Education doesn’t always have a strong relationship with community but sustainability demands engagement of education.


“Sustainability education is an immersive pathway to a preferred future, one on which faculty, staff, students and community partners can co-develop knowledge and skills in transdisciplinary fields. Through learning and sharing, this community engenders self-empowerment and positive change among its members, but also beyond.”

“Community engagement then is a form of service that activates knowledge towards solving challenges in society; the ultimate challenge being sustaining ourselves without negatively impacting the natural world.”


– Rob VanWynsberghe

My goal in publishing is to share my ideas more broadly, receive feedback, and engage in an exchange of ideas. Writing helps to articulate these ideas, and I see it as a personal method of inquiry. My publications are in the areas of sustainability education and sport mega-events. I have published in the top urban-studies journals in my field, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and City, and the Canadian Journal of Education. My new book, Adaptive Education: An Inquiry-Based Institution (University of Toronto Press), will be released in 2016.

Refereed Publications

The names of graduate students in co-authored publications are underlined. Articles of primary importance have an asterisk (*). Reprints are in bold. VanWynsberghe, R. (2015). Green jobs for the disadvantaged: An analysis of government policies in British Columbia. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. doi: 10.1080/09640568.2015.1039640. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R., & Herman, A. C. (2015). Education for social change and pragmatist theory: Five features of educative environments designed for social change. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 34(3), 268-283. doi: 10.1080/02601370.2014.988189. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R., & Moore, J. (2015). UN decade on education for sustainable development (UNDESD): Enabling sustainability in higher education. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 17(2), 315-330. doi:10.1007/s10668-014-9606-x. Available here. Derom, I., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2015). Extending the benefits of leveraging cycling events: Evidence from the Tour of Flanders. European Sport Management Quarterly, 15(1), 111-131. doi: 10.1080/16184742.2014.997772. Available here. Derom, I., VanWynsberghe, R., & Scheerder, J. (2015). Maintaining physical activity post-event? Case of the Tour of Flanders Cyclo in Belgium. Annals of Leisure Research. doi: 10.1080/11745398.2014.932699. Available here. Pentifallo, C., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2015). Mega-event impact assessment and policy attribution: Embedded case study, social housing, and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. doi: 10.1080/19407963.2014.990236. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R. (2014). Applying event leveraging using OGI data: A case study of Vancouver 2010. Leisure Studies. doi: 10.1080/02614367.2014.986508. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R. (2014). Green jobs for the disadvantaged in British Columbia: The perspectives of non-governmental organisations and social entrepreneurs. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. doi: 10.1080/13549839.2014.974151. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R. (2014). Towards a pragmatist-inspired redesign of education. Antistasis. 4(2), 43-46. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R. (2014). The Olympic Games Impact (OGI) study for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games: Strategies for evaluating sport mega-events’ contribution to sustainability. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 7(1), 1-18. doi: 10.1080/19406940.2013.852124. Available here. *VanWynsberghe, R., Surborg, B., & Wyly, E. (2013). When the Games Come to Town: Neoliberalism, Mega-Events and Social Inclusion in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 37(6), 2074-2093. Available here. Reprinted in pp. 419-438 of B. Flyvbjerg (Ed). Megaproject Planning and Management: Essential Readings. Edward Alger Publishing. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R., Derom, I., & Maurer, E. (2012). Leveraging the 2010 Olympic Games: “Sustainability” in a City of Vancouver initiative. International Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure & Events, 4(2), 185-205. Pentifallo, C., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2012). Blame it on Rio: Thinking through the Games’ impacts and legacies. In B. Houlihan, Smith, A. & Boyce D. (Eds.), The ‘Olympic and Paralympic Effect’ on public policy: Use and misuse, a special volume of the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics: 4(3), 427-446. Surborg, B., VanWynsberghe, R., & Wyly, E. (2008). Mapping the Olympic growth machine: Transnational urbanism and the growth machine diaspora. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, 12(3), 341-355. VanWynsberghe, R., & Moore, J. (2008). Envisioning the classroom as a social movement organization. Policy Futures in Education, 6(3), 298-311. Holden, M., MacKenzie, J., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2008). Vancouver’s promise of the world’s first sustainable Olympic Games. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 26(5), 882-905. Khan, S., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2008). Cultivating the under-mined: Cross-case analysis as knowledge mobilization. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(1), Article 34. Available here. Shapka J., Law, D., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2008). Quest for communicating sustainability: Gb-Quest as a learning tool for effecting conceptual change. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 13(2), 107-127. *VanWynsberghe, R., & Khan, S. (2007). Redefining case study. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 6(2), 89-94. (2014). Reprinted in G. Thomas (Ed.) Case study methods in education. Sage Publications and M. Tight (Ed.) Case studies. Sage Publications. VanWynsberghe, R., Carmichael J., & Khan, S. (2007). Conceptualizing sustainability: Simulating concrete possibilities in an imperfect world. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 12(3), 279-294. *VanWynsberghe, R., & Andruske, C. (2007). Research in the Service of co-Learning: Sustainability and community engagement. Canadian Journal of Education, 30(1), 349-376. Robinson, J., Carmichael J., VanWynsberghe, R., Journeay, M., & Rogers, L. (2006). Sustainability as a problem of design: Interactive science in the Georgia Basin. The Integrated Assessment Journal: Bridging Science and Policy, 6(4), 165-192. Amsden, J., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2005). Community mapping as a research tool with youth. Action Research, 3(4), 353-377. VanWynsberghe, R. (2005). A firm footing on a soapy floor: A modest proposal for integrating sessionals into departments of sociology. Canadian Journal of Sociology Online, January-February, 1-5. Savelson, A., VanWynsberghe, R., Frankish, J., & Folz, H. (2005). Application of a health promotion model to community-based sustainability planning. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 10(6), 629-647. Moore, J., Pagani, F., Quayle, M., Robinson, J., Sawada, B., Spiegelman, G., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2005). Recreating the university from within: Collaborative reflections on the University of British Columbia’s engagement with sustainability. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 6(1), 65-80. VanWynsberghe, R., Moore, J., Tansey, J., & Carmichael, J. (2003). Towards community engagement: Six steps to expert learning for future scenario development. Futures, 35(3), 203-219. Tansey, J., Carmichael, J., VanWynsberghe, R., & Robinson, J. (2002). The future is not what it used to be: Participatory integrated assessment in the Georgia Basin. Global Environmental Change, 12(2), 97-104. VanWynsberghe, R. (2001). The ‘unfinished story:’ Narratively analyzing collective action frames in social movements. Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), 733-744. VanWynsberghe, R., & Cassivi, M. (2000). Critical thinking in the introductory sociology classroom: Some teaching tips. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 4(3), 124-130. VanWynsberghe, R. (2000). Sustainability in proximity to industry: The case of critical events in Walpole Island. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 24(1), 121-135. VanWynsberghe, R., & Matthew, R. (1999). Leisure as the basis for community: Cohousing, sustainability and diversity. The Journal of Urban Labour and Leisure Studies, 1(1), 7-16. VanWynsberghe, R., & Meier, K. V. (1998). Tlatelolco: La politica y el comite Olimpico Internacional. Memoria: Revista mensual de politica y cultura, 115, 26-35.

