Dr Gregory Borne

Dr Gregory Borne

Lecturer in Public Management

Plymouth School of Government (Faculty of Business)


Programme Manager - MSc Public Management
Programme Manager - BSc (Hons) Public Management and Business
Director - Plymouth Sustainability and Sufing Research Centre
Member of the Management Group Institute for Sustainability Solutions (ISSR)
Academic Liason Person/ Subject Specialist - International Studies -Foundation for Liberal and Management Education, Pune, India
Sustainability Education Developer (SED) School of Government, Plymouth University
Member external relations committee - School of Government
Member of the Ethics Committee -Faculty of Business 
Member, College of reviewers - Faculty of Business


November 2013
Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Performance (PGCAP)

October 2011
Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS)

Novermber 2006
PhD, ‘Sustainable Development: The Reflexive Governance of Risk’, University of Plymouth.

September 2001
MSc Social Research, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of Plymouth

December 2000
BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development (Upper Second), Open University

Professional membership

Fellow, LEAD International ( www.lead.org )
Society for the Environment Registered Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv)
Member, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS)
Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)
Member, Insititute of Environmental Science (MIEnvSc)
Member, British Sociological Association
Member, European Association for the Study of Science and Technology
Editorial Board, Sociological Research Online

Roles on external bodies

External Reviewer Journal 'Sustainability'

External Reviewer for Journal of Environmental Science and Policy

External Reviewer Engineering and Physcical Sciences Research Council

External Reviewer for Journal of Mixed Methods Research

Editorial Board, Sociological Research Online

Author for the Encyclopedia of the Earth

Author HuffingtonPost http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/gregory-borne/

Senior Research Fellow, Earth System Governance http://www.earthsystemgovernance.org/

Visiting Fellow, Center for Surf Research http://csr.sdsu.edu/

Strategic Advisor, sustainablesurf.org

Teaching interests

My teaching is directly related to my research with a strong emphasis on not only research informed teaching but also research led teaching. All aspects of my teaching integrate aspects of sustainability in order to enhance the student experience. I emphasise the central tenets of Education for Sustainable development with a particular focus on transformative as opposed to transmissive learning.

I also believe strongly that wherever possible practitioner engagement is vital for an enhanced student experience as well as employability. To this end I have created an innovative scheme for the BSc (Hons) Public Management and Business called the Programme Friendship Scheme. For more details please visit


I have developed lead and delivery a number of modules 

GPS5003: Managing Change and Performance in Public Organisations
GPS 3009: Ethical Decision Making
GPS 3004: Organisational Change in the Public Sector
PSM 200 : Sustainability and Commissioning
PSM 102: Introduction to Research Methods
PSM 300: Public Services Management Dissertation
PSM301: Public Leadership and Governance
PSM307 Transitions in Public and Private Management: Sustainability in the Surfing World’

Research interests

I am an interdisciplinary researcher with a core focus on discoures of sustainable development on a cross sectoral basis. My work continually aims to push the boundries of sustainable development research synthesising innovative theoretical approaches, advancing methodological debates and applying this to appropriate empirical studies. There is an emphasis on understanding sustainable development in the context of a risk society and second/ reflexive modern interpretations of the concept. Moreover my work has expanded to engage with theoretical discussions around complexity and systems thinking as well as socio technical transitions in different contexts.  

As well as bridging the gap between theoretical discussions and empirical study my work also aims to explore the relationship between the global and local scales of analysis.   To date three substantive areas have been investigated. These should be viewed as running in parallel and interconnected

1. The United Nations
I have explored discursive representations of sustainable development within the United Nations. The role of supranational organisations and global governance remains a consistent thread throughout my work. For this study I worked for the United Nations Environment Programme directly following the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This provided unique insights into both international and national discourses and how these impacted on, policy and legislation.

2. Town and parish councils
Making connections between the supranational and the local I explored discourses of sustainable development and the impact this has on local governance structures. The focus here was on all town and parish councils throughout Devon and Cornwall. TPCs are the closest level of government to the community as well as being an integral part of the community. They are embedded in multiple community groups as well as being the platform for the community’s connection to local government and vice versa. There are over 8,500 councils in England, that provide employment for over 25,000 staff with an annual expenditure of around £400 million.  My research will characterise TPCs as a nexus where multiple global and local issues converge. The role of TPC’s is set to become increasingly important with London seeing its first in over 50 years.

