Dr Laurence Wainwright

Departmental Lecturer and Course Director, MSc Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment

Academic Profile

Dr Laurence Wainwright is Course Director of the MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment and a Departmental Lecturer. A teaching and learning oriented academic, Laurence has 12 years experience in lecturing, facilitation and supervision across universities in Australia, Sweden, the United States, and United Kingdom. Laurence is passionate about the holistic development of the students who he teaches and helping them to develop into well-rounded individuals with a mindset of intellectual curiosity and courage, continuous self-improvement, and service to a mission beyond themselves. He has received several prizes and citations for his teaching, as well as appearing on lists recognising high scores in student feedback surveys.

Laurence's research interests and teaching areas are multidisciplinary and diverse. They include sustainability and corporate social responsibility; mental health impacts of climate change; strategy, management, leadership; and precision psychiatry, psychopharmacology and drug repurposing. In addition to his role in the Smith School, Laurence is a Research Fellow at Green Templeton College, a Skoll Early Career Research Fellow in the Saïd Business School, and a Contributor Researcher and Facilitator in the Department of Psychiatry.

Laurence has extensive media experience proving expert opinion on a broad range of sustainability issues – particularly the intersection of environment & health. In 2022 his contributions were featured in over 200 outlets, including BBC World News television, PBS Newshour, New Scientist, The Financial Times and The Guardian.

A Member of Smith School Leadership and Management Teams and School of Geography Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Laurence also serves as an external examiner at several leading British universities, is an adjunct reviewer for several journals and has served as a grant reviewer for the Swedish Energy Agency. In 2022 Laurence received an Oxford University Excellence Award. Additionally, he was a nominee for the Vice Chancellor’s Staff Sustainability Award.

Laurence completed his doctoral studies in Business Administration at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Laurence's PhD thesis used the contextual domain of the Swedish fishing industry in order to consider how contests to organizational legitimacy manifest around sustainability debates. Eighteen months of this programme was spent at the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business, and an additional six months across multiple universities in China, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands.

Laurence also holds a Master of Science in Sustainable Development from Uppsala University, a Master of Education from the Queensland University of Technology, and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Business (Honours) from the University of Technology Sydney.

Prior to commencing his academic career, Laurence worked briefly in the finance industry. He has also spent time in the volunteer not-for-profit sector, where he worked with individuals experiencing homelessness and recovering from addiction to find employment.

Outside of work Laurence enjoys reading, fishing and being in nature.


University of Oxford

School of Geography and the Environment

  • Four modules in the MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise & Environment (lectures include: ‘The Biology & Psychology of Human Behaviour’; ‘Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility’ ‘Complexity Science’.
  • Economics & Business for the Environment in the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance.
  • Various ad-hoc: Qualitative Methods lecture to PhD candidates; tutorials in undergraduate elective SDGs & Sustainable Development

Medical Sciences Division

  • Planetary Health and Sustainable Healthcare (4th year undergraduate medical student elective)

University of California, Berkeley

School of Public Health

  • Regulatory Science, Drug Development and Public Health (Graduate)

Haas School of Business, Centre for Responsible Business

  • Sustainable Business in the Nordics (Executive MBA)
  • Sustainable Business in the Nordics (Undergraduate)

University of Gothenburg

School of Business, Economics and Law, Department of Business Administration

  • Strategy and Organization (Graduate)
  • Management and Leadership (Graduate)
  • Västra Götalandsregionen medical doctors professional development: Research Methodology

University of Technology Sydney

UTS Business School

  • Australian Corporate Environment (Undergraduate)
  • Integrating Business Perspectives (Undergraduate)
  • Managing People and Organizations (Undergraduate)
  • Business Futures (Undergraduate)

Selected Media

Full length Articles

Wainwright, L. & Neumann, E. Heatwaves worsen mental health conditions. The Conversation, July 2022

Wainwright, L.  For 2023,some b-school predictions and resolutions. Poets & Quants, January 2023

Wainwright, L. Our planet is still in the emergency room. The Daily Express, 20 November 2022

Wainwright, L. Rishi Sunak to attend COP27 in climate summit U-turn. Financial Times, 2 November 2022


PBS Newshour 22 August 2022 – speaking on Europe’s rivers drying up (starts 3:20)

Associated Press – Global heatwaves, droughts, wildfires and floods as climate change bites (starts 4:30)

BBC World News (live interview) 12 August 2022 – interview on impacts of heatwaves on psychiatric medications

Expert commentary and interviews (print)

The Straits Times 1 February 2023 Trees could cut urban heatwave mortality by a third: Study

The Guardian 17 December 2022 Almost 8,000 US shootings attributed to unseasonable heat – study

The New Statesman 10 November 2022 From Just Stop Oil to Egypt’s hunger striker: climate action is sparking

Daily Express, 11 November 2022 Climate change to worsen disease as new viruses could be brought to the UK, experts warn

Women’s Health 19 July 2022 This is how the heatwave can impact your mental health

World Economic Forum 14 July 2022 World Economic Forum Heatwaves can impact our mental health. Here’s how.


Times Radio (mental health impacts of heatwaves), HeartRadio UK (Amazon Rainforest), BBC Oxford (heatwaves)