UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Academic staff

Our team is dedicated to challenging current paradigms of short-termism, and realising pathways towards sustainable and inclusive prosperity through collaborative, cross-disciplinary research.

Academic Staff (PhD supervisors)

Christopher Harker

Associate Professor

Deputy Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity

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Konrad Miciukiewicz

Senior Teaching Fellow

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Jacqueline McGlade

Professor of Natural Prosperity, Sustainable Development and Knowledge Systems

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Sertaç Sehlikoglu

Senior Research Associate

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Onya Idoko

Co-Programme Lead for MSc Prosperity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Robert Costanza

Professor of Ecological Economics

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Ida Kubiszewski

Associate Professor in Global Prosperity

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Teaching Staff

Mara Torres Pinedo

Associate Lecturer

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Yuan He

Associate Lecturer

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Research Staff

Nikolay Mintchev

Research Associate

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Email: n.mintchev@ucl.ac.uk

Saffron Woodcraft

Executive Lead, Prosperity Co-Lab UK (ProCol UK) and Principal Research Fellow

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Hanna Baumann

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

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Email: h.baumann@ucl.ac.uk

Hannah Sender

Research Fellow

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Fatemeh Sadeghi

Research Associate

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Email: f.givi@ucl.ac.uk

Simon Nyokabi

Research Fellow (Ethicobots)

Email: n.nyokabi@ucl.ac.uk

Angus Armstrong

Professorial Research Fellow

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Email: angus.armstrong@ucl.ac.uk

Sumrin Kalia

Post-doctoral fellow (TAKHAYYUL)

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Email: k.sumrin@ucl.ac.uk

Zora Kostadinova

Research Assistant (TAKHAYYUL)

Email: z.kostadinova.12@ucl.ac.uk

Honorary Staff 

Jonathon Porritt

Visiting Professor


Jonathon was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984–1990) and Co-Chair of the Green Party (1980–1983), and is now a Non-Executive Director of Willmott Dixon Holdings. He has been Chancellor of Keele University since 2012. He’s a Trustee of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, and is involved in the work of many NGOs and charities.

Recent projects

Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, and an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. His most recent book, The World We Made, was published in 2013.

Justin Gest

Justin Gest is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2010),The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2016), and will soon publish Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change(Cambridge University Press, 2018) and The White Working Class: What everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2018). He has also authored many peer-reviewed articles, and provided analysis for BBC, CNN, The Guardian, NPR, Politico, Reuters, and Vox.

His work such as The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration takes an original look at the reasons behind the heightening levels of political marginality, illuminating the ways our current political economy is failing to deliver prosperous lives to many people. 

Maurizio Marinelli

Professor Maurizio Marinelli, Honorary Professor 

Professor Marinelli’s research is located at the crossroads of Chinese historical geography, politics, and society. The strategy underpinning his research is avowedly comparative, transcultural, and transnational. Through this interdisciplinary lens, he explores the socio-spatial transformation of China, as a means to engage with larger related universally experienced themes such as the production of space, aesthetic regimes of power, the role of cultural heritage (across time and space) in the construction of transnational identity, the creation of liveable and sustainable cities; globalising China and the discourse of ecological civilization. 

At IGP, Prof. Marinelli leads the Asia Prosperity Research Hub (APRH) whose aim is to critically engage with the conceptualisation of prosperity in Asia, and the relevant sustainable pathways to prosperity, understanding the economic and social value systems, while taking into consideration country-specific historical conjunctures and cultural features of the Asian countries. 

His research focuses on socio-spatial transformation and geographies of the urban, and he is currently also writing a new single-authored manuscript for Bloomington Press entitled Hong Kong: Markets, Street Hawkers and the Fight against Gentrification, which looks at the unique function of street markets as spaces of collective identity and socio-ecological prosperity, where bottom-up practices of democratization take place. 

