About me


Hi, my name is Dr Stephen McGrail. I am an interdisciplinary researcher and (occasional) consultant with a diverse background in professional services, the research sector, and sustainability-oriented management consulting. I currently work at Monash University as a post-doctoral Research Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, working on an ARC Discovery Grant project (working project title “Facilitating the decline of unsustainable urban infrastructure”). I recently was awarded my PhD by UTS for a study of the roles and use of prospective knowledge practices in sustainability-related transitions, which I completed at the Institute for Sustainable Futures.

Prior to joining Monash University I was a Research Fellow at Swinburne University (based at the Institute for Social Research [which is now defunct]), a Research Assistant at the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) at the University of Melbourne, and a Sessional Lecturer at Swinburne University in the Faculty of Business. My earlier non-academic career was in management consulting (sustainability advisory focus) and other professional services (marketing and advertising focus).

I bring to this work extensive management consulting and sustainability advisory work experience, as well as applied social research and evaluative inquiry experience, and a passion for learning. My early career experience in the advertising industry and as a freelance writer enables me to incorporate strategic communications.

Blog aims: This blog was originally used to reflect on my PhD journey, share emerging lessons and related insights, and comment on related issues, debates and events that emerge from time to time. Currently I aim to provide an eclectic mix of information on, and thoughts about, change towards sustainability with a focus on knowledge practices and related purposeful interventions (and their effectiveness). I have a particular interest in forward-looking participatory processes (which I term “prospective exercises”), related future-oriented aspects such as expectations, and intervention/program evaluation. The blog will also occasionally comment on issues relevant to sustainability-oriented policies and actions, such as debates related to energy policy or climate policy, and on trends in environmental movements.

For further information on my research and writing see the ‘Research statement’ and ‘Key themes and publications’ pages.

Preferred contact via email: stephen.mcgrail@gmail.com