Personal profile

Biography

Resume

Joe Ravetz is the Leader of the Future-Proof Cities theme for the Manchester Urban Institute, and Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience.  He is author of 2 agenda setting texts:  the new ‘Deeper City: collective intelligence and the pathways from smart to wise’, and the previous ‘City-region 2020:  Integrated planning for a sustainable environment’.

 

As director of the global project Peri-cene  (peri-urbanization and climate-environment), this takes to practical application the ideas from 2 decades of studies:  sustainable cities and regions, foresight and transition management, climate / environment policy, social technology and economic development. From this Joe Ravetz developed the Synergistics mapping methods for collective intelligence, and design of transformative pathways.

 

He has advised policy (UNIDO, UN-Habitat, European Commission, many UK government & regional public agencies):  and also works with business and the third sector, as a Principal of the non-profit strategy / foresight firm SAMI Consulting.  As a former architect-planner he is a keen advocate of creative visual thinking, and foresight / futures methods for strategic planning and transformation. Joe Ravetz provides review and evaluation services for many academic bodies, together with keynotes and interactive workshops in many countries around the world. He is currently on the editorial boards of Urban Planning & Design & the Foresight journal, and visiting professor at the University of Baja California, Mexico, and the University of Brawijaya, Indonesia.

 

Joe Ravetz has now set up the  Collaboratorium for collective intelligence, a global online community, working at the frontiers of human systems development to map and design pathways ‘from smart to wise’.

Outlook

In all this the over-arching theme is about inter-connection: the reality of cities, not as boxes labelled ‘economics’ or ‘environment’, but rather as whole systems which evolve and interact. To respond to this we need new kinds of whole-system thinking. The CURE programs have to date included spatial development, resource modelling, environmental policy & management, energy / climate change studies, land / landscape studies, policy evaluation and participation. But the strategic agenda is more about the inter-connections between them: this can be explored via complexity science, transition and innovation studies, futures and foresight methods.   These and similar methods have informed a 2-decade intellectual journey, which began with exploration of the ‘inter-connectedness of things’, and ended with the landmark publication City-Region 2020.  Experience from practice then shifted the focus towards the ‘inter-connectedness of thinking’: the process of multiple value-generation between multiple stakeholders, and the potential for ‘creative synergy and urban intelligence’ in response to global challenges. All this is set out in the new book ‘Deeper City: collective intelligence and the pathways from smart to wise' (Routledge).

 

 

Research interests

The Synergistic City-Region programme runs an active portfolio of UK and EU funded research, with 5 main strands:

•    Foresight, futures and information studies: including foresight and scenario methods, information technology applications, science policy / knowledge management, and innovation studies.
•    Environment-development studies:  urban-regional modelling, alternative economic strategies, resource flows and externalities, business-environment issues:
•    Spatial development studies: spatial frameworks, landuse & infrastructure planning, urban design and policy analysis at local, regional and national levels.
•    Sustainable production & consumption studies: business-environment issues, heterodox economics, cultural consumption and place identity.
•    ‘Urban Synergistics’: an innovative and trans-disciplinary approach to understanding and mapping the evolution of complex inter-connected and multi-layer systems of social learning and intelligence, which combine economic, environmental, social, cultural, political and spatial relationships.  

 
Recent funded projects
 

DATES

From

 

To

SPONSOR / CLIENT

 

PROJECT TITLE

ROLE

2019

2021

UKRI – ‘Towards a Sustainable Earth’

PERI-CENE – Peri-urban climate & environment

P.I.

2018

2018

EPSRC Smart Cities Global South

Smart Wise Cities in India

P.I.

2018

2018

GMCA

Natural Course Water Governance

P.I.

2017

2020

JPI Urban Europe

Learning Loops in urban environment

Co-I

2017

2018

Manchester-Melbourne Collaboration

Fire & Flood: toward resilient cities

P.I.

2016

2019

Academy of Science Finland

BEMINE: – integrated visioning

Partner

2016

2018

ESRC Impact Acceleration

Metropolitan INnovation & Intelligence Lab (MINI-LAB)

P.I.

