Fostering organisational and societal transitions for sustainable and inclusive futures.

Research theme leads

Theme Lead
Dale Southerton

Theme Champions
Anita Mangan
Katharina Burger

We research two of the biggest societal challenges of our time: (a) how can organisations and forms of organising transition to sustainable forms of production and consumption, and (b) how can we do so in an equitable and inclusive way?

We examine sustainable business practices; diverse patterns of working and consuming; democratic forms of business ownership and governance; the changing ways in which goods and services are sourced, conceived, developed, distributed, accessed, used and disposed of; and the moral economies of ‘societal transitions’.

Our research engages directly with business strategy/operations and public policy, and through our research we partner with large and small businesses, government, trade unions and third sector and civil society organisations.

Current projects include:

  • Digital platforms for sustainable food
  • Alternative networks of production and consumption
  • Sharing and circular economy
  • Circulations of materials, waste and disposal
  • Carbon emissions of recipe box retail
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Social marketing for healthy and sustainable behaviours

Our projects bring together theories from fields of research ranging from operations management, innovation, science and technology studies, organisational studies through to the study of consumption in order to foster sustainability transitions that are ecologically resilient in the first instance, socially just in the second and finally economically viable.

We are interested in researching forms of organising that are aimed at producing inclusive, equitable and low carbon business ecosystems that operate within planetary boundaries. This means environmentally sustainable business practices; patterns of employment that reflect the population of the region and place; localizing the economy and more democratic alternatives to ownership and management.

We work to understand the forms of governance, finance, technological innovation and economic participation which can shift the economy in the direction of inclusive, equitable and low carbon business ecosystems. Based in a civic university, our work necessarily includes considering the role of education and training in assessing current practices, disseminating our research and encouraging new ways of thinking and acting

Past and current projects include working with:

Social Enterprise UK, Toyota, NHS, Innovate UK, the Black South West Network, AHRC Creative Industries Clusters Programme, and GCRF funding on solar and bio-energy cooling for agri-business in Rwanda. A range of current projects address access to cash, circular food systems, community development, employee ownership trusts, co-working and union co-operatives.