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Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development

A transdisciplinary action-research centre in applied resilience science


Dr Nazia Mintz Habib, FRSA

Dr Nazia Mintz Habib, FRSA, is the Founder and Research Centre Director for the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD). She is a professorial academic researcher in experimental political economics with appointments at the Department of Engineering and Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge.  

Dr Habib started her academic training in the US in Accounting, Computer Science and Economics, before realising she wanted to understand the struggles of emerging countries and plight of the poor.  After spending a short tenure in the corporate world in the US, Dr Habib moved to the UK to pursue post-graduate education. Trained at Oxford University and at University of Cambridge, Dr Habib believes that to reduce inequality, inability and inefficiency experienced globally, the decision makers and Social Science academics need to improve the methods used to create evidence for decision making. From that quest to find a better answer, Dr Habib has dedicated her scholarship to develop twenty-first century action-research methodologies that will harness the power of collective intelligence, smart technologies and open innovation to help improve the decision making process. Leaders of more than 57 countries have benefited from her research methods in improving their abilities to manage uncertainty.  

Dr Habib works with the CRSD team to apply systems thinking methods to political economic theories to influence one's worldview of decision making. Worldview is the glue behind every decision, which is absorbed in the process of acculturation of oneself. Dr Habib’s research currently focuses on integrating systems thinking for applied resilience and sustainable development in the context of good governance, responsible innovation and sustainable investment. 

Prior to founding CRSD, Dr Habib was a founding University Lecturer for the MPhil in Public Policy degree programme at Cambridge. Dr Habib is a Special Advisor for the EAT Foundation, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), Non-Executive Board member for TISATech and previously was a Fellow with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to help improve thinking around resilience. Dr Habib is active within several Cambridge University based research centres: Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSAP), Cambridge Global Food Security (CGFS), Cambridge Zero and Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment (CFSE) to name a few. 

Dr Habib has previously been a Sustainability Science fellow at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has been awarded Newton Fellowships, Commonwealth Scholarships and numerous research grants. Dr Habib has advised over 20 governments on sustainable development and climate change related policy issues. At Cambridge, Dr Habib received the Claydon Prize for her outstanding PhD thesis in Economics, and her book 'Biofuels, Food Security, and Developing economies' (2016) was ranked among the top three highly influential books of 2016 by Food Tank.

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From the perspective of trust and cooperation as key to solving global challenges, we break down the silos between sectors, harness new theories of change and consider legacy effects using evidence, so that new systems can be introduced. By blending system dynamics with political and economic analysis and rigorously developed business cases, we help achieve lasting change. We have helped over 160 companies and over 20 countries through our cutting-edge research and capacity building efforts.


Our research enables:

  • Governments and civil sector foster innovation and enterprise to deliver social and economic benefits consistently.
  • Companies to develop life-changing products and services, build better businesses, create meaningful jobs, and improve the environment for the future collectively.
  • Decision makers to reinvent policies and practices to facilitate their institutions to move to higher sustainable and productive activities.

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