People and Organisations that thrive within Ecological Limits
Post-growth (often called ‘Degrowth’) is a future-oriented response to the global Limits to Growth dilemma. Since we live on a planet with finite natural resources, our economies cannot continue to grow infinitely. While economic theories that advocate infinite growth have improved human well-being to a point, post-growth theorists recognise that:
Planetary limits (or, ‘boundaries’) will not allow economic and population growth to continue unbridled forever.
After a certain point, economic growth does not lead to further enhancement of well-being.
There is a lack of justice and equity in the definition and allocation of the artefacts of well-being within and among growth-dependent societies.
Therefore, I envision a future where economies and societies can find a way to thrive within ecological limits. The Post Growth Institute (2018) defines post-growth as “a worldview that sees society operating better without the demand of constant economic growth. It proposes that widespread economic justice, social well-being and ecological regeneration are only possible when money inherently circulates through our economy”.
I am both inspired and challenged by this dilemma. My research reflects my thoughts and ideas in response to these challenges.
RENEWABLE ENERGY ENTERPRISE
I research the strategies and business models used by (renewable) energy entrepreneurs and incumbent utilities, especially in the context of difficult institutional environments and societal pressure. This research program builds on my previous industry experience as a renewable energy Project Manager in Europe.
Within this program of research, I focus on the types and characteristics of sustainability business models and aim to deepen characterisation and analysis of green businesses and ventures, especially in emerging markets. This program of research has also developed into an interest in alternative business models to achieve sustainable development objectives, including future-oriented approaches such as degrowth.
I want learners to embrace not knowing, and to develop the confidence and comfort to ask difficult questions, to explore, experiment, critique and seek deeper underlying causes and potential solutions. I want them to feel inspired and empowered to act.
After all, “the great aim of education is not knowledge, but action” -Herbert Spencer.
In my discipline and context, I believe the most successful learning environments use case-based pedagogies. Case-based learning is a form of experiential learning, which connects management theory and practice by placing learners in the role of real-life people faced with difficult management decisions. I believe such environments enable the learner to engage in various learning experiences and accommodate different learning styles so that each individual can develop the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world.
BLENDED LEARNING AND THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM
Tertiary institutions use blended learning increasingly, but to be effective, blended learning must become more personalised, flexible and on-demand. In addition, when transitioning to a flipped classroom format, it is important not to assume students will automatically take responsibility for their learning and show initiative. I have successfully designed learning environments around combined blended learning and flipped classroom approaches.
I see the world as is, but also as it could be. I share my vision for Degrowth by writing this blog, and by engaging with businesses and communities to listen and facilitate change towards a sustainable future.
From my role as Director for the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) at The University of Queensland Business School, to my work on the IMPACT2030 Council of Australia and the North American Case Research Association (NACRA), I am privileged to work with friends and colleagues to lead and co-create ecologically and socially resilient spaces and institutions.
PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES
As a listener, researcher and consultant, I am privileged to receive opportunities to apply research to some of the real-world 'grand challenges' of our time. From my work with policymakers on the Dunedin City Council in New Zealand, to my leadership of renewable energy projects for the European Commission and the Japanese Ministry of Environment, it is a pleasure to apply academic knowledge to support the people and communities most in need of transformation towards a post-growth world.
INTERESTED IN MY WORK?
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