Andrea Berardi


Andrea Berardi has more than 20 years experience in teaching, researching and building capacity for enabling sustainable communities. After achieving a number of qualifications in ecology (BSc), nature conservation (MSc) and environmental science (PhD), he has taught at the London School of Economics, University College London, Royal Holloway, and The Open University. His work has engaged communities from the Borneo and Amazonian rainforests; the floodplains of the Mekong and the Guianas; the savannas of East Africa and Latin America; and the coastal regions of southern Italy and Wales.

His main interests lie in facilitating grass roots approaches to ecological sustainability and social justice using an action learning process. The aim is to enable communities to collaboratively learn from their own practical experiences using local resources (rather than being told what to do from "experts" or relying on external support).

Andrea currently lives in Englefield Green, Surrey, with his wife and two children. Apart from working full-time as a lecturer for the Open University, he also tries to walk his talk through growing vegetables on several allotments, keeping hens, managing a woodland, having a low consumption lifestyle and participating in a range of activities locally and in support of the UK Green Party, CND, Amnesty International, and Greenpeace. 

My research focuses on developing socio-technological systems for supporting and promoting ecological sustainability and social justice. My approach is underpinned by systems thinking and practice and uses holistic, multidisciplinary and participatory methodologies. Recent funded projects include:

·   Co-investigator on COBRA (Community Owned Best practice for sustainable Resource Adaptive management in the Guiana Shield, South America

The aim of Project COBRA is to empower communities by building their own capacity so that they can:

- Surface current and emerging challenges;
- Identify their own solutions to these challenges;
- Record these solutions using visual technologies;
- Share their results with other communities;
- Implementing best practices from other communities.
- Demand that policymakers support community owned solutions.

Andrea has co-authored a Practitioner Handbook in order to allow other facilitators to build capacity within communities so that communities members themselves can identify and share their own solutions to current and emerging challenges.

Funder: European Commission Seventh Framework. (€1.9 million project led by Dr Jay Mistry, Royal Holloway, University of London)

·   Principal investigator on ECOSENSUS (Electronic/Ecological Collaborative Sensemaking Support System) (2005–2007). ECOSENSUS investigated the sociotechnical issues around developing collaboration tools for participatory environmental decision making amongst (a) marginalised natural resource users in Guyana, (b) professional 'experts' from different countries, and (c) key decision makers associated with managing ecosystems. This project was funded by the ESRC eSocial Science Centre (£45,000)

·   Co-investigator on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management in the North Rupununi, Guyana (2003-2008). The project produced an adaptive and enduring socio-ecological monitoring and management process for effective biodiversity conservation, capacity-building initiatives and livelihood support within the North Rupununi, Guyana. This project was funded by the Darwin Initiative (DEFRA) (£240,000) 

Andrea is a member of the following module teams at the OU:

Andrea has also taught as a visiting lecturer at a number of institutions around the theme of holistic thinking and sustainability both in the UK and abroad.

Andrea is external examiner for Schumacher College's MSc in Holistic Science.

[javascript protected email address]