Dr John Blewitt


Work & Organisational Psychology Group

John Blewitt

John Blewitt studied Politics, History and Sociology at UCW Aberystwyth; Film and Television at the Polytechnic of Central London and Education at the Universities of Greenwich and Huddersfield. He has extensive experience of Adult, Further, International and Higher Education and has worked at the universities of Huddersfield, Bradford and Exeter. He is presently Co-Director of the MSc Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Aston where he is currently developing an online distance learning version of the course. He teaches Media Communications, Sustainability Theory and Practice for Engineers, the Sociology of Risk and Research Methods. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Communication and Education, a founding member of the International Environmental Communication Association(IECA), a Distinguished Schumacher Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Higher Education Academy.

Position: Senior Lecturer in Sustainability and Media Communications 
Tel: + 44 (0)121 204 4284
Mob: 07733 179 820
Email: j.d.blewitt@aston.ac.uk
Room: SW 8th floor, Room 007


His research interests are in the areas of urban sustainable design, new media affordances and sustainability communications particularly environmental and political documentary film. In 2011 he edited a Special Issue of Environmental Education Research(Vol.17, No.6) on the media, animal conservation and environmental education. He has also been a member of the Spectacular Environmentalisms Group which undertook an event ethnography of the 2010 Wildscreen International Environmental and Wildlife Film Festival. Their collective responses to the award winning film Green can be found on: http://studyinggreen.wordpress.com/ . He is currently exploring the relationship between new media, cultural heritage and urban sustainability and is working closely with staff developing the new Library of Birmingham, The Royal Society of Arts and Be Birmingham.

He is also a Library of Birmingham 'Face' and is currently exploring the redesign and reimagining of public library spaces as catalysts for local democracy, social inlcusion and economic well-being. He has given a number of public talks on this subject including oner at the Flemish Ministry of Education conference on Media and Learning called Digital Media and the Right to the City.

As editor for The Converging World book series John is also interested in educationally innovative work that embraces social and environmental justice, new media and community based action. He is currently working on a second edition of his best selling textbook Understanding Sustainable Development (Routledge-Earthscan) due to be published in 2014. He blogs on communication, sustainability and matters relating to the future of the public library. See his latest piece on The Conversation.

He is currently co-editing a Special Issue of the International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development. Please see Call for Papers: Smart, Sustainable and Just: higher education and the remaking of the right to the city.



Book Chapters

  • Blewitt, J. (forthcoming 2014) 'Digital Media and the Right to the City'. Atkinson, H. & Wade, R. (eds), in: The challenge of sustainability: linking politics, education and learning. Policy Press, Bristol.
  • Blewitt, J. (forthcoming 2014) 'Resilient and sustainable cities and communities for the 21st century'. C Schmitz-Hoffmann, B Hansmann & D Palekhov (eds), in: Voluntary Standards Systems – A Contribution to Sustainable Development. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
  • Blewitt, J. (2013) 'Contesting the market model of HE' in Sterling, S., Maxey, L, & Satterthwaite, J. Eds The Sustainable University. London, Earthscan.
  • Blewitt, J. (2011) "Lifelong Learning and Environmental Sustainability" in Jackson, S. Ed Lifelong Learning and Social Justice: communities, work and identities. Leicester, NIACE.
  • Blewitt. J. (2009) "New Media Literacy: communication for sustainability" in Stibbe, A. Ed The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy. Totnes, Green Books.

Journal Articles

  • Cooper, S.M., Parkes, C.L. and Blewitt, J.D. (2014) Can Accreditation Help a Leopard Change its Spots? Social Accountability and stakeholder engagement in Business Schools. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol.27, no.2, pp.
  • Blewitt, J. forthcoming 2014) Public Libraries and the Post Democratic Society. Power and Education, Vol. , no. , pp.
  • Blewitt, J. (forthcoming 2014) Public Libraries and the Right to the [Smart] City. International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development, Vol.5, No.1
  • Blewitt, J. (2013) What's New Pussycat? A Genealogy of Animal Celebrity. Celebrity Studies, Vol.4, No.3 , pp.325-338
  • Blewitt, J. (2012) Reimagining the moral economy of the ‘people’s university’. Power and Education. Vol. 4, No.1, pp.107-117.
  • Blewitt, J. (2011) Critical Practice and the Public Pedagogy of Environmental and Conservation Media Environmental Education Research, Vol.17, No.6, pp.719-734.
  • Parkes, C. & Blewitt, J. (2011) “Ignorance was bliss, now I’m not ignorant and that is far more difficult” - Transdisciplinary Learning and Reflexivity in Responsible Management Education. Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol.2, No.2. pp.206-221
  • Blewitt, J. (2010) The Green Campus is also a Virtual One: Living Sustainability in a Connected World. International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, Vol.9, No.4, pp.392-400.
  • Blewitt, J. (2010) New Worlds Rising? The View from Transdisciplinary Lifelong Learning. Policy Futures in Education, Vol.8, No.5. pp.605-607.
  • Blewitt, J. (2010) Higher Education for a Sustainable World. Education + Training, Vol.52, No.6/7, pp.477-488.
  • Blewitt, J. & Gambles, B. (2010) The Library of Birmingham Project: lifelong learning for the digital age. Journal of Adult Continuing Education, Vol.16, No.2, pp.52-66.
  • Blewitt, J. (2010) Deschooling Society? A Lifelong Learning Network for Sustainable Communities, Urban Regeneration and Environmental Technologies. Sustainability, 2, pp. 3465-3478.

Think Pieces

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research