Dr Iain Cairns


Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship


Personal statement

Iain is a Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde’s Business School, in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship. His research is primarily focused on democratic businesses (e.g. cooperative and community enterprises) and the financial arrangements to support their establishment and development.

Iain has a PhD in Management from Glasgow Caledonian University, which focused on community organisations and how they might own and manage assets to drive community development. Prior to PhD study, during his MRes in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow, Iain focused on financial geography and conducted research into the potential of alternative currencies to advance community organisations.Iain has also published work on investment, banking and industrial strategy with the Common Weal think tank. His work on a Scottish National Investment Bank has been particularly impactful. His 2013 position paper on a Scottish National Investment Bank has been recognised by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) as the first major work on the subject.

Subsequently, Iain worked in partnership with Common Weal, Friends of the Earth and NEF to develop the idea, a campaign which culminated in the adoption of the SNIB policy by the Scottish Government.

More recently, Iain has worked on a number of United Kingdom Energy Research Council (UKERC) projects. The ‘Financing Community Energy: lessons learned and innovations for the future’ project, was undertaken jointly by the University of Manchester, University of Strathclyde and Imperial College London. In this project Iain led the data collection and analysis of community energy case studies. He also worked on the 'Whole Person Whole Place Energy Solutions’ project with colleagues from the universities of Sussex and Leeds. This project produced a better understanding of how social relationships of community and place shape the prospects for energy efficiency retrofit. 

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Who applies for energy grants?
Owen Anne, Middlemiss Lucie, Brown Donal, Davis Mark, Hall Stephen, Bookbinder Ruth, Brisbois Marie Claire, Cairns Iain, Hannon Matthew, Mininni Giulia
Energy Research and Social Science Vol 101 (2023)
Carrots, sticks and sermons : policies to unlock community energy finance in the United Kingdom
Hannon Matthew, Cairns Iain, Braunholtz-Speight Timothy, Hardy Jeff, McLachlan Carly, Mander Sarah, Sharmina Maria
Energy Research and Social Science Vol 100 (2023)
Scottish Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan Consultation : University of Strathclyde Response
Corbett Hannah, Calvillo Munoz Christian, Hannon Matthew, Anderson Pauline, Cairns Iain, Davies Kathleen, Galloway Stuart, Hawker Graeme, MacIver Callum, McGarry Connor, Turner Karen, Yarr Roddy
Financing grassroots innovation diffusion pathways : the case of UK community energy
Cairns Iain, Hannon Matthew, Braunholtz-Speight Tim, McLachlan Carly, Mander Sarah, Hardy Jeff, Sharmina Maria, Manderson Ed
Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions Vol 46 (2023)
Under One Roof : The Social Relations and Relational Work of Energy Retrofit in Multi-owned Properties
Cairns Iain, Hannon Matthew, Davis Mark, Middlemiss Lucie, Owen Anne, Bookbinder Ruth, Mininni Giulia, Brown Donal, Brisbois Marie Claire
Carbon Offsetting and Communities : Can Nature-Based Voluntary Carbon Offsetting Benefit Scottish Communities?
Hannon M J, Cairns I, Combe M, Cooper E, Davidson M, Kerr Finlay, McDonnell A, Phillips P, Potts T, Reay D, Roberts J, Wharmby Clare

More publications

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Dr Iain Cairns
Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship

Email: iain.cairns@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 3620