Julian Cottee


Research Groups


Julian Cottee

Researcher, Nexus


Julian holds a BA in Human Sciences and an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy, both from Oxford University. Since 2010 he has worked at the intersection of environment, business, cities, culture and social innovation. He was co-founder and retail director at community-owned social enterprise Cultivate, building the VegVan mobile shop to bring fresh fruit and vegetables to neighbourhoods around Oxfordshire. He subsequently worked with colleagues to launch Good Food Oxford, the city’s sustainable food network, which now counts over 100 organisations in its membership and convenes new collaborations and innovations for a better food system.

Prior to joining the ECI, Julian was a consultant at 3Keel, an advisory firm specialised in resilient landscapes, supply chains and food systems. While there he worked for private sector clients such as Tesco, Nando’s and Marks & Spencer, as well as NGOs including the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit, WWF, and the Woodland Trust. He has previously worked as an intern at the Environmental Justice Foundation and the Young Foundation in London, which inspired his enthusiasm for social innovation. Julian is interested in understanding the ecologies of change in complex systems and using participatory tools to build effective collaborations for transformation, especially in the business world.

At ECI Julian works on the Participatory Mapping and Futures component of the WEFWEBS project, which brings together stakeholders across multiple sectors to identify areas of interaction between environmental and social challenges, and pathways for transition. He is involved with projects that bridge the gap between academia and society, including at the local level through the Agile-ox initiative. Julian is also involved with undergraduate teaching in food security and human ecology. He is interested in opportunities for new projects and collaborations. In the name of science he once climbed trees in Trinidad and Tobago in search of orchids, and speaks Spanish.


  • Jennings, S. & Cottee, J. (2015) Food in an urbanised world: the role of city region food systems in resilience and sustainable development. London: The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit.
  • Cottee, J., Holloway, L. & Curtis, T. (2014) FoodPrint Greater Manchester: understanding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food consumption and production. Manchester: Environmental Sustainability Technical Assistance (ESTA) Project.