details on – cv-joeravetz-feb2019

Joe Ravetz Associates is a flexible and creative consultancy resource, operating in tandem with the academic and policy work of Joe Ravetz.  I/we offer a custom-made service to clients / sponsors who are committed to moving forward the state of the art: on foresight and futures studies: sustainability and resilience in urban and economic development and environment/climate issues: and on new directions in organizational change, knowledge management and policy / business model design.

I/we can also provide urban design concepts, planning participation, development briefs etc. These are based on previous experience (1983-1997), as an architect in practice, with special experience in community architecture and development.

A wide range of expertise from institutions and networks can be mobilized:

–          Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy  ( ), the School of Environment Education and Development, University of Manchester ( , and the Manchester Institute for Innovation Research (

–          SAMI Consulting, a premier resource on enterprise planning and organization change (

–          Other networks include the International  Creative Cities Laboratory ( )

Experience and interests include –

  • Policy studies: assessment and evaluation methods and applications: new governance and participation models: transition planning and management: indicators and indices.
  • Foresight, futures and information studies: foresight and scenario methods, information technology applications, science policy / knowledge management, and innovation studies.
  • Environment-development studies:  ecological & other footprint measures: 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.
  • Synergistics studies: a unique and trans-disciplinary approach to understanding and mapping the evolution of human value systems, which combine economic, environmental, social, cultural, political and spatial relationships.

Some recent initiatives

  • ational program for sustainable urban development: JR is running capacity building program in Helsinki for the Finnish Environment Agency –
  • Commissioned on ‘the Future of Urban Ecosystems’ for the UK Foresight Future Cities project:
  • Member of the winning team of the world’s 2nd largest economics prize (!!)
  • Presentation to RCUK conference on Transport Futures, Imperial College Business School: ‘Social transport intelligence: self-organizing value chains for smarter cities & citizens’: for the Research Councils UK Sustainable Society Network+ (SSN+) and the New Economic Models in the Digital Economy network (NEMODE)
  • Keynote presentation, with interactive visual techniques, to art-science-policy conference on ‘Facing Extinction’: at University of Creative Arts, Farnham:
  • the Sustainable Consumption Institute’s first relaunched Seminar is with Joe Ravetz, entitled – “Low-carbon synergy and social intelligence – the internal logic of a transition pathway?”:
  • Organized international workshop at the World Urban Forum 2014, Colombia, on the ‘Cities Prosperity Index’ (CPI),
  • Appointed as scientific advisor to the Municipality of Naples
  • Appointed as scientific advisor to the Municipality of Vellore, Tamil Nadu
  • Expert advisor to UN-Habitat Secretariat of the ‘Cities Prosperity Index’ (CPI), with workshop at the United Nations Middle East Regional Centre, Tehran.
  • Nominated as expert representing the British Academy, for the European Commission Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups, on themes related to sustainable development.
  • Keynote for Royal Town Planning Institute conference:  “The urban-rural challenge:  planning for in-between spaces”. Leeds Metropolitan University.
  • Keynote lecture at the University of Sharjah, Dubai, UAE, School of Architectural Engineering, on ‘a synergistic approach to built environment design’.
  • Launched the results of the National Research Foresight in Mauritius on 21st March, with the Minister for Education & Science and various expert working groups.
  • public lecture  at the Institute for Contemporary Arts, on: “inter-connected policy for inter-connected problems in healthy cities”.  Following this Joe Ravetz ran a ½-day expert workshop at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, with public health & related professionals.
  • Joint Co-Chair of the Smart Cities Roadmap, part of the Smart Cities & Communities European Innovation Partnership: building a ‘rolling agenda’ for IT-driven innovation in urban mobility, energy efficient housing and smart grid power –
  • Joe Ravetz gave the keynote address to the UN Habitat parallel event World Urban Forum international conference on Port Cities – Magnets for Sustainable Development,  Naples, Sept 2012

Joe Ravetz Profile

CV – Joe Ravetz – Sept 2015

In the creative ferment of the 1960-70s, new directions pointed to beyond the materialist capitalist / socialist debate.  Following various travels in Asia and Africa, I became active in community architecture, self-building, social enterprise, and many innovations which later came under the banner of ‘sustainability’.  With the Royal Institute of British Architects I promoted a ‘Community Development Charter’ for building collaboration in urban and rural planning. For the Rowntree Foundation I set out a model for new ecological settlements in the UK.  These led to the setting up of a major policy-research program with the NGO, the Town & Country Planning Association, to explore strategies for a ‘sustainable city-region’, aiming to put the Rio Summit and Local Agenda 21 principles into action.  ‘City-Region 2020’ was produced from this as the ‘world’s largest feasibility study’, with a detailed investigation of sustainability strategy in a large conurbation – exploring the inter-connections between sectors and socio-technical systems, with new thinking on alternative economic and political systems.

Since then I have played a role as Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy  at the University of Manchester. With a background as an builder, architect and planner, I am also a foresight trainer / consultant, with a sideline as a creative graphic facilitator (see

My main publications include ‘City-Region 2020’: ‘Environment and City’ (co-authored), and the forthcoming ‘Urban 3.0: creative synergy & social intelligence for the One Planet century’ (Earthscan / Routledge).  I am on the editorial board of Foresight Journal and Sustainable Mediterranean Construction; coordinator of the Greater Manchester Policy Exchange;  Principal at the SAMI strategy consultancy ( ; advisor to national / city governments in Mauritius and Naples (Italy);  and deliver training, seminars, consultancy, keynotes and reviews in many countries.

Ch1 - overview 1 - intro1 - v0.3 - 04-01-14

Further information

Institution page:

CURE working site & blog:

CURE archive site:


Joe Ravetz – brief bio


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’.  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 demonstrated in the forthcoming book ‘Urban 3.0: creative synergy and social intelligence for the One Planet century’ (Routledge / Earthscan). [1]  This provides new methods for mapping and design of complex multi-level systems, with applications to urban, economic, social and environmental agendas.  It sets out concepts for the ‘3.0 models’, for systems which are highly complex and inter-connected, with potential for self-organization, creative synergy and social intelligence.  This points to applications such as Finance 3.0, Ecology 3.0, Building 3.0 or Health 3.0, and the city as the hub of many combinations, as in Urban 3.0.

This wide-ranging research agenda now points to a strategic research program, including 4 main strands:

  • ‘Urban intelligence’: applied research on creative synergy and social learning, with a focus on built environment planning and design.
  • ‘Beyond sustainability’: applications of the ‘3.0’ models to challenges related to future cities: including topics such as climate change, ecosystems services, food systems, social welfare or public finance: and methods such as foresight, synergistic mapping, anticipatory governance.
  • ‘Synergistics studies’ as an innovative scientific field, building on complexity, transition and innovation theories, with many theoretical and policy applications, together with innovations in methods and tools.
  • ‘Synergistic informatics’: building on recent ICT prototypes for synergistic thinking, which point beyond the current ‘smart cities’ techno-paradigm towards ‘urban intelligence’.

This is a flexible agenda which is open to international collaborations with academic, policy, civil society or business partners. It could be focused more on teaching and capacity building, or more on pure research: it could steer towards fundamental or applied research, depending on interest from sponsors and users. Following the publication of ‘Urban 3.0’ in late 2014, I am open to ideas for the most suitable institutional base and funding streams for each of the above.

[1] Some early outputs & recent blogposts can be seen on: