Dr Geraldine BRENNAN (Ireland/South Africa)

Geraldine’s applied research focuses on supporting manufacturers and their supply-chains transition to a zero-carbon economy through designing and piloting circular business models and systems innovation demonstration projects.

PhD in Strategic Management and Sustainable Development

Current position: Circular Economy Lead at Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), Ireland

Research focus: circular economy, circular business models, sustainable supply-chains; sustainable production systems; systems change

Geraldine has lectured extensively on circular business models and scaling circular innovation. She holds honorary visiting positions at Imperial College London, Middlesex University Business School, and with the United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity.

2016-2019 Research Fellow, United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity
2016            Visiting Researcher at Centre for Entrepreneurship, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Researcher, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2015):

Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Research focus: understanding the implications of power dynamics for sustainable value creation in inter-organisational relationships: a business ecosystem case study

While, to many, business and ecology may not go hand-in-hand, for Geraldine Brennan, the relationship can be mutually beneficial. She researches the various ways in which business can learn from natural models and, subsequently, become more sustainable.

The scale of the global sustainability challenge that we are facing means that it cannot be solved by scientists alone. Rather, scientific researchers must work alongside business to develop an integrated, innovative response. Similarly, Geraldine Brennan’s novel PhD bridges various management theories and sustainability science in order to interrogate and draw attention to the link between power dynamics and sustainable value creation. She believes that, by raising businesses awareness of how power-dynamics are undermining their sustainable value creation, these companies will be better enabled to contribute to a positive role in creating a sustainable society.

Geraldine’s research began as a critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses companies found by employing sustainability theories from natural systems into their business practices. One such system is circular material flows in food webs and biological ecosystems which highlights turning waste into a resource. Her research offers a unique appraisal of business practices through a critical approach to the use of ecological models. Geraldine says, “My interdisciplinary research makes both a theoretical contribution and has real-world impact by bringing to prominence the fact that power dynamics in inter-organisational relationships are hindering organizations’ ability to optimise sustainable value creation with their stakeholders.”

Having already participated in projects in London, Zurich and Sydney, Geraldine is very capable in communicating her ideas on a variety of platforms and collaborating across borders. The Green Talents Forum will be another excellent opportunity for Geraldine to showcase and develop her ideas. She believes that the experience in Germany will be valuable to her research because of the country’s active promotion of inter-disciplinary research on sustainable development.

The jury praised Geraldine’s capable grasp of diverse disciplines and her unique model to combine scientific research and business management.