Jennifer Wells, Professor in the Transformative Studies and Transformative Leadership online MA and PhD at CIIS Jennifer Wells

Transformative Studies
Transformative Inquiry Department
School of Consciousness and Transformation

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

PhD, Sorbonne Paris IV

Jennifer Wells is a professor, author, and activist in San Francisco, California. She has training in the humanities, social sciences, and complex thought, on transition and flourishing studies. She has had a long-term engagement with issues of social imaginaries, real utopia studies, and justice and climate justice theory and praxis. Wells has published two books, a dozen journal articles, and over one hundred magazine and newspaper articles, and worked in radio, film, and consulting. Her book Complexity and Sustainability (Routledge 2014), explored complex thought as it relates to solidarity, and synergistic approaches to social and climate crises. Recently, Wells had a philosophy of science article in the Journal Ecological Complexity, on principles for transcending the two cultures gap to help enact systems change. She has written a literary homage on how Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea novels helps us see the root causes and therefore systems approach to the Anthropocene, and the vision on how to get through it. She is working on an article on advancing every day and scholarly rhetoric on systems change, and a book on real utopias for systems change. Wells has degrees in ecological humanities and critical social sciences from Yale, UC Berkeley, and the Sorbonne Paris I. 

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.

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