Kavitha Ravikumar

Sustainable Futures: Exploring sites of collective imagination in organisational contexts

Kavitha is a doctoral researcher at Loughborough University London, who works in the area of Sustainability studies through a multidisciplinary approach. She is affiliated with both the Institute for International Management and the Institute for Design Innovation.

Kavitha has first class degrees in Economics and Anthropology, extensive professional experience in corporates, consulting, and start-ups as well as project-based involvement in the third/creative sectors.

PhD research description

Kavitha’s research is framed around the desirability of sustainability aspirations and corresponding acts of imagination as being part of collective sustainable futures. Her research looks at future contexts, the elements of which have become increasingly important in the context of sustainability (Augustine et al., 2019; Ergene et al., 2020; 'Acts of Imagination' Gümüsay & Reinecke, 2021). In many economic areas, this is often directed towards minimising unsustainability and this results in a practice of the survival mode rather than take a turn towards creating sustainability or flourishing (Grant, 2012).

Since sustainable futures do not exist and must be imagined into existence (Conway, 2012), her interest is in specific organisational contexts that have aspirational visions, understand businesses and societies as both giving and receiving and part of the larger natural world (Landrum & Ohsowski, 2018) in actively trying to design-in sustainability considerations from the onset.

Areas of academic interest

  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Organisation studies
  • Research through Design (RtD)
  • Spaces and place
  • Ethnography
  • Creative methods
  • Participatory methods
  • Plurality
  • Materials

PhD supervisors

Dr Sharon Prendeville, Dr Jukka Rintamäki and Professor Mikko Koria

Awards, grants or scholarships received

Kavitha has received a studentship to pursue her PhD at Loughborough University London. She has also been the recipient of a visiting scholar travel grant from Image Space Material: Cluster of Excellence at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Papers, publications and articles

Ravikumar K., (2023), Objects in the Familiar: Systemic contexts of production, Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) 2022 Symposium.

Beech, N., Fadina, D., Betancour, A., Sengupta, T., Mann, E., Schuldenfrei, R., Ravikumar, K. and Mejía Moreno, C., (2022), Unsettled Subjects/unsettling landscapes: confronting questions of architecture in CLR James’s The Black Jacobins, Field Journal, vol.8 (1)

Ravikumar K., (2022), ‘Threads, old and new’, U+Zine 7 “Clothes”, Plurality University Network

Interests and activities

Kavitha has eclectic interests that include playing racket sport, swimming, yoga, art & craft, poetry & creative writing, travelling, photography, urban experimental gardening, material experimentation, upcycling, and listening to BBC Radio 4 podcasts.

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