Published Online:https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2017.0056

Businesses are increasingly participating in cross-sectoral partnerships to reduce their environmental impacts on society. At the same time, some are pursuing more entrepreneurial ventures to stimulate environmental innovations. Environmental issues, however, are evolving into grand challenges that could create massive disruptions to organizational and societal systems that transcend the interests or influence of individual firms. As such, successful adaptation to these challenges will require innovative solutions that leverage the resources and capabilities of all relevant actors. Drawing from research on cross-sectoral partnerships and environmental entrepreneurship, we propose collective environmental entrepreneurship (CEE) as a strategy to facilitate adaptation to changing global ecosystems. We explain how cross-sectoral partnerships can overcome some of the constraints facing individual sectors in developing innovative adaptations to grand environmental challenges. Further, we show how these initiatives can institute governance arrangements that help individual sectors reconcile their diverging interests. We then apply these insights to three cases where governments, private interests, and nonprofits have collaborated to adapt to the physical impacts of climate change through innovative partnerships and draw implications for how this construct could be applied to other global challenges facing society.

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