Joe Ravetz is Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy at the University of Manchester. He has worked on strategic thinking for sustainable cities and regions, with interests in environment policy, urban development, new economics and governance, innovation and futures studies, systems and complexity science. With a background as an builder, architect and planner, he is also a foresight trainer / consultant, with a sideline as a creative graphic facilitator (see here).
His main publications include ‘City-Region 2020’: ‘Environment and City’ (co-authored), and the forthcoming ‘Urban 3.0: creative synergy and shared intelligence for the One Planet century’ (Routledge). Joe serves on the editorial boards of Foresight Journal and Sustainable Mediterranean Construction; coordinator of the Greater Manchester Policy Exchange; Principal at the SAMI strategic management consultancy; acting as advisor to national / city governments currently in Mauritius, Naples (Italy) and Vellore (India); and delivering training, seminars, consultancy, keynotes and reviews in many countries.
The over-arching theme is about inter-connection: Joe sees cities / regions not as boxes labelled ‘economics’ or ‘environment’, but rather as whole systems which evolve and interact – so it’s clear to him that we need new kinds of whole system thinking. His research programmes in CURE have included spatial development, economic development, resource modelling, environmental policy, energy / climate change, land / landscape studies, policy studies, etc. But the higher agenda is on the inter-connections, which can be explored via complexity science, transition and innovation studies, futures and foresight methods. These and similar methods help to enable creative synergy and urban intelligence – a starting point for a new kind of journey for the 21st century.