Dr. Tim Curtis

Associate Professor in Systems, Sustainability and Social Innovation, Deputy Head of Subject, Integrated Foundation Year

Accepting PhD Students

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I am an internationally renowned academic and practitioner in the field of social & environmental innovation & entrepreneurship, whose 25 year career experience has been dedicated to helping people, communities,  and organisations make decisions in complex and confusing situations. I am also adept at getting decisions made when I'm not in charge.  I have worked in environmental decision-making, in policy and law and in community development, for governments, major companies and community associations. Now, working at the University of Northampton, my focus is on the nitty-gritty theory and practice of community organising and social innovation. I have taught Entrepreneurship, International Development and Social & Community Development students how to make decisions in and with communities, but also coach and undertake paid and pro-bono consulting work for third-sector organisations, most recently co-founding Intensive Engagement, a social change organisation working on neighbourhood policing.
I am also Changemaker Campus leader at the University of Northampton who have adopted my skill set as a major institutional strategy. I have led on high profile co-curriculum challenges, summer schools and international conferences on social innovation. My PhD thesis "Locally Identified Solutions and Practices: a critical realist investigation into the processes of social innovation in the context of neighbourhood policing" was defended in July 2020 and awarded in July 2021. I was made Associate Professor of Social Innovation in June 2022.

Research Interests

Sociology of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Systems thinking and organisational analysis. Environmental law. Sustainability in industrial processes. Learning & Teaching, especially low engagement of students and non-submission of assignments. Critical realist evaluations. 


Open to PhD research supervision in the fields of social innovation, social entrepreneurship, critical realist evaluations

Industry Connections

Social enterprises. Charities. Police forces. Local authority Public Safety panels. Leather technology industry. 

Teaching Interests

Foundation Years. Social Innovation. Social Entrepreneurship. Social & Environmental Sustainability. Community Development. Metacognitive Study skills

External Roles

Founding Director, Intensive Engagement Ltd

St Ragener’s Orthodox Trust and St Anne’s Orthodox Trust, Dean (2022 to date), Trustee and Executive member to Archdiocese of Western Europe Deanery of Great Britain (to Dec 19). Pastoral Committee member to the Assembly of Orthodox Christian Bishops in the UK (to Dec 18). Founder & Parish priest, St Anne’s Orthodox Christian parish, Northampton (to date)

Other Responsibilities

June 2022 to date


May 2021 to date

Nov 2019 to date


Jul 2015-Jul 2016



2015-Sept 2017

Working group member: University of Northampton Access and participation plan 2020-21 to 2024-25

Academic Misconduct and Integrity Officer

Change of Approval committee member, reviewing programmes across the University and approving changes to module specifications

Member of the University of Northampton Senate

Member of the University of Northampton Senate

School of Health representative on Northampton Business School Student Experience Committee


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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Locally Identified Solutions and Practices: a critical realist investigation into the processes of social innovation in the context of neighbourhood policing”, University of Northampton

Award Date: 1 Jul 2021

External positions

Senior Lecturer, MA Social Innovation, Ravensbourne University

13 Apr 202230 Sep 2022

Co-founder, Intensive Engagement Ltd

31 May 2018 → …


  • G Geography (General)
  • social innovation
  • social impact
  • impact evaluation
  • decision science
  • complexity
  • systems analysis
  • soft systems methodology
  • public safety


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