Emeritus Professor Richard Bawden

Emeritus Professor Richard Bawden

Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President


Richard Bawden has had a long and varied career as an academic.  Starting as a Tutor in animal health at the University of Queensland, Australia in the early 1960s while working on his PhD, he formally retired as a full time academic in 2007 while holding the post of Distinguished Visiting University Professor-in-residence at Michigan State University in the USA. He was one of the foundation professors (Systemic Development) of the University of Western Sydney (in 1989) and the founding Dean of its Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development. For the decade preceding that, he had been Head of the School of Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College and for a decade before that had been on the Faculty of Rural Science at the University of New England. He was Dean of that Faculty in 1977-78. Retiring from UWS in 1999 he moved to the USA to accept the Distinguished Visiting University Professor position at MSU.

He has published widely in the fields of agricultural education, sustainability, transformative learning and systemic development and has consulted in these domains in more than two dozen countries across the globe as well as extensively with many institutions and organisations within Australia. 

He was appointed to the Order of Australia – general division – in 2000 for his contributions to systemic development.

He was made an Emeritus Professor of the University of Western Sydney University in 1999 and is currently an honorary research fellow in the Office of Sustainability at (the re-named) Western Sydney University. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Open University in the UK, an adjunct professor at Michigan State University, and is the Managing Director of the not-for-profit Systemic Development Institute.  

This information has been contributed by Emeritus Professor Bawden.


  • PhD University of Queensland


  • Systemic Development

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President


Email: R.Bawden@westernsydney.edu.au
Phone: (02) 4570 1938
Mobile: 0401582219
Location: Building M12
Penrith (Kingswood)

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  • Fear, F., Rosaen, C., Bawden, R. and Foster-Fishman, P. (2006), 'Coming to Critical Engagement: An Autoethnographic Exploration', : University Press of America 9780761834717.
  • Bawden, R. (1990), 'The Search for Sustainable Systems: Perspectives on the Australian Sheep Industry', : Queensland. Dept. of Primary Industries .

