BSc (Hons) MSc

Study Director, Economic Development Consultant, Place-based Strategist, Sustainability and Innovation Researcher, Economic Analyst and Evaluator.

Career History

Sam Nair is a Director at Kada Research with over 12 years’ experience in urban, rural and regional policy, economic development, and sustainability research and consultancy. Prior to joining Kada Research Sam was Principal Consultant at Urban Foresight, where he worked for four years, leading on strategy development, futures reports, and business cases. His focus was on supporting places to develop the skills and infrastructure needed to benefit from global trends and technological change in an inclusive and sustainable way. Directly before Urban Foresight Sam worked for sustainability consultants epi, supporting global telecoms brands to embed sustainability in their supply chain. For three years as Senior Consultant at TBR Sam worked on sector studies, labour market analysis and evaluations for UK authorities and partnerships. Previously, as an economic analyst for the charity Sustrans, he worked on multi-year evaluations to report the economic, social and health impacts of infrastructure. Sam started his career in the policy and think-tank world with spells at Forum for the Future and Centre for Cities. Sam gained a BSc in Geography with Economics and an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies, both from the London School of Economics (LSE).


Sam leads Kada’s sustainability and net zero projects. His strengths are in applying a systems approach which understands the holistic nature of places and their economy, environment and people. He applies cross-sector learning and a multi-disciplined approach to economic strategy development, business improvement, enterprise, innovation and technology, corporate sustainability, sustainable development, net zero transition, and industry 4.0 and 5.0. A key strength is stakeholder engagement and recognising how qualitative insight can tell the story which data alone cannot.


He has worked extensively for national, regional and local government and private sector clients across the UK. He has developed successful concepts and funding bids for industrial innovation centres, developed net zero plans, and created tools to help public sector decision makers. Sam has worked on evaluations, sector mapping, and skills analysis in many niche sectors. He has engaged stakeholders ranging from presenting to and facilitating discussions with heads of global insurance companies at the Lloyd’s of London insurance market to running focus groups with primary school children in deprived communities, and all types of public and private sector organisations in-between in both rural and urban settings.

Sam has built sustainability reporting tools for global telecoms brands, and has helped value the impact of energy efficiency and biodiversity projects for Kada’s public sector clients.


Sam’s skills include: qualitative and quantitative analysis; strategy and policy development; economic impact assessment; environmental analysis, Green Book business cases, report writing; presentation; project management; business planning; managing and working to deadlines.

Outside of Work

Sam has a passion for sports, participating some and watching more. He enjoys visiting places, whether cycling in remote Northumberland, walking the centres of global mega-cities, or spending a weekend in less-visited English towns to watch football. At home, Sam battles for space on the sofa with two cats (if they aren’t watching the two guinea pigs) in order to read a spy-thriller or classic crime novel, when he should probably be tending to the allotment. All the above require a strong long black coffee.

Interesting Fact

Sam was captain of the London School of Economics table tennis team. Fluent in the lingua franca of the sport he has played matches in places ranging from Cotswold villages to Guangzhou in China.