Dr. Alison Shaw, Executive director, Community-centred Climate Innovation

Dr. Shaw has over two decades of experience leading cross-cutting climate change and sustainability science and policy research, and in mobilizing knowledge, developing tools and creating partnerships. She has worked as a scholar, a science-policy strategist, and a sustainability consultant and organizational coach. As Founder of FlipSide Sustainability, a consulting and coaching company, Shaw applied her research background to co-create with clients’ leading-edge practices at international, national, regional and local scales. Her efforts have focused on transformative change, encouraging policy makers and decision makers to understand climate change and sustainability as a profound and urgent socio-economic design challenge that requires engagement from all sectors and scales of governance.

More than twenty years ago, Shaw was the first authorized researcher to study science-policy interactions in the development of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers and Synthesis Reports (2001). She has since designed, led and managed large interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research teams focused on accelerating local climate solutions and community-scale sustainability, through the Local Climate Change Visioning Project (2006-2009), Meeting the Climate Change Challenge Project (2011-2013), and the Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiative (2018-2021). 

As Executive Director for ACT – Action on Climate Team, Shaw’s work on low carbon resilience (LCR) has gained her recognition as a resource for those seeking information on applying integrated and streamlined climate and sustainability solutions. She regularly contributes to the literature and scholarship on climate change and sustainability in decision-making. Under Shaw’s leadership, ACT has built upon the thought leadership and networks of co-founder and nationally recognized predecessor, Deborah Harford, and has strengthened further its reputation as a state-of-the-art research-to-practice hub. 

On May 15, 2023, Shaw joined SFU’s Office of the Vice-President, Research and International as the inaugural Executive Director for Community-Centred Climate Innovation, a critical research priority in SFU’s strategic research plan. As a leading sustainability and climate change scholar and practitioner, she will work to elevate and amplify climate change and sustainability partnership and co-creation opportunities, promoting the strengths of SFU as a higher education leader in mobilizing relevant knowledge for sustainable practices across all sectors to help us all go further faster.

Learn more about community-centred climate innovation