In a context of climate breakdown and technological disruption, Dark Matter Labs focuses on accelerating societal transition towards collective care, shared agency, long-termism and interconnectedness. Our daily work ranges from policy and regulation to finance and data, from governance and democratic participation to organisational culture and identity.
We organise our work around what this transition needs, and the things we want to see in the world. To keep that transparent, we undertake open work in collaborative partnerships to provoke alternative visions of the future, designing how they might look in practice, and experimenting in context to reveal how they could work and enable the necessary change. [More about us here](https://darkmatterlabs.org/).
We currently have legal entities in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea and Canada with a joint turnover in 2022 of around £3 million and a team of around 60.
About the Role
Playing a central part in a complex initiative spearheading radical systemic actions for cities to reach climate-neutrality by 2030. A role for a hands-on, experienced built environment practitioner and highly collaborative person ready to lead the co-design and support of portfolios of impactful actions with cities across Europe.
What You're Gonna Do
The Built Environment Lead will be responsible for working with cities in innovative ways to scope and implement a range of transformative actions - across energy and transport systems, housing and construction, digital solutions, nature-based solutions, adaptive infrastructure, or other relevant domains driving down GHG emissions. This role will guide cities in designing portfolios of accelerated emission reducing actions (individually or in cohorts of several cities), but also being an influential voice to frame NetZeroCities’ programmes of work in practical impactful terms for climate-neutrality.
In this role your focus will likely be split across some key areas of work:
- Understanding and assessing cities needs - 25%
- Operationalising transformational strategies - 30%
- Capability building and city support - 25%
- Programme management and relationship holding - 20%
We expect that the balance between these areas will regularly shift and rebalance, with an overall split as summarised above. The work has a strong focus on practical execution (at least 75%), it also encompasses reflective practice, process development and learning from other DM work in cities and related domains. Our work on NetZeroCities is closely connected to many other work strands across DM and part of the role will be to deepen those connections where relevant.
You Might Thrive In This Role If...
- You care deeply about accelerating cities’ pathways towards climate neutrality and a just transition
- You are a maker, thriving off the blank page, solving problems through action and constantly executing your vision, making things happen through collaboration
- You are a doer, grooving when finding creative ways to get things done and fix things, jumping into a range of topics and contexts, often of significant complexity
- You have a thirst and appetite for undiscovered work and building what doesn't exist yet, materialising a vision of justice and sustainability
- Your understanding of change in cities is rooted in hands-on experience with built environment transitions, and a deep understanding of their interrelations with social innovation, policy and regulation, governance, finance, citizen participation…
- You thrive in a system convening role: bringing conversations together across sectors, practices, organisational cultures
- You care about the experience of the people we support above all (cities)
- You're a super quick learner, happy and willing to throw yourself into new things and to work them out as you go.
- You're a great communicator and listener, and enjoy engaging with many different people while graciously sharing credits
- You have a thirst and appetite for undiscovered work and building what doesn't exist yet
- You're interested in [The Boring Revolution](https://provocations.darkmatterlabs.org/the-necessity-of-a-boring-revolution-a71b1ae6f956)
- You're interested to work on how you show up and your own personal development
- You're looking to join an organisation that can deeply challenge and stimulate your thinking and which you'd like to commit to longer-term
For us, equally important to your background is your confidence and ease in working at the frontier of what is known, your dexterity in questioning how things are done and proactiveness in counteracting the status quo through active practice.
That is why we are open to what your background might be: there is no stereotype education or career pathway for this position.** If you have a combination of the below listed areas, you might experience an easier learning curve:
- Work with local governments**: experience working with local administration and politics towards change. Understanding of the underlying challenges faced by these actors and how change in institutional structures, processes and mindsets can unfold as well as create impact.
- Built environment expertise**: experience in place-based sustainability and social, environmental, and economic transformation, scoping or delivering resilience / climate action plans. Deep expertise in one or more fields like energy and mobility systems, planning and urban design, digital ‘smart’ city strategies, urban ecosystems and infrastructure, low-carbon construction, etc, alongside a more generalist overview of climate transitions in the built environment.
- Strategic and systems design:** experience in designing and delivery change in complex ecosystems and organisations; in providing strategic thinking and reframing opportunities by facilitating the emergence of compelling new narratives. Ability to make sense of dynamic and complex spaces of operation, to think beyond existing economic, social and organisational paradigms.
- Programme management: experience leading and designing sustainability programmes in large programmes and consortiums, shaping processes and tasks to achieve impact. Holding quality relationships with local governments and expert partners to build systemic, sustainable practice.
We highly value lived experience as a form of expertise and we consider having a broad and diverse range of lived experience within the team as critical for us - to be able to do our best possible work together, and to create a range of spaces and accommodate a broad spectrum of life experience into our team.
Dark Matter Labs continues to educate, question and critically review ourselves on how we can improve. We recognise and celebrate the true value of a safe and accepting working environment that - among other things - a diverse team with distributed power can unlock, and work to address our underlying biases and power structures that can prevent that from materialising.
This type of work requires the willingness to work on yourself, your relationships with power, the assumptions and experiences that influence how you think, and more.*
*We recognise that our work deals with some existential questions and content that can be triggering. We have a team focused on the team's mental health and personal development and we continue to incrementally build the necessary psychological infrastructures for this work.
What We Offer
- Deadline for Applications: January, 15th 2023 - 23:59 (CET)
- Location: remote.
Europe preferred for logistical reasons and to support local partnerships. We particularly have European hubs in the UK, Malmö and Amsterdam, but are also looking to co-locate with NetZeroCities partners in cities such as in Stockholm, Madrid, Vienna and Milan.
- Contract: 1 year contract with scope to become a permanent contract
We have payroll systems set up in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands, and have a range of arrangements in place to enable employment contracting in other countries across Europe.
- FTE: full-time (4d/week possible)
- Pay: see our org-wide pay formula below
- Language: requires fluency in English, having at least one other EU language is highly recommended. To improve our geographical diversity, Eastern and Southern European languages are especially valued.
This job is available for international candidates.