Simon Bell

Area of Expertise
Sustainable development (specifically related to community and public engagement), Innovation of methodologies of all kinds but most specifically relating to stakeholder engagement, coastal sustainability, i-Presence in a digital era, indicators and management information systems development.
Academic preparation
1994 – Ph.D. Systems Analysis, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
1987 – M.Phil. Information Science, City University, London, UK.
1981 – BA Honours Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
    Professional Appointments

2012 – present Professor of Innovation and Methodology, Communication and Systems, MCT Faculty, The Open University.
2001 – 2012. Senior Lecturer in Information Systems, Communication and Systems, MCT Faculty, The Open University.
2007 – 2009. Director of the Bayswater Institute, London (on secondment from Open University).
1996 – 2001. INSTILL Lecturer, Systems Discipline, Faculty of Technology, The Open University.
1990 – 1996. Information Systems Consultant and Lecturer, Overseas Development Group and the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia
1992 – 1996. Associate Lecturer, The Open University.
1989 – 1990. Information Systems Consultant, Overseas Development Group, University of East Anglia.
Selected Publications Books
  • Bell, S. and Morse, S. 2011. Resilient Participation: Saving the Human Project?  Earthscan, 200 pages, London. ISBN 1-84971-255-7.
  • Bell, S. and Morse, S. 2008. Sustainability Indicators: Measuring the Immeasurable. Earthscan, 175 pages, London. ISBN 1-85383-498-x. New edition.
  • Bell, S. (with Coudert, E.) 2005. A Practitioner’s Guide to “IMAGINE”: the Systemic and Prospective Sustainability Analysis - Guide d’Utilisation pour «IMAGINE»: l’Analyse de Durabilité Systémique et Prospective. Blue Plan for the Mediterranean, Paper No. 3. Sophia Antipolis, 51 pages. France. ISBN 2-912081-15-7 (95%).
  • Bell, S. and Wood-Harper, T. 2003. How to Set Up Information Systems: a non-specialists guide to the Multiview approach', Earthscan, 213 pages, London. ISBN 1-85383-958-2 (80%).
Articles in refereed journals
  • Bell, S. and Morse , S. Shah, R. 2012. Understanding Stakeholder Participation as Part of Sustainable Development. Journal of Environmental Management. Vol. 93, No. 1, pp. 13 – 22.
  • Bell, S. 2012. DPSIR = A Problem Structuring Method? An exploration form the ‘Imagine’ Approach. European Journal of Operational Research. Accepted.
  • Bell, S. and Farren Bradley, J. 2012 London’s Olympic Legacy and the Imagine Methodology. Local Economy. Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 22 – 34.
  • Bell, S. and Morse, S. 2011. Indicators: The tyranny of methodology revisited. Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development. Vol. VI, pp. 222 - 239.
  • Bell, S. and Morse, S. 2011. An analysis of factors influencing use of Indicators in the European Union. Local Environment. Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 281 - 302 .
  • Bell, S. 2011. From Sustainable Community to Big Society: Ten years learning with the Imagine Approach. International Research in Geographic and Environmental Education. Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 247 – 267.
  • Bell, S. and Walker, S. 2011. Futurescaping Infinite Bandwidth, Zero Latency. Futures. Vol. 43, pp. 525 – 539.
  • Bell, S. and Morse, S. 2010. Triple Task Method: Systemic, reflective action research. Systemic Practice and Action Research. Vol. 23, No. 6, pp. 443 – 452.
  • Bell, S. and Morse, S. 2010. Rich Pictures: a means to explore the ‘Sustainable Mind’? Sustainable Development – Wiley Online.
  • Bell, S. and Lane A. 2009. Creating Sustainable Communities: A means to enhance social mobility? Local Economy. Vol. 24, No. 8, pp. 646 – 657.


Bell, S. 2010. Measuring the Immeasurable: indicator use and experience. I Tunes U. Podcast produced by OU Sound and Vision.


Professional Services/ Activities
  1. Member, Board of Directors, The Council for Frontiers of Knowledge
  2. Deputy Editor Systemic Practice and Action Research
  3. Member of the Editorial Board Sustainable Development
  4. Director of the Bayswater Institute (2008-9)
  5. Senior Fellow of the School of Overseas Development Group at the University of East Anglia
Professional Society Membership
  • 2012. Fellow of the British Computer Society
  • 2011. Associate of the Higher Education Academy.
  • 2009. Associate of the Homes and Communities Academy.
  • 1989. Member of the Institute of Information Scientists.
  • 1989. Development Studies Association of the United Kingdom 1989 – 1992 Member of Council. 1987 – 1993 Study Group Convenor.
  • 1987. Member of the International Federation for Information Processing - Working Group 9.4.
  • 1984 – 1987. Member of Council for the information referral group, Information for International Development, Hyderabad, India.