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Nigel Forrest

Nigel Forrest

Teaching Fellow, Imperial College London

School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875502
Tempe, AZ 85287-5502


  • Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Teaching Fellow, Imperial College London


Nigel Forrest is a former post-doctoral research fellow in the School of Sustainability and School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and manager of the Sustainable Local Food Economies and Enterprises Lab at Arizona State University. He earned his PhD in Sustainability in 2015. His research is strongly solution-oriented, seeking to identify, transfer, and scale evidence-supported transformational sustainability solutions that advance sustainable local food economies. He is especially interested in cooperatives, and mission-oriented worker cooperatives in particular, as a transformational form of enterprise uniquely capable of redressing the underlying divers of unsustainability of inequality and diminished democracy. His work is generally situated in “living labs”, building networks with local food economy actors and engaging in collaborative “experiments” that build capacity to develop, implement, and learn from innovative solutions.


  • PhD, Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2015
  • MS, Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2011
  • Post Graduate Diploma, Information Technology, Stathclyde University, 1988
  • BS, Geology (Honors), University of Glasgow, 1984


Journal Articles


Forrest, N., A. Wiek and L. Withycombe Keeler. 2023. Accelerating the transformation to a sustainable food economy by strengthening the sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. Frontiersin Sustainable Food Systems 6. DOI: 10.3389/fsufs.2022.970265. (link )


Forrest, N. and A. Wiek. 2021. Growing a sustainable local grain economy in Arizona: A multidimensional analytical case study of an alternative food network. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 10(2):507–528. DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.031 . (link )


Forrest, N., Z. Stein and A. Wiek. 2020. Transferability and scalability of sustainable urban water solutions-A case study from the Colorado River Basin. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 157(Jun):Art 104790. DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.104790. (link )


Forrest, N., Z. Stein and A. Wiek. 2019. Water-independent residential properties as a transformational solution to achieve water sustainability in desert cities?. Journal of Cleaner Production 214(Mar):1038-1049. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.12.309. (link )

Withycombe Keeler, L., F. Beaudoin, A. Wiek, B. John, A. M. Lerner, R. Beecroft, K. Tamm, A. Seebacher, D. J. Lang, B. Kay and N. Forrest. 2019. Building actor-centric transformative capacity through city-university partnerships. Ambio 48:529-538. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-018-1117-9. (link )


Luederitz, C., N. Schapke, A. Wiek, D. J. Lang, M. Bergmann, J. J. Bos, S. Burch, A. Davies, J. Evans, A. Konig, M. A. Farrelly, N. Forrest, N. Frantzeskaki, R. B. Gibson, B. Kay, D. Loorbach, K. McCormick, O. Parodi, F. Rauschmayer, U. Schneiderwind, P. J. Vergrag, H. von Wehrden and F. R. Westley. 2017. Learning through evaluation – A tentative evaluative scheme for sustainability transition experiments. Journal of Cleaner Production 169(Dec):61-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.09.005. (link )


Culotta, D., A. Wiek and N. Forrest. 2016. Selecting and coordinating local and regional climate change interventions. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 34(7):1241-1266. DOI: 10.1177/0263774X15607475. (link )


Forrest, N. and A. Wiek. 2015. Success factors and strategies for sustainability transitions of small-scale communities – evidence from a cross-case analysis. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 17(Dec):22-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2015.05.005. (link )


Forrest, N. and A. Wiek. 2014. Learning from success -- toward evidence-informed sustainability transitions in communities. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 12:68-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2014.01.003. (link )


Gonzales, V., N. Forrest and N. Balos. 2013. Refugee farmers and the social enterprise model in the American Southwest. Journal of Community Positive Practices 4:32-54. (link )


Forrest, N. and E. Williams. 2010. Life cycle environmental implications of residential swimming pools. Environmental Scince & Technology 44(14):5601-5607. DOI: /10.1021/es100422s. (link )

Book Chapters


Wiek, A., B. Kay and N. Forrest. 2017. 14. Worth the trouble? An evaluation scheme for urban sustainability transition labs (USTL) and application to the USTL in Phoenix, Arizona. Pp. 227-256 In: Frantzeskaki, N., V. Castan Broto, L. Coenen and D. Loorbach eds., Urban Sustainability Transitions. Routledge. ISBN: 9780415784184.

Wiek, A., C. Kuzdas, R. W. Foley, L. Withycombe Keeler, N. Forrest and B. Kay. 2017. Sustainability assessments designed for multiple functions: Five cases about water resources, nanotechnologies and communities. Pp. 127-145 In: Gibson, R. ed., Sustainability Assessment: Applications and Opportunities. Routledge. ISBN: 978-1138802742.


Wiek, A., M. J. Bernstein, R. W. Foley, M. C. Cohen, N. Forrest, C. Kuzdas, B. Kay and L. Withycombe Keeler. 2016. Operationalizing competencies in higher education for sustainable development. Pp. 241-260 In: Barth, M., G. Michelsen, M. Rieckmann and I. Thomas eds., Routledge Handbook of Higher Education for Sustainable Development. Routledge. London and New York. ISBN: 9780415727303.


Forrest, N. 2014. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. In: Michalos, A. C. ed., Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research. Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. ISBN: 978-94-007-0752-8.



Wiek, A. and N. Forrest. 2013. Solution-oriented transition research in small-scale communities. Presentation at the 4th International Conference on Sustainability Transitions, June 20, 2013, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.



Forrest, N., A. Wiek and G. Basile. 2019. Cooperative busiess training. School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Forrest, N., A. Wiek and A. Harmon. 2019. Growing cooperative businesses in Arizona -- insights from a state-wide stakeholder workshop. Sustainable Food Economy Lab, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.


Forrest, N., B. Grant, I. Thompson, S. Zah and A. Wiek. 2018. Concept for a sustainable local bakery cooperative. Sustainable Food Economy Lab, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

Wiek, A., N. Forrest, R. Femuko, B. Hagmaier, N. Tress Molina, G. Wolleson and D. J. Lang. 2018. Die Bedeutung der Belegschaft für die Nachhaltigkeitsperformance von Unternehmen – Mit Anwendung auf die Bohlsener Mühle [In German; The Role of the Workforce in Advancing Sustainability in Enterprises – A Case Study on the Bohlsener Mühle]. Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation, Arizona State University, USA and Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany.


Johnson, E., A. Wiek and N. Forrest. 2017. Transferring sustainable local food economy concepts -- a case study from Germany and the United States. Sustainable Food Economy Lab, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Wiek, A., N. Forrest, T. Allers, A. Falkenstein, T. Freude, R. Gerigk, A. LeBarron, M. Lilje, A. Lopez-Morales, D. Morrison, L. Reutter, Z. Stein, J. Tattersall, H. Trigg and L. Withycombe Keeler. 2017. Building implementation capacity for a sustainable local food economy through a mobile solution studio. Sustainable Food Economy Lab, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.