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OPEN Fellow – Isabel Sebastian


PhD in Sustainable Futures Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies Bacherlor of Business

Interests & Passions

I am passionate about learning together with others and I find being in different cultures is the best way to opening my mind to new perspectives and worldviews. It helps me stay humble and connected to the bigger context of our shared planet.


Isabel is a social science researcher, systems thinker and sustainability educator at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), University of Technology Sydney (UTS) with a recently completed PhD in Sustainable Futures (March 2018). Isabel is also currently a Marie Curie Research Fellow at Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning since Oct 2021. Prior to her academic research and teaching experience, she had a 20-year professional career in nature-based tourism, international and sustainable development. She lived and worked in Australia, Luxembourg, Germany, India, Tajikistan and Bhutan, working in operational, management, planning, research, teaching and consulting roles. Isabel spent nine years in Bhutan between 2006 and 2015, in sustainable tourism and later conducting part of her PhD research there. Her PhD study explored wellbeing, happiness and sustainability in Bhutan and internationally using systems theory in culturally diverse settings. She has a Bachelor of Business from Victoria University, a Post-graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies from Macquarie University, a Certificate in Workplace Training and Assessment and an Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching. She was also a PhD Associate at the Environment and Sustainability Institute at Exeter University in the UK from November 2014 until March 2015. Her expertise include transformative sustainability science, systems thinking, transdisciplinary research, regenerative land management, Buddhist philosophy, transformative learning, individual and social change.

Why am I an OPEN fellow?

I am excited to be part of the One Planet Education Network to support organisations and individuals with new ways of thinking, being and doing to address the complex global and local sustainability challenges we are all facing.

How can I help change agents?

I am able to help with project design, stakeholder engagement processes, teaching and learning activiies taking a systems thinking approach to improve sustainability challenges.

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