Sabine Selchow

Visiting Senior Research Associate

Sabine is interested in the changing nature of global security, the (new) kinds of institutions and governance settings it brings out, and the responses to conflicts they enable. This includes a focus on the influential concepts and practices of 'risk' and 'resilience'. Her empirical research focuses on the EU, EU Member States and the US. At the IGP she brings this interest and expertise together with questions of global prosperity.

Rosi Braidotti

Professor Rosi Braidotti, Visiting Senior Research Associate

Rosi is a distinguished contemporary philosopher and feminist theoretician. Her theories of subjectivity, difference and sameness have heavily influenced contemporary thinking. Her current research concerns the human subject in a post-anthropological era, and ethical approaches to emergent forms of subjectivity.

Sandra Piesik

Dr Sandra Piesik is an award-winning architect, author and researcher specialising in technology development and transfer as well as the implementation of global sustainable legislation. She is the founder of 3 ideas Ltd and initiator of several RD&D groups and consortia including: R&D Group Ecosystems, Urban and Rural Resilience Consortium and the HABITAT Coalition. She is collaborating with the Paris Committee on Capacity Building of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN-HABITAT as a stakeholder in The Guiding Principles for Urban-Rural Linkages for Advancing Integrated Territorial Development, The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA), the European Space Agency. 

Her published work includes Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture (Thames & Hudson 2012) and she is the general editor of the encyclopaedia, HABITAT: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet(Thames & Hudson, Abrams Books, Flammarion, Editions Detail and Blume, 2017). This encyclopaediais the first contemporary global review of vernacular architecture carried out in the past twenty years.The culmination of years of specialist research, it gathers together an international team of more than one hundred and forty leading experts from fifty counties across a diverse range of disciplines to examine what the traditions of vernacular architecture, and its regional craftspeople around the world, can teach us about creating a more sustainable future. 

Noreena Hertz 

Noreena Hertz is a renowned thought leader with an impressive track record in predicting global trends. Her best-selling books, The Silent Takeover, IOU: The Debt Threat and Eyes Wide Open, are published in 23 countries. She advises a select group of the world's leading business and political figures on strategy, economic and geo-political risk, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, millennials and post-millennials, and sits on the board of Warner Music Group. Previously, Noreena served on Citigroup's Politics and Economics Global Advisory Board and RWE's Digital Transformation Board. 

Shahzad Ansari

Professor Shahzad Ansari is Professor of Strategy in the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include: institutional processes and diffusion of practices; social and environmental issues, technological and management innovations; value creation and new market development; offshoring and outsourcing; reputation management; and bottom-of-the-pyramid strategies. 

He has published in several leading academic journals, and he serves on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Review, Organisations Science, Journal of Managment Studies and Organisation Studies. He is a member of the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and a Fellow of St Edmunds College, Cambridge. 

Professor Ansari's areas of expertise in executive education include strategic management, technological and business model innovation, social innovation, and corporate social responsibility. He has contributed to executive education programs in many organisations. 

Michelle Baddeley

Professor Michelle Baddeley is Associate Dean - Research and Development, UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney and Honorary Professor at UCL's Institute for Global Prosperity. She arrived at I4C from a professorship in the Economics and Finance of the Built Environment at University College London. Before that she was Director of Studies (Economics) and Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, and lecturer for the Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge UK. She has a BA (Psychology) and Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Queensland, and an MPhil/PhD (Economics) from University of Cambridge. Her research focusses on applying insights from macroeconomics and behavioural economics across a range of contexts, including investment analysis, neuroeconomics, labour markets, housing, cybersecurity, migration/refugees, energy and the environment. She specialises in the analysis of herding and social influence applied to these and other themes.

