In 2013, the Rockefeller Foundation initiated 100 Resilient Cities, a transnational sustainability initiative that engaged cities all over the world and sought to catalyze change in how cities think about and pursue resilience and sustainability. It provided funds for the 100 cities to employ chief resilience officers, set up a network of transnational expert and peer-to-peer learning systems, and offered cities connections to the broader sustainability community and sources of international funding. The network grew rapidly from 32 initial cities in 2013 to the full 100 in 2016 after over 1000 cities applied for the program.
In July 2019, the Rockefeller Foundation abruptly shut down the program, after spending $164 million (USD) over six years. The initiation, functioning, and wind down of this major transnational initiative presents a timely natural experiment to explore the nature and dynamics of efforts to catalyze transformation to a sustainable, low-carbon world in ways that speak to major questions in literature and for those pursuing a low carbon future.
This presentation details a project at an earlier stage (the project began in summer of 2020 in less than ideal circumstances) and I will discuss how our research team is approaching the research, what we have begun to look for, and how we plan to pursue the research in a way that (hopefully) contributes to conversations about sustainability beyond the academy.
About the Speaker
Matthew Hoffmann is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and co-director of the Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He is also co-editor of the flagship journal Global Environmental Politics, a lead faculty member in the Earth Systems Governance network, and an Honorary Professor at Regnet.