Policy Advisor



Published by the United Nations Development Group. Researched and authored by Darren Swanson under the guidance of a reference group constituted under the Sustainable Development Working Group of the United Nations Development Group

Featured Books

Darren swanson

Creativity and Adaptability for Sustainability in the 21st Century


As a writer, consultant, speaker, trainer, and facilitator, Darren focuses his efforts at Novel Futures in three areas critical for bringing sustainable development to the heart of decision making in the 21st century, be it in a government office, the boardroom or the kitchen:

     Creativity 21:  Social Fiction -- Novellas and Scenarios -- Scenario Planning

     Adaptability 21:  Adaptive Policies -- Adaptive Governance -- Adaptation Planning

     Sustainability 21:  Strategy & Planning -- Monitoring & Reporting -- Practice Networks

                    scan the above links for a glimpse of my books, publications and projects

Mr. Swanson is a strategic management expert and policy adviser for sustainable development with 20 years of experience in the areas of participatory scenario planning and foresight, sustainable development strategies, integrated planning, indicator information systems, corporate social responsibility, and adaptive policy-making and governance.

He has a master's degree in Public Administration and International Development from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a master's in Geo-environmental Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. As both a strategic management expert and a professional engineer, Darren draws from a diverse policy-science knowledge base when assisting organizations in the collective pursuit of sustainability, accountability and adaptability.

Darren previously served  the International Institute for Sustainable Development - IISD for ten years as a past director of the Measurement & Assessment Program, and as a program leader and creator of the IISD Foresight Group, among other roles. And today he continues to be an associate of the institute.

Over the past twenty years Darren has managed a wide variety of projects in Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. He has worked with the United Nations  (including UNDG, UNDP, UNICEF, UNEP, and UNDESA); international development agencies (including Germany's GIZ, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the International Development Research Centre); federal and provincial governmentsin North America and the Caribbean; and international and community-based organizations such as the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, Bertelsmann Stiftung, and the United Way.


​​Social fiction, scenario narrativespolicy studies, science writing 

for such clients as Bertelsmann Stiftung, the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development, the United  Nations Environment Programme, Manitoba Hydro, International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Strategies; Scenario Planning and Foresight, Adaptive policies and governance; Monitoring & Reporting, Corporate Social Responsibility; Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

for such clients as the UNDG, UNICEF, UNDP, UN-DESA, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Natural Resources Canada, United Nations Office for Sustainable Development, Bertelsmann Stiftung, International Institute for Sustainable Development,  GIZ, IDRC, Harvard Centre for International Development

Forums, Retreats, Workshops, and Conferences ​for such organizations as the UN Office for Sustainable Development, UNDP, Islamic Development Bank, IISD, CPA Manitoba, others

TV, Radio, Internet

CBC Radio - The Current, RTCC, Greensense

Sustainable development, National Environment OutlooksAdaptive Policies International Institute for Sustainable Development, United Nations Environment Programme - Global  Environment Outlook, United Nations Office for Sustainable Development

Water, Energy and Food Security; Sustainable Development; Adaptation

Darren Swanson in the news

Bertelsmann Stiftung - editor and publisher. See chapter on 'Global Trends in Sustainable Development' co-authored by Darren Swanson

"A critically important read for policy-makers confronted with a ‘perfect storm’ of global economic, social and environmental crises"

– Jim MacNeill, Secretary General of the World Commission on Environment and Development and President of MacNeill and Associates

       Creativity, Adaptability and Sustainability for the 21st Century



Published by Bertelsmann and co-authored by Darren Swanson

Sustaineo 2030 - "you’re very unlikely to find anything else quite as original - and even interesting!." - read full review
Sir Jonathon Porritt
Author of 'The World We Make' and 'Capitalism As if the World Matters

Facilitator, Speaker