Gill Seyfang

Reader in Sustainable Consumption, and leader of 3S’s Sustainable Consumption strand. I lead a programme of research on ‘grassroots innovations’ for sustainability. I am an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist, linking sustainability policy agendas with ‘new economics’ theories and cutting-edge community-based practice.

My main research interest is around grassroots innovations, which are community-led initiatives which challenge mainstream consumer culture. They aim to establish new systems of provision (for food, housing, money, transport, energy etc) and incorporate both social and technological innovation for sustainability. These collective endeavours embody deep green social and ethical values and experiment with alternative options for lifestyles and community-building which aim to reduce consumption levels.

I investigate the potential of these grassroots innovations to grow and spread from their green niches and influence wider society. To do this, I examine emerging alternatives to mainstream systems of provision. My work evaluates and demonstrates their contribution to a challenging ‘new economics’ vision of sustainable consumption and wider ‘low-carbon lifestyles’.

My teaching on sustainable consumption has won numerous awards for excellence, and I am a National Teaching Fellow (2017). I develop inspiring and creative, innovative teaching using performing arts pedagogies and ‘comedy in the classroom’.

As well as sustainable consumption, I also teach aspects of environmental social science across the teaching programme, relating to lifestyles, sustainable development and social change. From 2015-18 I was Course Director for our BA Geography degree.

I am the author of ‘The New Economics of Sustainable Consumption: Seeds of Change’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and am currently co-editing a book on innovative teaching practice for sustainable consumption (Routledge, 2021).

3S strands:
Sustainable Consumption;
Transitions to Sustainability

TRANSIT (Transformative Social Innovation Theory)
CISE (Community Innovation in Sustainable Energy)
GICC (Grassroots Innovations: Community Currencies)
ESRC Seminar Series on Sustainability Transitions

PhD students:
Phedeas Stephanides (2012-2016): Crisis as opportunity? An ethnographic case-study of the post-capitalist possibilities of Crisis Community Currency Movements
Tina Blaber-Wegg (2011-2015)
Sara Skarp (2017- ): Sustainable waste systems and practices

Tel: +44(0) 1603 592956

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