Non-Refereed Publications

(a) Journals Derom, I. VanWynsberghe, R., & Scheerder, J. (2013). Who participates now and in the future? A case study of the Tour of Flanders Cyclo. Sport Policy & Management, 17. VanWynsberghe, R., Gatzeva, M., Kwan, B., & Sparks, R. (2009). Olympic Games Impact. Olympic Review – Official Publication of the Olympic Movement, 73, 46-49. VanWynsberghe R. (2006). The Olympic Games: A home for a sustainable ‘mega-event’ [Newsletter article]. Social Planning and Research Council BC News, Winter, 8-10. (b) Conference Proceedings VanWynsberghe, R. (2003). Service learning and sociology: Building and sustaining bridges between volunteer work and the classroom. In Proceedings of Adult Higher Education Alliance Conference (pp. 121-139). (c) Other OGI Research Reports VanWynsberghe, R., & Olympic Games Impact Research Group. (2013). Olympic Games impact study: Post-Games results. University of British Columbia. 235 pp. VanWynsberghe, R., & Olympic Games Impact Research Group. (2011). Olympic Games impact study: Games time results report. University of British Columbia. 165 pp. VanWynsberghe, R., & Olympic Games Impact Research Group. (2009). Olympic Games impact study: Pre-Games results report. International Olympic Committee. 225 pp. VanWynsberghe, R., & Olympic Games Impact Research Group. (2009). Olympic Games impact study: Technical report University of British Columbia. 151 pp. Book Reviews VanWynsberghe, R. (2003). Review of Hidden academics: Contract faculty in Canadian universities by Indhu Rajagopal. Canadian Journal of Sociology, May-June. Available here. VanWynsberghe, R. (2000). Review of The story of leisure: Context, concepts and current controversy by Jay S. Shivers and Lee J. DeLisle. Leisure Studies Journal, 19(1), 60-61. Encyclopedia Entries VanWynsberghe, R. (1999). Skating. In T. Pendergast and S. Pendergast (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Popular Culture (p. 579). Seattle, WA: St. Gale Press. Briefing Report VanWynsberghe, R., Sparks, R., Baker, K., & Olympic Games Impact Research Group. (2009). Briefing session report: Lesson learned from Vancouver 2010 OGI report 1 (pre-Games report). Lausanne, CH: International Olympic Committee. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia. Research Reports VanWynsberghe R. (2013). Green jobs for the disadvantaged: Strategies to address social and economic needs. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 37 pp. Frankish, J., Kwan, B., & VanWynsberghe, R. (2010). “Two Solitudes” – The 2010 Vancouver Olympics and inner city inclusivity commitments report. Centre for Population Health Promotion Research. 84 pp. VanWynsberghe, R. (2005). White paper: First Nations and Inuit peoples of Canada and tobacco taxation. Ottawa: Health Canada and National Cancer Institute of Canada. 28 pp. Cohen, S., Kuljarni, T., VanWynsberghe, R., Tansey, J., & Carmichael, J. (2001). Report to Environment Canada: Climate change adaptation in the Okanagan. 75 pp. VanWynsberghe R., & Urmetzer, P. (2000). Vancouver agreement report: Perceptions of well-being, crime and victimization in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. 66 pp. Computer Software and Database VanWynsberghe, R., & Khan, S. (2007). Database: Cross-case comparisons and contrasts (Version 2.0). Program Proposals VanWynsberghe, R. (2011). Program proposal: Undergraduate minor in sustainability, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. University Sustainability Initiative. VanWynsberghe, R. (2005). Program proposal: Master of Sustainability Leadership. Great Northern Way Campus Sustainability Committee.


