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Professor Ioan Fazey

Teacher, facilitator, coach, healer and researcher of transformational change

Portrait of Ioan Fazey

Professor Ioan Fazey works across diverse sectors, organisations, and individuals to help support systemic change. He has 25 years experience in academia and professional practice and 20 years as a transformational healer and change worker. He has published over 80 peer reviewed research publications, is an accomplished educator, has supervised over 20 doctoral students, been involved in projects spanning five continents, and is the co-founder of the He is also a certified practitioner and teacher of ancient shamanic practices and uses this expertise to help others undergo deep inner change for healing, nature connection, and develop more effective professional action. Ioan's extensive and unique expertise means he is well placed to help you or your organisation work with diverse challenges and learn how to facilitate change. 

"Ioan is a visionary strategic leader. His ambition for the world inspires truly transformative change; and his ability to network and build coalitions at all levels makes all this deliverable. He is an effective facilitator and knows how to influence the influencers! Ioan shares his knowledge, skill, and insight generously, and he remains open-minded and flexible enough to tailor his approach to any context. His integrity and commitment to self-reflection will be an asset to anybody working with him. I highly recommend working with Ioan."


~ Sam Bayley, Head of Faculty Strategy & Planning, Faculty of Business, Law & Politics, University of Hull.


Qualifications & Affiliations

  • Visiting Fellow, Hult International Business School (2024 - )

  • Professor & Director of Strategy, Department of Environment & Geography, University of York (2019 -)

  • Shamanic Teacher Training, Embracing Shamanism (2023)

  • Shamanic practice, Embracing Shamanism (2022)

  • Graduate Certificate in Counselling skills, Abertay University, Scotland (2013)

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2010)

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education, Aberystwyth University (2009)

  • PhD Understanding the nature of experiential knowledge, Australian National University (2005)

  • Usui Reiki I & II, Canberra, Australia (2002).

  • MSc Ecology, University of Wales, Bangor (1998).

  • BSc in Zoology (Animal Ecology), University of Aberdeen (1997).


Ioan's Story

In his early years, Ioan demonstrated a passion for nature which led him to travel extensively across the world and then to take up scientific training in Animal Ecology at Aberdeen and then Ecology at Bangor Universities in the UK (1993-1998). Here he developed a deep appreciation of the interconnectedness of nature and people and interest in understanding how we make sense of a complex world. 

Following his initial studies, and work as an ecological consultant, he was awarded a prestigious international scholarship to undertake doctoral studies at the Australian National University (2001-2005). Ioan's PhD focused on the role of experiential knowledge in working with complex systems (2001-2005). He studied how farmers and Parks and Wildlife staff understood and navigated complexity and uncertainty and applied non-scientific 'know how' to manage a large ephemeral wetland in Australia.

After completing his Doctorate in 2005, Ioan took up various positions at Aberystwyth University, St Andrews University, and the University of Dundee (2006-2019). The latter was in the role of Professor and Deputy/Director of the Centre for Environmental Change and Resilience (2013-2019). He is now a Professor of the Social Dimensions of Environment and Change at the internationally influential Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, UK (2019- ) where he is also Director of Strategy. As Director, he has applied his skills and expertise to help establish and lead the development of a high performing professional leadership team. @He also applies his extensive expertise on leadership and change working with diverse organisations and is is a Visting Fellow at the Hult International Business School in Ashridge, London, UK. 

Since 2006, Ioan has led major projects working, for example, with remote communities in the Solomon Islands; understanding how knowledge exchange and learning can be enhanced in a context of environmental and social change; examining how systemic change can be supported to enhance the resilience of communities to climate change; and supporting transformation of food systems. In all his projects, he has drawn on his extensive experience in facilitation to help empower those involved to find their own solutions. Such work involved helping support participants to transcend their limiting beliefs about what counts as 'knowledge' or 'knowing', further empowering them to be more effective agents of change.  

Throughout the last 15 years, Ioan has also led projects exploring how to support system change in formal knowledge systems to ensure that research - and the significant investments underpinning it - can more effectively support the creation of action-oriented knowledge suitable for what the world now needs. This work included leading a futures process with 300 people as part of his convening of the 2017 International Transformations Conference. Ioan's work on transforming the way we produce and use knowledge has led to numerous well-regarded and highly cited research publications.    

Ioan is a skilled facilitator, working with many different clients and organisations to help them work through complexity and identify strategies for bringing about systemic and transformative change. He regularly teams up with the influential leadership coach and trainer from the U.S.A, Kris Kluver and, to help organisations push their boundaries of what they believe is possible, be audacious and think big.  

Ioan is an experienced teacher and educator, with over 20 years designing innovative university modules and leading undergraduate and masters degree programmes. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education from Aberystwyth University, for which he won a teaching excellence award (2009). He takes the pastoral role of students seriously, highlighted by his interest in, and study of, counselling skills at the University of Abertay, from which he gained a graduate certificate in 2013.

It is now well established that to transform any system on ‘the outside’ – such as energy, transport or food - also requires personal transformations ‘on the inside’. This is necessary to transcend the kinds of thinking and ways of relating to the world that have led to many contemporary and intractable challenges we now face. As such, for over 20 years, Ioan has assisted others to undergo their own deep transformational journeys, including by teaching them radical ways of knowing and relating to the world. His work has led him down the path of shamanic practice as a healing modality and way of connecting deeply with wider fields of conciousness.


As a certified and experienced shamanic practitioner and teacher, Ioan now now draws on his expertise to support deep and transformational change processes for groups and individuals. This includes holding regular introductory and advanced courses in shamanic practice in the UK and online  to teach and empower participants to be able to draw on the natural regenerative power of nature. He also combines his in-depth academic expertise and work with ancient shamanic methods to deliver high level Master Classes in transformational change for leaders and change-makers to help them enhance their effectiveness and ability to rise to the challenges of an increasingly turbulent world. 

Overall, Ioan’s unique combination of highly regarded academic credentials, teaching, facilitation skills, and work to support 'inner' transformations means he is uniquely placed to support those working with complex challenges and inspire them to take roads less often travelled. 

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