Barry Ness

Barry Ness

Senior lecturer

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Personal profile


Barry is the director of the local interaction platform in Skåne for the Mistra Urban Futures project, the Director of Studies of the PhD Research School at LUCSUS, and the editor-in-chief of Challenges in Sustainability (Librello Publishing).

His current research interests include inter- and transdisciplinary approaches for both comprehending and addressing complex sustainability challenges. He is also a researcher and work package leader for the Globally and Locally-sustainable Food-Water-Energy Innovation in Urban Living Labs (GLOCULL) project, focusing on creating an urban living lab approach for the food-water-energy nexus. Barry is also a project researcher in LUCID project and the TRANSFORM project (starting autumn 2018).

Past Research
Barry’s past research is diverse. Barry has been active with research on how simple, sustainable innovations can be more effectively diffused in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa, on knowledge systems around direct trade coffee production chains, and on the governance of large land acquisition projects in Africa.

His PhD research concentrated on understanding the variety of tools that exist for sustainability assessment, conceptualizing complex problems of sustainability based on scale and cross-scale interactions through the case of the sugar production system in Sweden. Early research included socio-economic analyses of municipal solid waste treatment systems, wastewater purification systems, and qualitative and quantitative modelling of food commodity systems.


Since 2003, Barry has coordinated and/or taught in a number of sustainability-related courses, especially at Masters and PhD levels. Teaching topic examples include inter- & transdisciplinarity, life-cycle assessment, EU agricultural policy, tools & frameworks in sustainability, scenarios & visioning, and research ethics.

He is currently course coordinator for the Sustainability Science course in the LUMES Master’s program and is the past coordinator for the Energy & Sustainability course. Barry has also taught in the Global Field Exercise (GFE) in the Global Leadership Initiative in Sustainability Science at the University of Tokyo. Barry has been the thesis supervisor for approximately 40 graduate students since 2004.


Much of Barry’s current research involves engagement with actors outside of academia. Currently, outreach efforts focus on how to improve the sustainability of craft beer production and consumption systems in southern Sweden, SustBeerLab, endorsed by Future Earth.

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Free keywords

  • sustainability science
  • interdisciplinarity
  • transdisciplinarity
  • sustainability assessmen
  • energy systems
  • urban living labs
  • frameworks
  • sustainable development goals


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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