3. Surfing
Current work is exploring the role of sustainable development within the surfing world. This work has accessed discourses on a multsecoral basis from leading Industry figure to NGOs to local communities. This has resulted in the establishment of an international cross sectoral research group. Please click on the link for additional information


Sustainable development, risk, science and society, governance, , climate change, reflexive modernity, globalisation, democracy, socio-technical transitions

Grants & contracts

Plymouth Marine Institute, Surfers Against Sewage Global Wave Conference, £5000  May 2015 

Magna Solutions, Development of LEAN training for pedagogic innovation £5000 April 2015

Centre for Sustainability Leadership and Policy Plymouth University, 'Sustainability and Surfing' £6000 2012-2014 

Lead International, 'Leadership for Sustainable Development Programme', £2000, 07/10-10/10

Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall' South West Life Long Learning Network   £73000         08/07-08/08

 'Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall' South West Life Long Learning Network, £120000.  20-01-10

Dissemination of project results to United Nations Environment Programme', South West LIfeLong Learning Network, £2500. 07-07-10

 Dissemination of project result United Nations Environment Programme, New York. South West LIfeLong Leaning Network £3000, 01,11,09 

Departmental Studentship Doctoral Studies, Pymouth Universtity £36000

Research groups

  • Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research (MarCoPol)
  • Cultural Industries
  • Plymouth International Studies Centre
  • Plymouth Sustainability and Surfing Research Group (PSSRG)
  • Research Centre for Sustainable Leadership, Governance and Policy (SLGP)

Borne, G. and Ponting, J., (Eds) (Forthcoming) (2015) Sustainable Stoke: Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World, Plymouth University Press http://goo.gl/vvGW5

Borne, G and Ponting, J., (Eds) (forthcoming) (2016) Sustainability and Surfing, London, Routledge 

Borne, G., (forthcoming) (2015) Governance in Transition: Sustainable Development at the Local Level in a Global Context, Edwin Mellen Press

Borne, G., (2016) (Forthcoming) Surfing and Sustainability, London, Routledge

Borne G. (2010)  A Framework for Global Sustainable Development and the Effective Governance of Risk. Lampeter, Edwin Mellen Press http://goo.gl/EPJdu

Chapters in Books

Borne, G. and Ponting, J., (2014) Introduction, In Borne, G and Ponting, J., (Eds) Sustainable Stoke: Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World Plymouth University Press

Borne, G. (2014) Sustainable Development and Surfing, in Sustainable Stoke: Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World, Borne, G and Ponting, J., (Eds) Plymouth University Press

Borne, G (2011) Agenda 21 in Green Politics (Volume 2) (Geoffrey, Paul and Dustin Eds.) Sage

Borne, G (2011) Uncertainty in Green Politics (Volume 2) (Geoffrey, Paul and Dustin Eds.) Sage

Borne, G (2011) Risk Society in Green Politics (Volume 2) (Geoffrey, Paul and Dustin Eds.) Sage

Borne, G (2011) Globalisation in Green Politics (Volume 2) (Geoffrey, Paul and Dustin Eds.) Sage

Borne, G (2011) Sustainable Development in Green Politics (Volume 2) (Geoffrey, Paul and Dustin Eds.) Sage

Borne, G., (2014) (forthcoming) Sustainable Development: A Developing a Sophisticated Theoretical Framework, Social and Public Policy Review

Borne, G., (2013) Book Review - Foresight in Action: Developing Policy -orientated Scenarios edited by Marjolein BA van Asselt, Susan van ‘t Klooster, Phillip van Notten and Livia A. Smits (2010) Routledge, Earthscan Risk in Society, In Health, Risk and Society

Borne, G., (2013) Sustainable Development and the Olympics, Sociological Research Online 18(3)18 http://www.socresonline.org.uk/18/3/18.html

Borne, G., (2013)  Exploring Discourses of Sustainable Development: A Flexable Framework, Methodological Innovations Online   8(2) 90-106 http://www.methodologicalinnovations.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Borne.pdf 

Borne, G., (2012) Power to the Parish, Public Services Review: Local Government and the Regions 20 http://goo.gl/hmkFf

Liu, Z., Scrieciu, S., Srivastava, García-Montero, L. G., Borne, G., Deng, X., et al. (2010). Should sustainable consumption and production be a policy priority for developing countries and if so, what areas should they focus on? Natural Resources Forum, 34(1), 85-88
Borne,G., (2010)  Sustainable Development Representing a Reflexive Modernity Inside the United Nations, Journa of Global Analysis 1(1): 28-50

Borne,G., (2010) Promoting Sustainable Communities: Education and Training Final Report, Promoting Sustainable Communities 2(1) http://hdl.handle.net/10293/348

Borne,G., (2009)  Widening Participation in the British Public Sector, responding to the Sustainable Development Agenda, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning , August 2009

Borne,G., (2009)  Sustainable Development and the Olympic Games, Environmental Scientist 18(3)

Borne,G. (2009) Achieving Sustainable Lifestyles or encouraging a Counter Reflexivity: Exploring Motivations for Sustainability in a Mediated Risk Society  Local Environment 14(1):93-107

Borne,G. (2009) Understanding Town and Parish Needs for a Sustainable Cornwall, Promoting Sustainable Communities 1(2) http://uplace.org.uk:8080/dspace/handle/10293/100

Borne, G. (2009) Promoting sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall: A Reflexive Review of Practice. www.lifelonglearningnetworks.org.uk/keydocuments/newsletters

Borne,G. (2008) Understanding Town and Parish Needs for a Sustainable Devon, Promoting Sustainable Communities 1(1)

