Professor Cynthia Mitchell

Professor Cynthia Mitchell
Deputy Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures
Sydney, Australia

Professor Cynthia Mitchell is a leading researcher and thinker with broad experience in future-oriented city and water planning, policy and assessment.

She brings together insights from different disciplines to improve water supply and sanitation systems in developed and developing countries.

Prof. Mitchell uses systems thinking to analyse how the parts of these systems interrelate over time within the context of larger systems, and she uses transformational learning to facilitate the changes in beliefs and behaviours needed for systemic change.

In developing countries, her research focuses on moving away from preconceived ideas to find what existing or new technologies and more importantly, institutional/financial/economic arrangements, will deliver the desired outcomes in both the short and long term.

Prof. Mitchell provides high-level advice to State government ministers as a member of the Independent Water Advisory Panel in NSW that provides strategic and technical advice on urban water planning for the lower Hunter and greater Sydney and the Independent Review Panel which provides advice on the water security program for South East Queensland (SEQ). She is Deputy Chair of the SEQ IRP reporting to their Board. She is Chairperson of Foodswell, a charitable organization offering programs to enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to work together to better access sustainable, regular, healthy food now and in the future.

Prof. Mitchell is widely respected within Australia and internationally and her research has won many awards from industry, government and academia.

Prof. Mitchell was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in 2012 and she received an Honorary Doctorate from Chalmers University in Sweden in 2007 for her interdisciplinary work for the environment. She holds a Diploma of Business (Governance) and was nominated as one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 ‘Women of Influence’ in 2015 for her contributions to public policy.