Professor Neil Powell is Professor of Sustainable Development with the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and Guest Professor at the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD), Uppsala University. He is also a Senior Research Associate at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). Prior to his appointment at USC, he was a Senior Research Fellow at SEI where he co-led the Transforming Governance Theme. He has also worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala and as a Senior Programme Officer, Department for Natural Resources and Environment, Water Division, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Stockholm.
Neil’s research, training and development action is geared towards addressing intractable issues and resource dilemmas in the context water resources and governance. The approach can be characterised as problem centred, and epistemologically heterogeneous. His present research examines governance inefficiencies and ambiguities in contexts characterised by abrupt environmental change and controversy. The applied objective of this research is to develop operation frames to understand how structures and stakeholder agency can best deployed to reconcile contemporary environmental challenges such as climate change adaptation and the provision of eco-system goods and services. Conceptually, and in the change processes he is part of, the following key frames feature in his work: water governance, social learning, action research, multi-stakeholder processes, intractability, dilemmas, agency, land use, livelihoods, ecosystem assessments and education for sustainable development (ESD).