Gill Seyfang

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Bio

"I am a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Consumption, and 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.

I lead the Sustainable Consumption strand of the 3S (Science, Society and Sustainability) Research group in the School.

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. My research investigates the potential of these grassroots innovations to grow and spread from their green niches and influence wider society, examining alternatives to mainstream systems of provision, seeking to evaluate and demonstrate their contribution to a challenging 'new economics' vision of sustainable consumption and wider 'low-carbon lifestyles'.

I teach various aspects of environmental social science across the teaching programme, relating to lifestyles, sustainable development and social change.

I have recently led two research projects in this field, on complementary currencies (GICC) and community energy (CISE) (http://www.grassrootsinnovations.org). I am the author of 'The New Economics of Sustainable Consumption: Seeds of Change' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and a prize-winning paper on the Transition Towns movement in the UK, and am co-editor of the International Journal of Community Currency Research (http://www.ijccr.net).

I am a member of the UEA's Green Academy change team, a Higher Education Academy initiative to embed sustainability into all aspects of higher education. "