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Personal profile

Research interests

Malu’s research explores organizing experiments in local economies that are forging inclusive, sustainable and democratic sociodigital futures. She focuses on the infrastructures and practices needed for alternative organizations and new economies to thrive in ways that promote equity, social justice, agency and sustainability. She has been researching the Bristol urban ecosystem for the last three years where she has also engaged in co-produced work with local and regional grassroots organisations, such as the Black South West Network and Knowle West Media Centre, as well as research on the creative sector and co-working spaces locally. More recently, she started an AXA fellowship which is enabling her to extend her research to other parts of the UK. Her goal is to further understand how relations between key actors in a locality contribute to developing resilient, inclusive and sustainable responses to economic change.

Other research interests involve corporate social responsibility and mission-led business standards, such as the B Corp certification. She has previously engaged in research and multi-stakeholder collaboration on fighting illegal logging and promoting forest conservation in Brazil where she led the Friends of the Amazon Network.

Areas of interest
Inclusive and sustainable economies; Sociodigital futures; Alternative organizations; B Corps; Multi-stakeholder platforms; Qualitative methods.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Smart Networks for Sustainable Futures
  • Cabot Institute City Futures Research
  • Cabot Institute Food Security Research
  • Cabot Institute Environmental Change Research
  • MGMT theme Inclusive Economy


Dive into the research topics where Malu Villela is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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