Here are some of our projects...

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Building coalitions and processes to support community empowerment through renewable energy and livelihood solutions

This project is investigating community-scale renewable energy electrification initiatives in Indonesia. The project will determine how community-scale renewable energy initiatives can be developed in remote and regional contexts to support local needs and aspirations with appropriate technologies and complementary, sustainable livelihoods. Through collaborative activities involving multiple stakeholders, the project will establish a template process bringing community organisations together with industry, government, and research institutions to identify and implement local solutions within wider economic and regulatory frameworks. This research is funded by the Australia-Indonesia Centre, and involves the University of Melbourne, Bandung Institute of Technology, Monash University, Paramdina University, and the NGO IBEKA (People-centred Institute for Business and Economy).

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Developing a sustainable eco-enterprise for community benefit and climate resilience in Taveuni, Fiji

The central objective of the project is to support the development of a benefit-sharing scheme for climate resilience activities, utilising the funds derived from a sustainable sea cucumber harvesting program, an industry that has been subject to overfishing and governance challenges. The project will involve a community-oriented social enterprise Going Green Enterprises Ltd. (GGE) and an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) Climates.

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SEEDS OF SUSTAINABILITY: LEVERAGE POINTS AND THE GROWTH OF INTEGRATED VALUE IN NICHE ORGANIZATIONS

Catalysing and facilitating the transformation of complex systems to more sustainable states is an urgent task. However, research and practical agendas often focus on shallow leverage points (e.g. taxes, substitution, offsetting, introducing buffers or end of process control) rather than targeting changes to the underlying causes of unsustainability. There is a growing body of literature and practice focussing on alternate methods of value creation in the form of “seeds”, organisations or initiatives that include ideas from outside of the dominant ways of thinking and doing. These ideas are by their very nature niche, but have the potential to provide the seeds of widespread meaningful and permanent sustainability transformations by harnessing deeper leverage points (e.g. system design, intent, and values). This PhD project is based in this research agenda, exploring the idea that a focus on deep leverage points can be used to more effectively identify and grow niche organisations that are operating in a space where thriving social-ecological systems and organisational success are one and the same.


Completed Projects

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  • Building a typology of best practice Social Impact Assessment: a study of community-based agreement-making in the resource sector in Weipa, Queensland, Australia
  • Understanding governance architectures, community leadership and cultural diversity in Java, Indonesia
  • Modelling a renewable and energy independent community in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia
  • Assessing climate change impacts to nature-based tourism in the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
  • The potential of grassroots sustainability movements to address a social justice agenda: A Case Study of the Transition Town Movement in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia