Associate Professor Melissa Edwards

Associate Professor Melissa Edwards is the Research and Innovation Director at the Centre for Social Impact UNSW (CSI UNSW).

Melissa is an award-winning researcher and educator and has pursued a career of engaged scholarship at the intersection of social impact and sustainability for over 15 years.

Through her applied research, Associate Professor Edwards explores how people and organisations respond to complex sustainability issues through leadership, strategic action, and business model innovation. Her recent research focuses on stakeholder capitalism, the circular economy, ESG disclosures and reporting, and sustainable investment. She collaborates with organisations across sectors and has led research contracts with Surf Life Saving Australia, the Wayside Chapel, Slyp and RACE 2030, and was awarded Commonwealth grants through au, the Office of Learning and Teaching, DIIS and DEEWR. She publishes in a variety of professional and academic journals including Organisation and Environment, Australian Journal of Management, Voluntas, Business Strategy and the Environment, and Environmental Education Research.

Associate Professor Edwards also brings extensive experience in innovative curriculum design, incorporating interdisciplinary experiential and action learning approaches to embed sustainability and social impact in business and leadership development programs. She is passionate about upskilling changemakers to lead through purpose and inclusion while implementing effective and impactful strategies for organisational innovation and system transformation.

Prior to joining UNSW Centre for Social Impact, she was the Executive MBA director and Research Director of the Centre for Business and Sustainable Development at the UTS Business School. She currently serves as the Australian Business Deans Council Inaugural Climate Action Fellow, where she leads a national action plan to raise the collective impact of the 38 member schools across education, research, and operations.

She received a PhD in Management and holds a Bachelor of Business (Hons I) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.