About me

Background/Profile

Hi, my name is Dr Stephen McGrail. I am an interdisciplinary researcher with a diverse background in professional services (e.g. management consulting), the research sector, and other sustainability-oriented fields. 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”).

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 insights, and comment on related issues and events that emerge from time to time. Currently, I aim to provide an eclectic mix of information on, and thoughts about, contemporary ‘sustainability transitions’* with a focus on knowledge practices and related interventions (and their effectiveness). I have a particular interest in the use of forward-looking participatory processes (which I term “prospective exercises”), related future-oriented aspects such as expectations, and evaluation. The blog will also occasionally comment on broader topics relevant to sustainability-oriented action, such as debates related to climate policy and 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

*One definition of such ‘transitions’ is that “sustainability transitions are long-term, multi-dimensional, and fundamental transformation processes through which established socio-technical systems shift to more sustainable modes of production and consumption” (Markard et al., 2012, p.956)