Mike Jones trained as a wildlife ecologist in Zimbabwe and was employed by Zimbabwe's Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. Much of his work over a period of 25 years was focused on large mammal population monitoring, sport hunting management, rangeland ecology, protected area management planning, community-based natural resource management and environmental assessment.
Mike began a second career in conservation in 1995, leading community-based natural resource management programs for different small US-based non-profit organisations, working with farmers, foresters and fishermen in a number of countries within southern and eastern Africa. This work also entailed engagement with farmers and ranchers in the United States in various projects that enabled peer-to-peer learning among natural resource practitioners on two continents. The purpose of this work was to improve the capacity of natural resource managers on private land and enable them to share authority to manage natural resources with central government agencies. The work was founded on experience with Zimbabwe's wildlife devolutionary wildlife policy that had demonstrated the ability of farmers and ranchers to manage their wildlife effectively and develop wildlife production as a sustainable form of land use and livelihood.
In 2009 Mike moved to Sweden where, as an associate of the Resilience Alliance, he occupied an unpaid position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, developing networks of practitioners willing to experiment with the application of social-ecological system science to natural resource stewardship. With its holistic view of nature in the context of complex adaptive systems, models based on social-ecological system theory provide a new and more useful way of understanding and managing change in living systems than previous approaches based on linear models.
Mike Jones leads the Resilience Thematic Group in IUCN's Commission on Ecosystem Management and was until 2016 a visiting scholar at the Wallowa Mountain Institute in Oregon US, where he worked as a facilitator and trainer with a variety of agricultural universities and land management agencies in the application of resilience science to planning and policy processes.
Mike's work at CBM includes teaching complex systems and social-ecological systems thinking in the Society and Environment course of the Master's in Sustainable Development programme; linking CBM scientists to opportunities for international collaborative research; developing an interdisciplinary network of scientists interested in applying social-ecological system thinking to landscape scale action research projects; and enhancing teaching methods for sustainable development. Mike's research is focused on synthesising scientific papers for policy audiences.
2015 - ongoing. Society and Environment Course of the Masters in Sustainable Development Program Course 2015 - 2021. Co-leader and lecturer providing a series of lectures, seminars and practical sessions on the application of Complex Systems tools for solving sustainable development problems.
2018 – ongoing. Introduction to Sustainable Development Course in the Masters in Sustainable Program at Uppsala University. Lecture: History of Development and its Environmental Impacts.
2018 - 2019. Introduction to Sustainable Development Course in the Masters in Sustainable Program at Uppsala University. Lecture and practical: Wicked Problems: Social Complexity in Sustainable Development
2018 - ongoing. Our Natural Resources Course in the Masters in Sustainable Program at Uppsala University. Lectures:
Forest Ecosystems and Resources
Soils and Sustainable Development
Agriculture and Food Security
2019 – ongoing. Animal Welfare and the UNSDGs PhD Summer School. Course co-leader and lecturer.
2020 – ongoing. Naturresursförvaltning Undergraduate Course at SoL. Lectures on Natural Resource Management and Climate Change
2021 Rural Development in the Global South PhD Course 2021. Lecture: Wildlife and rural development in Zimbabwe: a systems-based reflection on 60 years of change.
My research involves transdisciplinary engagement with international communities of scientists and practitioners. Current work includes:
Preparing a collection of cases describing landscape governance for transformative change using the Social-ecological System Assessment and Transformation (SESAT) framework
Beavers as agents of transformation in agricultural landscapes for Nature-based Solutions to societal challenges
Support to IUCN for the development and application of Nature-based Solutions
“Beyond sustainability: radical transformation through systems thinking” with Brock University, Toronto, Canada.
Tess Marie Burroughs 2022 Changing the Stories We Live By: Revolutionizing the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation Through Transformative Conservation. Master Thesis in Sustainable Development, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
Emma Stickball Carlsson 2021 Farmers perspective’s on the frictions and tractions of regenerative agriculture in Sweden. Master Thesis in Sustainable Development, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
Giulia Rossi 2021 Agroecology and assessment of Campi Aparti transformative potential. Master Thesis in Sustainable Development, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
Margaret Ojochide Aligbe 2021. Use of plastic bags in Lagos, Nigeria. Master Thesis in Sustainable Development, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
Yuru Yang 2021 Securing lithium supply for a cleaner energy consumption pathway: A systems thinking on supply disruptions. Master Thesis in Sustainable Development, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
Ester Renkel 2019 Textiles from Ethiopia: Applying Sida's market system approach M4P for sustainable Swedish sourcing. Master Thesis in Sustainable Development, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
Guy Finkil 2019 Paradoxical Permaculture? – The mainstreaming of permaculture in Sweden. An analysis of discursive practices in the niche-regime interaction. Master Thesis in Environmental Science, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, .
Ninja Tunbjer 2019 From being worried about the climate crisis, to reducing or quitting traveling by air and what Tågsemester and Vi håller oss på jorden has meant for this behavior change. Independent Project in Environmental Science - Master’s thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.