Chapters in Books

  • Bawden, R. (2018), 'Global change and its consequences for the world's arid lands', Climate Variability Impacts on Land Use and Livelihoods in Drylands, Springer 9783319566801.
  • Bawden, R. and Williams, M. (2017), 'The learning conference and worldview transformations', Conferences as Sites of Learning and Development: Using Participatory Action Learning and Action Research Approaches, Routledge 9780415360241.
  • Bawden, R. (2015), 'Researching plausible futures : managing the process', Lifelong Action Learning and Research: A Tribute to the Life and Pioneering Work of Ortrun Zube-Skerritt, Sense Publishers 9789463001380.
  • Bawden, R. (2012), 'How should we farm? : the ethical dimension of farming systems', Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic, Springer 9789400745025.
  • Bawden, R. (2012), 'Systemic action research, turbulence and emergence', Action Research for Sustainable Development in a Turbulent World, Emerald 9781780525488.
  • Bawden, R. (2011), 'Epistemic aspects of social ecological conflict', Social Ecology: Applying Ecological Understandings to Our Lives and Our Planet, Hawthorn Press 9781907359118.
  • Saito, O. and Bawden, R. (2011), 'Ecology, sustainability science and "knowing" systems', Designing Our Future: Local Perspectives on Bioproduction, Ecosystems, and Humanity, United Nations University Press 9789280811834.
  • Bawden, R. (2010), 'Messy issues, worldviews and systemic competencies', Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice, Springer 9781849961325.
  • Bawden, R. and Reichenbach, M. (2010), 'Learning by experiencing : systemics, futures thinking, and scenarios', Sustainable Development: Principles, Frameworks and Case Studies, CRC Press 9781439820636.
  • Bawden, R. (2010), 'The community challenge : the learning response', Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice, Springer 9781849961325.
  • Bawden, R. (2010), 'Richard Bawden', Sustainability Ethics: 5 Questions, Automatic Press/VIP 9788792130310.
  • Bawden, R. (2008), 'Farm animal welfare : a systemic challenge', The Ethics of Intensification: Agricultural Development and Cultural Change, Springer 9781402087219.
  • Bawden, R. (2007), 'Knowing systems and the environment', The SAGE Handbook of Environment and Society, Sage 9781412918435.
  • Bawden, R. (2007), 'Redesigning animal agriculture : a systemic review', Redesigning Animal Agriculture: The Challenge of the 21st Century, CABI 9781845932237.
  • Bawden, R., Guijt, I. and Woodhill, J. (2007), 'The critical role of civil society in fostering societal learning for a sustainable world', Social Learning towards a Sustainable World: Principles, Perspectives, and Praxis , Wageningen Academic 9789086860319.
  • Bawden, R. (2007), 'Challenges of sustainable agri-food systems : implications for curriculum, research, extension and development', Challenges to Sustainable Agri-food Systems, I K International 9788189866297.
  • Bawden, R. (2007), 'A systemic evaluation of an agricultural development project : a focus on the worldview challenge', Systems Concepts in Evaluation: An Expert Anthology, Edge Press 9780918528216.
  • Bawden, R. (2006), 'Educating for capability for inclusive well-being', Towards a Global Community: Educating for Tomorrow's World, Springer 9781402039607.
  • Bawden, R. (2005), 'The Hawkesbury experience : tales from a road less travelled', The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Agriculture, Earthscan 9781844072354.
  • Bawden, R. (2004), 'Sustainability as emergence : the need for engaged discourse', Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability: Problematics, Promise and Practice, Kluwer Academic 9781402020261.
  • Bawden, R. (2003), 'Valuing the epistemic in the search for betterment : the nature and role of critical learning systems', Systems Thinking. Vol. 4: Critical Systems Thinking and Systemic perspectives on Ethics, Power and Pluralism, Sage 9780761949596.
  • Bawden, R. (2001), 'Life beyond economics : learning systems and social capital', Learning to Manage Change: Developing Regional Communities for a Local-Global Millennium, National Centre for Vocational Education Research 0873977521.
  • Bawden, R. (2001), 'Educating for unity through diversity of knowing : a systemic perspective', Creating Our Common Future: Educating for Unity in Diversity, Berghahn Books 9781571812797.
  • Bawden, R., Packham, R., Macadam, R. and McKenzie, B. (2000), 'Back to the future : reflections from Hawkesbury', Cow Up a Tree: Knowing and Learning for Change in Agriculture: Case Studies From Industrialised Countries, Quae 9782738009296.
  • Bawden, R. (2000), 'Systems thinking for the systemic age', Gone Today Here Tomorrow: Millennium Previews, Prospect Media 9781863161220.
  • Bawden, R. (2000), 'The cautionary tale of the Hawkesbury Experience : a case study of reform in agricultural education', Integrating Concepts of Sustainability into Education for Agriculture and Rural Development, Peter Lang 9783631364253.
  • Bawden, R. (2000), 'The complexity of bioethics as a challenge to legislation', Bioethics and Biolaw. Vol. 1: Judgement of Life, Rhodos International Science and Art Publishers 8772458127.
  • Bawden, R. (2000), 'Innovations in agriculture : a systemic perspective', New Vista in Rural Development: Strategies and Approaches, B.R. Publishing 9788176461320.
  • Bawden, R. (1997), 'Learning to persist : a systemic view of development', Systems for Sustainability: People, Organizations, and Environments, Springer 9781489902672.
  • Bawden, R. (1997), 'Extension as critical learning : a systemic response to the global challenge', Management of Agricultural Extension in Global Perspectives, B.R. Publishing 9788170189367.
  • Bawden, R. (1995), 'Perspectives on risk', Acceptable Risks for Major Infrastructure, A.A. Balkema 9054105925.
  • Bawden, R. (1994), 'Creating learning systems : a metaphor for institutional reform for development', Beyond Farmer First: Rural People's Knowledge, Agricultural Research and Extension Practice, Intermediate Technology Publications 9781853392375.
  • Bawden, R. and Ison, R. (1992), 'The purposes of field-crop ecosystems : social and economic aspects', Field Crop Ecosystems, Elsevier 9780444886750.
  • Bawden, R. (1991), 'Towards action research systems', Action Research for Change and Development, Avebury 185628140X.
  • Bawden, R. (1991), 'Towards a praxis of situation improving', The Challenge of Problem Based Learning, Kogan Page 0749402490.
  • Bawden, R. (1991), 'Reflections on the action of reflections in action : of cars, helicopters and satellites', Action Learning for Improved Performance: Key Contributions to the First World Congress on Action Research and Process Management, ?BIS Publishing 0646075330.
  • Bawden, R. and Packham, R. (1991), 'Improving agriculture through systemic action research', Dryland Farming: A Systems Approach: An Analysis of Dryland Agriculture in Australia, Sydney University Press, in association with Oxford University Press Australia 9780424001692.
  • Bawden, R. and Zuber-Skerritt, O. (1991), 'Learning, process management and change', Action Learning for Improved Performance: Key Contributions to the First World Congress on Action Research and Process Management, AEBIS Publishing 0646075330.
  • Bawden, R. (1991), 'From Dr Richard Bawden', Challenge and Change: The History of Hawkesbury Agricultural College 1966-1991, B.M. Braithwaite 0646070975.
  • Bawden, R. (1990), 'Of agricultural systems and systems agriculture : systems methodologies in agricultural education', Systems Theory Applied to Agriculture and the Food Chain, Elsevier 9781851665105.

