Senior Cities Advisor – London (21 Great Winchester Street), UK

Salary: Competitive
Location: London
Opening date: 02 January 2018
Closing date: 29 January 2018
Division: Urban Transitions
Reports to: Smart Sustainable Districts Programme Manager
Contract: 2 Year FTC – full time

EIT Climate-KIC Business Background open

EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation, comprising of over 250 leading partners from business, academia, the public sector and NGOs. Our ambition is to contribute to creating a prosperous, inclusive, climate resilient society with a circular, zero-carbon economy.

We focus on levers of systemic change and a selection of priority areas where innovation is most needed to achieve deep decarbonisation (fossil fuels) and effective adaptation. We act as a platform to catalyse cross-sectoral, transformational change through innovation. This entails providing funding, composition of innovation consortia, working together with our partners to take a portfolio approach to innovation options, enrichment of business model design and implementation, tailored support for experimentation and scaling and support for very early stage ideation and pre-seed innovation

In order to make ourselves accessible to key actors and ‘problem owners’, we work along four priority themes: urban transitions, sustainable land use, sustainable production systems, and decision metrics and climate finance. A focus on entrepreneurship and innovation design, leadership and governance, capacity building for new skills and capabilities as well as policy evolution is threaded throughout. We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities and regions, convening a community of the best people and organisations.

We balance strategic innovation, aimed at driving systemic change, with a significant portfolio of bottom-up innovation – e.g. through our start-up accelerators – in order to achieve leverage, evaluate continuously and adjust our efforts to impact climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial metabolism to a circular, regenerative model, harnessing the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

EIT Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Purpose of the Role open

The Senior Cities Advisor will be a core member of the Smart Sustainable Districts flagship programme team. The Smart Sustainable Districts programme is part of EIT Climate-KIC’s Urban Transitions Theme.

The Smart Sustainable Districts programme supports cities to develop district-scale integrated sustainable systems projects – unlocking radical environmental, social and economic benefits for their communities. The programme also nurtures the development of innovative new solutions that help to unlock district-scale integrated sustainable systems projects. The Senior Cities Advisor will work at the leading edge of our support for cities and innovation partnerships; building relationships, advising and mentoring, connecting, brokering innovation partnerships, and match-making innovative solutions to cities’ needs. The Senior Cities Advisor will develop and nurture a network of trained and experienced advisors working for other organisations, who can be brought into projects as needed.

Key Responsibilities open

Advising Cities and District Consortia

  • Provide professional advisory service to cities, focussing on knowledge transfer and guidance on international best practices for delivering district-scale sustainable systems projects
  • Provide a match-making service, helping cities to identify solution providers from the EIT Climate-KIC partners ‘marketplace’ and beyond
  • Help districts to secure project funding from other sources than the EIT
  • Broker potential district-led SSD projects, and build a pipeline of robust project proposals ahead of SSD programme calls
  • Contribute to development of core Smart Sustainable Districts advisory approach, processes, tools and assets

City Network Development

  • Help to nurture development of a growing network of city districts working with the SSD programme and wider EIT Climate-KIC
  • Organise events and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning between cites and district stakeholders. Ensure the lessons from these sessions are captured for the SSD knowledge base

District Projects

  • Assist SSD Project Management Officer with preparation of Smart Sustainable Districts programme call documentation
  • Working with the SSD/Urban Transitions PMO and Geography office teams – support district project consortia with setting up, managing and reporting on projects in accordance with EIT Climate KIC processes
  • Prepare annual report on district advice activity

Team Management

  • Manage any direct report EIT Climate-KIC City Advisors
  • Manage and develop a network of suitable advisors in other organisations who can be brought in to assist SSD projects


  • Assist with organisation of Smart Sustainable Districts and the Urban Transitions events
  • Assist with organisation of Smart Sustainable Districts communications
  • Assist with strategic analysis, business planning and market research
  • Liaise with EIT Climate-KIC geography offices to support project delivery

Key Working Relationships open

  • Smart Sustainable Districts Programme Manager
  • Smart Sustainable Districts Programme Team and City Advisors
  • Municipalities and City Stakeholders
  • Urban Transitions theme team
  • EIT Climate-KIC geography offices
  • EIT Climate-KIC partners, especially current project teams
  • EIT Climate-KIC communications team

Person Specification open

  • You are passionate about catalysing sustainable change in cities and have a keen appetite to generate real impact. You are excited by the Smart Sustainable Districts programme approach and EIT Climate-KIC’s overall mission.
  • You must be educated to at least post-graduate degree level in a relevant discipline. Preferred areas include sustainability, urbanism, community development, engineering, or finance
  • Significant relevant experience working with cities to develop and deliver complex sustainability projects. You have developed an excellent knowledge of how hard this can be, but remain convinced that transformative change is possible.
  • You will bring to the role many ideas about how we can help cities to develop district-scale integrated sustainable systems projects faster and with greater impact and experience of turning such ideas into tangible and deliverable outcomes that bring value to the city and the citizen. A sound knowledge of city project structuring, delivery models and financing is an advantage.
  • You should also have demonstrable experience in managing teams, steering collective outcomes and taking business decisions based on commercial drivers.
  • This position requires excellent relationship, persuasion, negotiation and presentation skills. You need to be able to inspire while offering robust independent advice.
  • You must be organised and have the ability to balance conflicting requirements, changing priorities, diverse groups of collaborators as well as different project-related issues.
  • Excellent English is required. Another European language is an asset, especially from Southern and/or Eastern Europe.
  • Home location for this role is relatively flexible. Significant amounts of travel within Europe is a requirement of the role

Application Process

EIT Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Your application should consist of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.

Please send your full application to