2015

2015

EC – DG Research & Innovation

Foresight study on Horizon 2020 Third Strategic Programme

Partner

2015

2015

DEFRA

Environmental Futures Horizon Scanning

Partner

2014

2015

Government Office of Science, Foresight Unit

Future of Greater Manchester

Partner

2014

2014

Government Office of Science, Foresight Unit

Future of Cities Foresight: commissioned report on ‘Urban Ecosystems’

P.I.

2014

2017

European Commission, DG Research, FP7

CASI: Common Assessment for Sustainability Innovation

Partner

2013

2013

European Commission, DG Energy (CEPS / GOPA)

Smart Cities & Communities Stakeholder Platform

Partner

2012

2013

EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Action

Manchester Energy Foresight

Lead

2012

2013

EPSRC KTA

Manchester Security Foresight

Lead

2012

2013

EU Occupational Safety & Health Agency (coord.SAMI)

Green Jobs scenarios project

Partner

2011

2013

Mauritius Research Council

Mauritius National Research Foresight Exercise

Lead

2011

2012

Natural England (coord.SAMI)

Scenarios for the Natural Environment 2060

Partner

2010

2012

European Commission, DG Research, FP7

IKNOW – interconnecting knowledge

Partner

2010

 

UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)

Foresight for Low Carbon Automotive Sector in Turkey & Eastern Europe

Lead

2010

 

DEFRA (coord.SAMI)

Future proofing for CAP reform trade negotiations

Partner

2010

 

European Commission, DG Trade

Trade impact assessment for the Andean & Libyan trade agreements

Partner

2008

 

Rockefeller Foundation / Institute for Alternative Futures

Foresight for Smart Globalization

Partner

2007

2012

European Commission, DG Research, FP6

PLUREL – ‘peri-urban land use relationships’

UK lead

2007

2009

Environment Agency (England & Wales)

Application of futures methods to policy intelligence

Lead

2007

2008

Welsh Assembly Government (WWF-Cymru)

One Planet Wales

Lead

2007

2008

World Wildlife Fund UK

Sustainable communities in the West Midlands

Lead

2006

2007

World Wildlife Fund UK

One Planet West Midlands

Lead

2006

2007

Yorkshire Forward (Regional Development Agency)

Leeds 2050

Partner

2006

2010

UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)

Technology Foresight: training & capacity building

Lead / Partner

2006

2011

EPSRC (SUE-2 program)

SUREGEN – Sustainable Urban Regeneration

Partner

2005

2009

WWF-UK

OPEN - One Planet Economy Network

Lead

2005

2008

South East England Development Agency / DEFRA

One Planet Economy Regional Assessment (OPERA)

Lead

2005

2008

World Wildlife Fund UK: Biffaward

Eco-Budget UK / One Planet Economy

Lead

2005

2007

Sustainability North West for  Biffaward

Eco-Region NW: An interactive toolkit for resource productivity

Lead

2005

2007

European Commission 6th  Framework Programme

EUROCOOP: European Cooperation for regional innovation strategies

UK lead

2005

2006

SE Regional Assembly

Stabilizing the Ecological Footprint in the SE Strategy

Lead

2004

2007

European Commission 6th  Framework Programme

INTELCITIES: ‘Intelligent Cities’

Partner

2004

 

University of British Columbia, Canada ,SDRI

Georgia Basin Futures Project

Expert

2004

 

Stockholm Environment Institute / North West Regional Association

A Preliminary Ecological Footprint of the NW Region

Partner

2004

2005

Ecosys / White Young Green Environmental Ltd /

ASSESS: benchmarking for env. business & waste management

Partner

2004

 

ONS (Office of National Statistics)

UK Material Flow Accounts: methodologies for TMR & overburden

Partner

2003

2006

European Commission 6th  Framework Programme

INSURE: regional sustainability indicators & systems dynamics model

UK lead

2003

2005

European Commission, 5th  Framework Programme

REGIONET – evaluation of regional sustainable development

UK lead

2003

2004

Environment Agency (England & Wales)