Journal Articles

  • Bharucha, Z., Attwood, S., Badiger, S., Balamatti, A., Bawden, R., Bentley, J., Chander, M., Davies, L., Dixon, H., Dixon, J., D?Souza, M., Flora, C., Green, M., Joshi, D., Komarek, A., McDermid, L., Mathijs, E., Rola, A., Patnaik, S., Pattanayak, S., Pingali, P., Prasad, V., Rabbinge, R., Ramanjaneyulu, G., Ravindranath, N., Sage, C., Saha, A., Salvatore, C., Saxena, L., Singh, C., Smith, P., Srinidhi, A., Sugam, R., Thomas, R., Uphoff, N. and Pretty, J. (2021), 'The top 100 questions for the sustainable intensification of agriculture in India's rainfed drylands', International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol 19, no 2 , pp 106 - 127.
  • Pretty, J., Attwood, S., Bawden, R., Berg, H., Bharucha, Z., Dixon, J., Flora, C., Gallagher, K., Genskow, K., Hartley, S., Ketelaar, J., Kiara, J., Kumar, V., Lu, Y., MacMillan, T., Marechal, A., Morales-Abubakar, A., Noble, A., Prasad, P., Rametsteiner, E., Reganold, J., Ricks, J., Rockstrom, J., Saito, O., Thorne, P., Wang, S., Wittman, H., Winter, M. and Yang, P. (2020), 'Assessment of the growth in social groups for sustainable agriculture and land management', Global Sustainability, vol 3 .
  • Bawden, R. (2018), 'Regeneration and its transformational imperative', International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol 16, no 2 , pp 124 - 126.
  • Bawden, R. and Allenby, B. (2017), 'Sustainability science and the epistemic challenge : some matters philosophical and why we ought to come to know them better', Sustainability Science, vol 12, no 6 , pp 901 - 905.
  • Bawden, R. (2016), 'Transforming systems : the Hawkesbury initiatives in systemic development', South African Review of Sociology, vol 47, no 1 , pp 99 - 116.
  • Ison, R., Grant, A. and Bawden, R. (2014), 'Scenario praxis for systemic governance : a critical framework', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, vol 32, no 4 , pp 623 - 640.
  • Swanson, J., Lee, Y., Thompson, P., Bawden, R. and Mench, J. (2011), 'Integration : valuing stakeholder input in setting priorities for socially sustainable egg production', Poultry Science, vol 90, no 9 , pp 2110 - 2121.
  • Bawden, R. (2010), 'Ethics and agricultural science : a worldview challenge', Agricultural Science, vol 22, no 3 , pp 19 - 22.
  • Sriskandarajah, N., Bawden, R., Blackmore, C., Tidball, K. and Wals, A. (2010), 'Resilience in learning systems : case studies in university education', Environmental Education Research, vol 16, no 5-6 , pp 559 - 573.
  • Jordan, N., Bawden, R. and Bergmann, L. (2008), 'Pedagogy for addressing the worldview challenge in sustainable development of agriculture', Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, vol 37 , pp 92 - 99.
  • Bawden, R. (2007), 'A paradigm for persistence : a vital challenge for the agricultural academy', International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol 5, no 1 , pp 17 - 24.
  • Bawden, R. (2007), 'Pedagogies for persistence : cognitive challenges and collective competency development', International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, vol 2, no 3-4 , pp 299 - 314.
  • Bawden, R. (2007), 'Complexity : unruly and otherwise', Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, vol 50, no 4 , pp 614 - 624.
  • Bawden, R. (2005), 'Guest editorial', Systems Research and Behavioral Science, vol 22, no 2 , pp 105 - 108.
  • Bawden, R. (2005), 'Systemic development at Hawkesbury : some personal lessons from experience', Systems Research and Behavioral Science, vol 22, no 2 , pp 151 - 164.
  • Bawden, R. (2005), 'A commentary on three papers', Agriculture and Human Values, vol 22, no 2 , pp 169 - 176.
  • Bawden, R. (2004), 'Angst, agoras, and academe : reflections on an experience in conscious evolution', World Futures, vol 60, no 1-2 , pp 53 - 66.
  • Fear, F., Bawden, R., Rosaen, C. and Foster-Fishman, P. (2002), 'A model of engaged learning : frames of reference and scholarly underpinnings', Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, vol 7, no 3 , pp 55 - 67.
  • Bawden, R. and Zuber-Skerritt, O. (2002), 'The concept of process management', The Learning Organization, vol 9, no 3 , pp 132 - 139.
  • Fear, F., Rosaen, C., Foster-Fishman, P. and Bawden, R. (2001), 'Outreach as scholarly expression : a faculty perspective', Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, vol 6, no 2 , pp 21 - 34.
  • Bawden, R. (2000), 'Valuing the epistemic in the search for betterment : the nature and role of critical learning systems', Cybernetics and Human Knowing, vol 7, no 4 , pp 5 - 25.
  • Bawden, R. (1999), 'Towards inclusive well-being : a perspective on social ecology', Social Ecology Journal, vol 1 , pp 189 - 196.
  • Bawden, R. (1998), 'The community challenge : the learning response', New Horizons in Education, vol 99 , pp 40 - 59.
  • Woog, R. and Bawden, R. (1998), 'All you ever needed to learn about management in your MBA : but probably didn't', New Horizons in Education, vol 98 , pp 20 - 34.
  • Bawden, R. (1998), 'Book review : Issues in Agricultural Bioethics', Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, vol 11, no 2 , pp 145 - 150.
  • Kay, R. and Bawden, R. (1996), 'Learning to be systemic : some reflections from a learning organization', Learning Organization, vol 3, no 5 , pp 18 - 25.
  • Bawden, R. (1996), 'On the systems dimension in FSR', Journal of Farming Systems Research and Development, vol 5 , pp 2 - 18.
  • Bawden, R. (1995), 'I as in academy : learning to be systemic', Systems Research and Behavioral Science, vol 12, no 3 , pp 229 - 238.
  • Bawden, R. and Packham, R. (1993), 'Systemic praxis in the education of the agricultural systems practitioner', Systems Practice, vol 6, no 1 , pp 7 - 19.
  • Bawden, R. (1992), 'Systems approaches to agricultural development : the Hawkesbury experience', Agricultural Systems, vol 40, no 1-3 , pp 153 - 176.
  • Bawden, R. (1992), 'Editorial', Agricultural Systems, vol 38, no 4 , pp 339 - 340.
  • Bawden, R. (1991), 'Whose learning is it anyway? : a justification for learner managed learning', New Horizons in Education, vol 85 , pp 30 - 44.
  • Bawden, R. (1991), 'Systems thinking and practice in agriculture', Journal of Dairy Science, vol 74, no 7 , pp 2362 - 2373.
  • Bawden, R. (1991), 'The agricultural university for the twenty-first century', Impact of Science on Society, vol 41, no 4 , pp 353 - 366.
  • Bawden, R. and Macadam, R. (1990), 'Towards a university for people-centred development : a case history of reform', Australian Journal of Adult and Community Education, vol 30, no 3 , pp 3 - 11.

