Jennifer Wells Jennifer Wells

Associate Professor
Transformative Studies
Transformative Inquiry Department
School of Consciousness and Transformation

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

PhD, Sorbonne Paris IV

Jennifer Wells is a writer and professor, and has worked in video, film and radio. Her book Complexity and Sustainability (Routledge 2013), examines how complexity theories may advance environmental policy. She looks at complexity theories throughout the natural sciences, but also the social sciences, social theory, and philosophy. Case studies focus on climate change and the energy transition. The complexity framework she develops has numerous implications regarding converging, multidimensional global crises, and related environmental science, policy and management. The book explores and problematizes discourse around shifting social, economic and environmental policy from vicious to virtuous circles, and from piecemeal to synergistic approaches.

Jennifer is currently working on a book on carbon ethics and environmental politics, in the context of pressing social inequities in the race to reduce global carbon emissions. Other current writing projects include a shorter guidebook on complexity theories and global change, and articles on the discourse surrounding growth, limits and values in confronting climate change, and on the imaginary of future scenarios and visioning.

Generally speaking, her work draws on interdisciplinary social sciences and humanities, with the aim of elucidating and advancing transformation in our societies, energy policy and use, economics, and environmental conservation. She draws from the fields of sustainability studies, complexity theories, environmental ethics and politics, climate change, and futures studies. Jennifer enjoys teaching both core classes and electives in TSD, utilizing multimedia and innovative hybrid classroom and online learning techniques. She supervises doctoral students in her research areas, including work on theoretical, qualitative, multimedia and arts-based scholarship.

After graduate degrees at Yale, Berkeley and the Sorbonne in Paris, in the fields of interdisciplinary environmental issues and philosophy, currently she is on the core faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Transformative Studies doctoral program.

J Wells. 2017. Mind the Gap: Bridging the Two Cultures with Complex Thought, Ecological Complexity Journal, Elsevier Press.

“Complexity as a Catalyst for Environmental Ethics: Advancing major ethical theories,” book chapter, L’Ethique Environnementale : Hommage a Catherine Larrere, Ed. Raphael Larrere, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris (in press), 2013.

Complexity and Sustainability, Routledge Press, 2013 (first published in August 2012).

“Classes that Change the World: Synergistic Solutions and Multiplier Effects for Students, Campuses and Communities,” in World Trends on Education for Sustainable Development, ed. Walter Leal, University of Hamburg Press, 2011.

"Melting Ice: Climate Change and the Humanities." Jennifer Wells and Carolyn Merchant, Confluence, XIV, no. 2 (Spring 2009): 13-27.

Complexity and Climate Change : An epistemological study of transdisciplinary complexity theories and their contribution to socio-ecological phenomena, dissertation, UC Berkeley, the Sorbonne, Paris IV, 2009.

Biotechnologies: An Overview, 140 p. book – Ford Foundation publication, co-authored with Dustin Mulvaney (equal authorship), under the direction of Michael Watts, Geography Dept, UC Berkeley, 2005.


Wells, Jennifer. Climate Tech Solutions talk, ManyLabs Event, San Francisco, September 29, 2017.

Transformative Studies Faculty

Allan Combs Allan Combs
Professor, Transformative Studies
PhD, MS, University of Georgia,
MRC, University of Florida,
Mayra Cortez Mayra Cortez
Senior Program Manager, Transformative Studies & Transformative Leadership
BA, University of California, San Diego,
Dan Crowe Dan Crowe
Adjunct Instructor, Transformative Studies
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MEd, University of Georgia,
Daniel Deslauriers Daniel Deslauriers
Professor, Transformative Studies
PhD, MS, BS, Université de Montréal ,
Gabrielle Donnelly Gabrielle Donnelly
Adjunct Lecturer, Transformative Studies
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
May Elawar May Elawar
Assistant Professor , Transformative Studies
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MA, American University, Washington DC,
Joanne Gozawa Joanne Gozawa
Associate Professor , Transformative Studies
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
BA, San Francisco State University,
Lesley Jackson Lesley Jackson
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Transformative Studies
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MA, Michigan State University,
Constance A. Jones Constance A. Jones
Professor, Transformative Studies
PhD, Emory University,
MA, BA, Vanderbilt University,
Gary Lachman Gary Lachman
Adjunct Instructor, Transformative Studies
BA, California State University, Los Angeles,
Kathy Littles Kathy Littles
PhD, University of California, Davis,
Chip McAuley Chip McAuley
Adjunct Lecturer,
PhD., California Institute of Integral Studies,
Alfonso Montuori Alfonso Montuori
Professor, Transformative Studies
PhD, Saybrook Institute,
MA, Monterey Institute of International Studies,
Carol Oberg Carol Oberg
Adjunct Lecturer, Transformative Studies
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MA, Simon Fraser University,
Michael A. Raffanti Michael A. Raffanti
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Transformative Studies
EdD, Fielding Graduate University,
MIT, Evergreen State College,
Peter Reason Peter Reason
Adjunct Professor, Transformative Inquiry
PhD., Case Western Reserve University,
Roxanne Reed Roxanne Reed
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Transformative Inquiry
Jennifer Wells Jennifer Wells
Associate Professor, Transformative Studies
PhD, University of California, Berkeley,
PhD, Sorbonne Paris IV,

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