

Principles on Economic Development

Additional principles on Green Economic Development

Endogenous potentials

Non-normative approaches but promotion of GED networks

Bottom-up structures 

Development within  planetary boundaries and SDGs


Green development solutions in the context


Sustainable business promotion

History and path dependency matters

Strengthening transformative policy and support efforts for the future

Importance of business innovations

Technological and social innovations that strengthen GED

Learning and knowledge networks for competitiveness

Learning and knowledge networks for sustainable solutions

Demand orientation and business solution driven

Integrating civil society and environmental actors more into the process

We are currently working on different projects that approach the topic of GED from different perspectives and at the local, national or even supranational level. The following examples are areas we are currently working on:

  • We are promoting rapid green economic appraisals in territories to identify sustainable competitive development solutions with businesses in their sectors. The approach builds on the former PACA approach developed by Mesopartner and adds sustainability criteria to the analysis and selection of economic development initiatives.
  • We are developing rating systems of cities along their business climate-, private-public network orientation and green development efforts.
  • We are developing methodologies for analysing green bottom-up city strategies, including critical economic, waste, energy, mobility and other risky development trends identifying business-, social and public innovation initiatives. One methodology is the Rapid Appraisal of Climate-sensitive City Development Advantages (RACCA) to identify entry points for concrete city initiatives. View the flyer here.
  • We promote technological change and innovation networks that contribute to new, greener, more competitive societal solutions.   
  • We are working with partners on designing transformation laboratories for certain locally relevant sectors and observatories that scan innovations worldwide.
  • We are strengthening peer-to-peer learning and Pioneer of Change Networks between businesses, local policymakers and knowledge organisations that search for innovative and greener development solutions.
  • We are strengthening the quality infrastructure and countries' required certification and standardisation requirements to promote green and circular economy solutions.  
  • We work with suppliers and value chain actors in countries, sectors and regions (e.g. in the Western Balkan region) to become aware of EU Green Deal export requirements and to strengthen Local Green Deal networks within these countries.
  • We organise study tours and actor-network trips in the EU to exchange inspirational practices and help the partners further develop their innovation initiatives.

This is just a snapshot of how the topic of GED is integrated into our work already, and we experience fast-growing importance. We are interested in exploring further with other colleagues and partners. Thus, everybody working in this field and trying to find inspirational GED solutions is welcome to contact us for further learning exchange, the cocreation of new methodologies and joint practical applications.

Series of Blog posts on new approaches to promote “Sustainable Future Cities, Towns and Communities”.

Our interview on the decarbonisation challenges of cities and rural areas with Dirk Messner, Director of the German Environment Agency in the form of an article  and a videocast.

A conference speech and publication from Mesopartner on the impact of the EU Green Deal on specific sectors in countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A baseline study about the relevance of quality infrastructure for innovations in the green economy in Latin America and the Caribbean.

An analysis of the importance of Quality Infrastructure for the Circular Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean.

If you would like to engage us on this topic, email Frank Wältring or Christian Schoen.

18 results:
From value chains to circular economic systems  
While value chains and product networks are often optimised for efficiency at the levels of products, firms and transactions, the overall systems they form part of may not be optimally efficient from a resource utilisation perspective.  
Eco-system services and territorial competitiveness  
The traditional approach to competitiveness is based on labour or capital productivity (Porter, 1989). Given the over-exploitation of natural resources, today we can observe a changing basis of competitive advantage (Von Weizsäcker, De Larderel, Hargroves et al., 2014).  
Green territorial economic development: promoting more sustainable solutions  
Since the Rio+20 Conference in 2012, Green Economic Development became an increasingly prominent topic in both less and more developed countries.  
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