Borne, G. (2012) Developing Parish Councils in an Age of Localism, Policy Brief, Departmernt of Communities and Local Government

Borne, G., (2012) Sustainable development and Surfing The Inertia http://www.theinertia.com/environment/sustainable-development-and-surfing/

Borne, G., (2009) Promoting Sustainable Communities: Education and Training. Report for Cornwall Council http://hdl.handle.net/10293/305

Gregory Borne (Lead Author). (2009). "Precautionary principle." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [Published in the Encyclopedia of Earth February 7, 2009; Retrieved February 7, 2009]. < http://www.eoearth.org/article/Precautionary_principle >

Borne, G., (2009) Understanding Town and Parish Needs for a Sustainable Cornwall, South West Life Long Learning Network http://uplace.org.uk:8080/dspace/handle/10293/100

Borne, G., (2008) Understanding Town and Parish Needs for a Sustainable Devon, South West Life Long Learning Network  

Borne, G., (2008) Overcoming challenges countries face in integrating the goals of economic growth, social development and environmental protection., Achieving Sustainable Development. Invited Contribution to the 2008 United Nations Annual Ministerial Review; www.un.org/ecosoc/newfunct/Summary_of_eDiscussion_Final.pdf

Borne, G., (2007) Public Sector Employment Engagement Project, Stage Two Report,University of Plymouth http://uplace.org.uk:8080/dspace/handle/10293/188

Borne, G., (2007) Public Sector Employment Engagement Project, Stage One Closure Report
University of Plymouth http://uplace.org.uk:8080/dspace/handle/10293/186

Reports & invited lectures

Borne, G (2015) Governing the surf Industry, Surfers Against Sewage Global Wave Conference

Borne, G., (2015) Sustainable Stoke: Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World -Key Note Speech - Centre for Surf Research, San Diego State University

Borne, G (2014) Sustainability and Organsiaional Change, Presentation to Netwrok Rail Property Directorate

Borne, G., (2010) Promoting Sustainable communities in Devon and Cornwal - Presentation of final research project, UNEP

Borne, G. (2009) Understanding Training and Education Needs for a Sustainable Devon and Cornwall, Life Long Learning Network National Forum http://www.lifelonglearningnetworks.org.uk/key-documents/newsletters/

Borne, G. (2009) Accredited Prior Experiential Learning, Responding to the Sustainable Development Agenda, Life Long Learning Network National Forum http://www.lifelonglearningnetworks.org.uk/key-documents/newsletters/

Borne, G. (2009) Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall, paper presented to the United Nations Environment Programme, 04/03/09, New York

Borne, G. (2009) Understanding Town and Parish Needs for a Sustainable Cornwall, South West Life Long Learning Network http://www.swlln.ac.uk/246-welcome-swlln.php

Borne G. (2009) Developments for Sustainable Cornwall Research, Strand Bulletin, South West Lifelong Learning Network http://cms.swlln.ac.uk/asset/docs/1261-strand-bulletin-jan09-final.pdf

Borne, G. (2008) Update for Sustainable Parish Reserearch, Learning Power, South West Life Long Learning Network http://cms.swlln.ac.uk/asset/docs/1118-learning-power-issue-8-small.pdf

Borne, G. (2008) Understanding Town and Parish Needs for a Sustainable Devon, South West Life Long Learning Network  http://cms.swlln.ac.uk/asset/docs/933-preliminaryresultsdevonfinal.doc

Borne, G. (2008) Employer Engagement and Competancy Lexicon/APEL Development, Paper presented Bournmeouth and Poole College Annual Research Conference

Borne, G. (2007) Sustainable Development: Relating Global Ideals to Local Action. Discussion paper prepared for South Somerset District Council

Borne, G. (2007) Exploring Competencies for a Sustainable Public Sector. Report prepared for South West Life Long Leaning Network

Dixon, J, Borne, G (2006) Enhancing Devon’s Local Strategic Partnership’s for a Sustainable Future. Report on research conducted for Devon County Council/ Devon Improvement group

Dixon J, Borne, G. (2006) ‘Competencies in the Public Sector for a Sustainable Future’. New Horizons for Public Services, Exeter University, UK, November 2006, 8th November

Borne, G. (2006) ‘Unpacking the Ambiguity: Sustainable Development inside the United Nations’. Presented at the Governance for Sustainable Development Workshop: Steering in Contexts of Ambivalence, Uncertainty and Distributed Control’ Conference, Institute for Applied Ecology, Berlin, Germany.

Borne, G. (2003) ‘Sustainable Development: The Reflexive Governance of Risk’, Paper presented at the British Sociological Association Risk and Society Conference, Plymouth University, September.

Borne, G. (2002) ‘Sustainable Development in a Networked Risk Society’. Poster and Oral Presentation at the ‘Promoting Action for Sustainability through Indicators at the Local Level in Europe’ Conference, (PASTILLE), London School of Economics, September.

Other academic activities