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Personal profile



Helen was selected twice to participate for EPSRC sandpits. The first, chosen as one of twenty five from one hundred and fifty applicants to participate in the December 2010, Transport Grand Challenge: Travel Behaviour, Habits and Practice Sandpit. As a result of the sandpit Helen was part of the top-rated multi-institutional Disruption Project. The second was an experimental version of the sandpit process, which instead of being run in a face-to-face environment was facilitated digitally within a virtual world. Helen was selected as one of sixteen from eighty five applicants to attend in July 2012 the creativity greenhouse entitled, Sustainable Society: Achieving work-life balance in a digitally dependent world. This resulted in top-rated 2 year Digital Brain Switch project.

She then went onto lead the Inclusive Supply Chain work package as part of The Open University’s International Development and Inclusive Innovation strategic research area (SRA). 

Helen has continued to work on research projects at Coventry University, including the Innovate UK Community Energy Platform for Energy (CAPE) project, the Monetary Advice Service, What works? project and the EIT KIC Raw Materials, RemanPath project on remanufacturing.

She is also academic lead for the impact cases for the REF within the Centre for Business in Society. Working with colleagues to identify and develop impact cases, supporting them in writing and evidence collection for the case studies

Area of Expertise:

My area of expertise is in behaviour change, particularly towards sustainable behaviours. I have a particular interest in the role of community in supporting this change, both at the local level and within a smart cities environment.

Research Interests

Novel and innovative data collection techniques; The use of technological interventions to support behaviour change; Behaviour change communication techniques and social marketing to encourage sustainable behaviour; Altering personal consumption practices through behaviour change to reduce the impact on the environment; The role of community in supporting change.

Vision Statement


I am inspired by the realisation that we need to reduce our impact on the environment to help manage the finite resources. Traditionally the solution has been to tackle these problems with top-down large scale, often technological solutions, rather than looking to the individual or community to make small changes that cumulatively could have substantial impacts. Harnessing the power of small scale change I see as an important way to bring about change.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctorate, Using Innovation and Business Models to Analyse the Organisational Embedding of Travel Plans, Open University

1 Oct 200612 Dec 2009

Award Date: 15 Jan 2010

Degree, BSc Hons 1st Class (Open), Open University

1 Feb 198815 Oct 2005

Award Date: 31 Jan 2005

Postgraduate Diploma, Diploma in Design and Innovation, Open University

1 Feb 199915 Oct 2002

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

External positions

Visiting Research Fellow, Open University

30 Nov 201728 Feb 2020


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