Vanesa Castan Broto

Honorary Professor

Professor Broto's research focuses on possibilities to enhance the wellbeing of urban citizens through planning interventions and environmental management. This practical objective is inspired by an underlying  concern about how environmental problems unfold in context and how different perspectives may lead to environmental conflict. Prof. Broto is the principal investigator of the project ‘Mapping Urban Energy Landscapes’ (MUEL), funded under the Economic and Social Research Council programme ‘Future Research Leaders’. The objective of MUEL is to understand the relationship between energy use, access to services and spatial transformations. Such understanding may help to draw pathways for sustainable development in cities in the global south. The project is developing innovative methods for understanding the relationship between social practices and energy use through participatory mapping.

David Bent

David Bent is an adviser, social entrepreneur, and researcher who is passionate about putting the world on a sustainable footing. He has worked as an advisor on the Inclusive Economy for the Cabinet Office, and worked at Forum for the Future. 

Solveiga Pakštaitė

Honorary Lecturer

Solveiga is an inventor and entrepreneur with an industrial design background. She invented Mimica Touch, a patented temperature sensitive accurate food freshness indicator that reduces food waste and improves food safety. Solveiga is the Founder & Director of Mimica and was named MIT Technology Review's Inventor of the Year. She also is a founding board member of Fast Forward 2030 and consults on innovation projects for leading consumer and technology companies.

Matthew Davies

Honorary Associate Professor

Dr Davies' research explores issues around prosperity, society and the environment. He is especially interested in the management of landscapes, ecological diversity, climate, and questions of sustainability, resilience and regeneration. Most of his work has focussed on agricultural systems in Eastern Africa and has examined community practice and knowledge both historically and anthropologically, often employing a perspective known as historical ecology. This has involved analyses of the spatial, material and temporal dynamics of farming systems, including understandings of soils, crops, irrigation, exchange networks and forests/vegetation. Dr Davies has also explored histories of failed external 'development' and his work is increasingly drawn towards wider analyses of food systems, agro-ecology, food sovereignity, farmer innovation and intersections with nutrition and health. His work often employs practices of physically mapping the landscape and he works closely with local Citizen Scientists within a trans-disciplinary framework. Much of this work aims to facilitate processes of co-design to reshape practice and policy.

George Melios

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

George has completed a PhD in Economics and his research focuses on topics of applied political economy, institutions and development. He studies trust, corruption, legacies of violence and migration. 

Elisabetta Pietrostefani

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Elisabetta has a PhD in Planning Policy and Urban Economics and her research mainly focuses on evaluating the effects of urban development in multiple geographies. She has analysed the effects of compact city and density policies, affordable housing, conservation planning and most recently urban well-being and inequality. 

Sam Lunn-Rockliffe

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Penny Bernstock

Honorary Research Fellow

Dr Penny Bernstock was previously Professor of Urban and Community Studies and Head of Urban and Community Studies at the University of West London and prior to this Head of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of East London and Reader in Urban Regeneration, where she led the Centre for East London Studies. She has substantial experience in the design and leadership of innovative social science informed undergraduate and post graduate programmes that are practitioner focussed and underpinned by an inclusive curriculum. She has published extensively on a range of social policy issues. She is an expert on the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Project. Her current research focus is on housing and employment on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where she is exploring ways to promote good growth/inclusive regeneration that provides sustainable livelihoods for existing low-income communities in the legacy boroughs. She is currently Co-Chair of TELCO’s (founding chapter of Citizens UK) Olympic Strategy group where they are campaigning to ensure that key legacy commitments around jobs and housing are met. Her research with TELCO was utilised as an impact case study for REF 2020.

With the current focus on levelling up she argues that policy makers have much to learn from the regeneration of East London. The area has benefitted from unparalleled investment and the main beneficiaries have been professional groups. If we are to deliver regeneration that results in improved living standards, then new approaches are required such as community led and community land trust housing that is genuinely affordable and remains affordable in perpetuity.

Dr Penny Bernstock is currently working on a conference about Olympic legacies alongside ProCol UK lead Dr Saffron Woodcraft and with Urban Lab and is working with TELCO on an action Research project exploring the impact of inadequate housing on Educational Experience.