Jem Bendell

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Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership and founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria.[1] He regularly comments on current affairs and approaches that may help humanity face climate-induced disruption.


Bendell graduated from Cambridge University in 1993, beginning his career at the World Wide Fund for Nature. There, he helped to create the Forest Stewardship Council. He specialised on relationships between NGOs and business, pointing out the power inequities and the way in which business agendas tend to prevail over those of the non-profit sector.[2]

Changing strategy, he became involved in direct action and the anti-globalisation movement, later writing a United Nations report on the conflict between business and civil society.[3] After his time consulting for the United Nations, Bendell joined Cumbria University and founded IFLAS, soon expanding his focus to monetary reform and complementary currencies.[4]

In the 2017 United Kingdom general election, he provided strategic communication advice to the Labour Party.[5]

In July 2018 he published the paper entitled Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy. Deep Adaptation is the concept purporting that humanity needs to prepare for fundamental disruption of its current civilisation paradigms, due to climate change, with a likelihood of complete societal collapse. Unlike Climate Change Adaptation, which aims to adapt societies gradually to the effects of climate change, Deep Adaptation is premised on accepting abrupt transformation of the environment as a consideration for making decisions today.

Bendell contributes occasionally to Open Democracy[6] and the blog of The Guardian.[7]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  1. ^ "IFLAS - University of Cumbria". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  2. ^ In the Company of Partners, ISBN 9781861340177, Accessed 20 March 2019
  3. ^ Barricades & Boardrooms: A Contemporary History of the Corporate Accountability Movement, SSN 1020-8216, Accessed 20 March 2019
  4. ^ "IFLAS - Jem Bendell, PhD - University of Cumbria". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  5. ^ James, Sam Burne. "Spinners, secondees and speechwriters: the people behind the General Election campaigns". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Author Page". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  7. ^ Bendell, Jem (18 April 2013). "Is sustainable business still possible?". Retrieved 23 May 2019.

External links[edit]