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Dr. Weslynne Ashton

AFFILIATION: Illinois Institute of Technology

TITLE: Professor

LOCATION: Illinois

LANGUAGE: English, Spanish

EXPERTISE AREA: Climate Change, DEIJ, Environmental Justice, Food Justice, Green Jobs/Economy, Just Transition, Sustainability


Weslynne Ashton is a Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology with a joint appointment at the Stuart School of Business and the Institute of Design (ID). She co-directs ID’s Food Systems Action Lab, which combines sustainability science and human-centered design with a systems focus to develop tools and frameworks that can catalyze the transformative work being done by practitioners and advocates to build more sustainable, equitable and just food systems. A sustainable systems scientist, her research is grounded in industrial ecology and the circular economy. She investigates the adoption of socially and environmentally responsible strategies in business, and the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in addressing neighborhood-scale as well as societal grand challenges. Her current work focuses on increasing sustainability and equity in urban food systems, developing climate resilient and regenerative economies in post-industrial regions, emerging economies, and small island states. Her work has been funded by the US Department of Agriculture, US Department of State, and US National Science Foundation, as well as by private philanthropy. Professor Ashton has been a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat’s Resilience Frontiers Technical Advisory Group since 2021. She was awarded a Jefferson Science Fellowship by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in 2018, working as a science-policy advisor at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She serves on the non-profit boards of the Co-op Education Center, Chicago Recycling Coalition and the Controlled Environment Agriculture Design Standards (CEADS). She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science, and a PhD in Industrial Ecology from Yale University’s School of Environment, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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