Conference Papers

  • Bawden, R. (2014), 'A systemic development theory revisited : a farmer's son reflects', Asia and Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services. Conference, Zanjan, Iran.
  • Bawden, R. (2010), 'From transforming 'systems' to 'transforming' systems : and back again?', European IFSA Symposium, Vienna, Austria.
  • Bawden, R. (2009), 'Inclusive well-being : a systemic view of development', International Society for the Systems Sciences. Meeting, Brisbane, Qld..
  • Bawden, R. (2008), 'The educative purpose of higher education for human and social development in the context of globalization', International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Mattner, H., Packham, R. and Bawden, R. (2004), 'Changing Our Perspectives on Learning to Manage Change', Farming and Rural Systems Research and Extension: Proceedings of the Sixth European IFSA Symposium, Vila Real, Portugal.
  • Bawden, R. (2000), 'Of reform and transformation : a case study in curriculum innovation', Changing Learning and Education in Forestry Workshop, Sa Pa, Vietnam.
  • Bawden, R. (1999), 'Fred Emery Oration : systems thinking (and action) FROM the new millennium : learning from the future', Australian and New Zealand Systems Conference, Wellington, N.Z..
  • Emadi, M. and Bawden, R. (1996), '"Systemic action researching" among Iranian nomads', International Rangeland Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Bawden, R. (1993), 'Praxis : the essence of systems for being', Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.

Previous Projects

Title: South Africa Links Program: UWS / Natal
  • Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) (non ACRG)
Western Researchers: Richard Bawden, X and X
Years: 1997-01-01 - 1999-12-31
ID: P0011320

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