(a) Authored VanWynsberghe, R. (2002). AlterNatives: Sustainability, environmental justice, and collective identity on Walpole Island. Boston, MA: Allyn Bacon Press. (b) Chapters VanWynsberghe R., & Pentifallo, C. (2014). “Leaving Las Megas” or can sustainability ever be social?: Vancouver 2010 in Post-Political Perspective. In J. Grix (Ed.), Leveraging legacies from sports mega-events (pp. 73-84). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. VanWynsberghe R., & Pentifallo, C. (2014). Insights and investigations of the social legacies in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games: The Olympic Games Impact (OGI) Study. In K. Young & C. Okada (Eds.), Research in the Sociology of Sport, Volume 8: Sport, social development and peace (pp. 245-275). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing. Derom, I., VanWynsberghe, R., & Minnaert, L. (in press; accepted in May 2014 and to be published in 2015). Residents, community groups, schools, and activists: Impacts of sport mega-events. In M. M. Parent & J. L. Chappelet (Eds.), Routledge handbook of sports event management (TBD). New York: Routledge. DeLisio, A., Derom, I., & VanWynsberghe, R. (in press; accepted in April 2014 and to be published in October 2014). Mandating action: Social leveraging the 2010 Winter Olympic moment. In P. Safai, J. Baker & J. Fraser-Thomas (Eds.), Health and elite sport: Is high performance sport a healthy pursuit? (TBD). New York: Routledge. VanWynsberghe, R., Edwards, S., & Jacobs, D. (2012). Duty to consult: Native environmental justice and Walpole Island. In Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Eds.), Hidden in plain sight: Contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canadian identity and culture (Volume II) (pp. 135-150). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. VanWynsberghe, R., Derom, I., & Maurer, E. (2010). Leveraging of the 2010 Olympic Games: “Sustainability” in a City of Vancouver initiative. In R. K. Barney, J. Forsyth & M. K. Heine (Eds.), Rethinking matters Olympic: Investigations into the socio-cultural study of the modern Olympic movement (pp. 209-223). London, ON: International Centre for Olympic Studies. Zandvliet, D., Moore, J., VanWynsberghe, R., & Holden, M. (2006). Learning about sustainability through design and technology education: The sustainable design award. In W. L. Filho (Ed.), Environmental education, communication and sustainability (pp. 314-320). Hamburg: Peter Lang. VanWynsberghe, R. (2001). Critical thinking in the introductory sociology classroom: Some teaching tips. In S. Hagedorn (Ed.), Sound instruction: Ready to use classroom practice (pp. 214-219). Chattenooga, TN: Rapid Intellect. VanWynsberghe, R. (2001). Organizing a community response to environmental injustice: The case of Walpole Island’s heritage centre. In R. K. Schutt & S. Hartwell (Eds.), Research in social problems and public policy (Volume 9) (pp. 221-243). New York: JAI Press. VanWynsberghe, R., & Ritchie, I. C. (1998). (Ir)Relevant rings: The symbolic consumption of the Olympic logo in postmodern media culture. In G. Rail (Ed.), Sport and postmodern times (pp. 367-384). New York: State University of New York Press. VanWynsberghe, R. (1998). Culture, ideology and social movements. In L. Pertusati & P. McGuire (Eds.), Second dimension: A sociology reader (pp. 231-245). New York: Kendall-Hunt. VanWynsberghe, R., & Ritchie, I. C. (1994). Hyperreality reigns: Advertising and the Olympic logo. In K. V. Meier (Ed.), Critical reflections on Olympic ideology (pp. 147-165). London, ON: International Centre for Olympic Studies.

Work in Progress

(a) Peer Reviewed Journal Articles Pentifallo, C., & VanWynsberghe, R. (TBD). Can Sustainability ever be social? Vancouver 2010 in post-political perspective. International Journal of the Sociology of Sport. (b) Books VanWynsberghe, R., & Herman, A. C. (2016). Adaptive Education: An Inquiry-Based Institution. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


“Thou shalt not… commit a social science.”

– Wystan Hugh Auden, Under which lyre: A reactionary tract for the times (1947)