‘Scenarios’: futures studies methodologies & applications to policy& management

Lead

2003

2004

DEFRA (Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs)

DEFRA science Forward Look 10 year strategy

Partner

2003

2004

Stockholm Environment Institute / Ecosys / SEEDA

Taking Stock: a mass balance & footprint analysis of the SE Region

Lead

2003

 

NWRA - climate

Spatial implications of climate change

Lead

2003

 

ESRC & Institute of Alternative Futures,

Scenarios for rural economies & landuse

Sub/c

2003

 

Manchester City Council

Building Schools for the future: Ecological footprint appraisal

Lead

2002

2005

Environment Agency: with Cambridge Econometrics

REWARD - Regional & Welsh Appraisal of Resources & Development

Partner

2002

2004

Enviro-Centre / Biffaward

Intermodal transport for waste & recyclables

Lead

2002

2003

Irish Environmental Protection Agency

National Spatial Strategy: sustainable settlements modelling programme

Lead

2002

 

North West Regional Association

Sustainability communications framework

Lead

2001

2002

UK Countryside Agency

Sustainable Development in the Countryside Around Towns

Lead

2001

2002

Sustainability NW

Application of the Atlas NW

Lead

2001

2002

United Nations University Tokyo, Institute of Advanced Studies

Urban Environmental Transition – scaling from local to global

Expert

2001

 

EU-DG Environment / JRC-ISPRA (Sustainable Towns & Cities)

Review of Local Sustainability Indicators

Lead

2000

2001

RTPI

(Royal Town Planning Institute)

UK Spatial Planning Framework

Partner

1999

2000

Irish Environmental Protection Agency / University of Limerick

National Spatial Strategy: methodologies for sustainable settlements planning

Lead

1999

2000

Yorkshire & Humber Regional Assembly

Regional Climate Change Strategy Development

Partner

1999

 

EU-JRC-Ispra

Integrated assessment concepts & methods

Lead

1998

2001

EPSRC

Regional interactive Sustainability Atlas

Lead

1998

2000

SNW / NCBS / Biffaward

Regional resource flow audit

Lead

1997

2000

European Commission 4th Framework

Integrated Visions for a Sustainable Europe

UK lead

1997

1999

ESRC (Global Environmental Change Fellowship)

Integrated assessment & economic evaluation

P.I.


 

Teaching

 

Although mainly focused on research and policy applications, Joe Ravetz delivers a stream of training courses, seminars, and lectures around the UK and EU. Recent examples are the Foresight training course for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, ‘Visualization Workshops’ for the International Centre for Social Science in Vienna: the ‘Sustainable Environmental Management’ Siberian course for IDPM: the United Nations Habitat conference in Naples 2006: the UNEP Man & Biosphere Programme, MA in Sustainable Urban Development at Chalmers in Goteborg: Urban Institute in Dublin: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London: and many other UK engagements.

He has also taught at undergraduate and post graduate level in Manchester, and is currently supervising 2 Phd students, and advisor on 3 others.

Further information

Emails -  joe.ravetz@manchester.ac.ukjoe.ravetz@gmail.com

New book: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315765860  

General site: www.manchester.ac.uk/synergistics/

Collaboratorium (Collective Intelligence Lab):  www.manchester.ac.uk/synergistics/conversations/

COP26 – Climate-wise program: www.manchester.ac.uk/synergistics/climate-wise/

Creative visual thinking: www.urban3.net

Pursuits: visual thinking and drawing, running & tennis, camping, music.

Media availability: generally available for national / regional media. Contact joe.ravetz@manchester.ac.uk or (+44)(0)7719 233115

Experience: various press interviews, ranging from Guardian to Big Issue:

Expertise: future studies: climate change: One Planet agenda: sustainable cities and regions: sustainable regeneration, economic development: community participation, housing, transport, energy, waste issues.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Principal , SAMI Consulting

1 Jan 2010 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Urban Institute

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