John Bryson

Prof, Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in working with PhD students working on topics that engage with understanding the complex interrelationships between business, or organisations, in place and across space. This includes organisational and individual behaviour.

1990 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

John R. Bryson (BA (Hons) TCD, PhD Leic., FAcSS, FRGS, FHEA, FeRSA) has held research and teaching posts at the Universities of St Andrews, Cambridge, Wales and most recently at the University of Birmingham where he is Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography. He was Director of the Service and Enterprise Research Unit (SERU) and founder of City-REDI.

An economic geographer whose research focusses on understanding people and organisations in place and space and the ways in which place-based adaptation occurs including understanding barriers and enablers to adaptation. He has made significant contributions to understanding and explaining the complex ways in which production is organized through space and in place and via a variety of forms of enterprise.

Much of his research has focussed on developing an integrated approach to understanding city-regions. This includes research on property development and investment, financialization, infrastructure, knowledge-intensive services, manufacturing adaptation and innovation, alternative forms of innovation including end-user innovation, urban sustainability and resilience, air quality and environmental pollution, productivity, internationalisation, service offshoring and manufacturing reshoring, and innovation systems. One of his cross-cutting research interests including understanding rapid adaptation during times of disruptive and radical change. This includes citizen-led end-user innovation and the development of alternative solutions in response to private and public sector failure. This includes research on responsible citizenship and the role that responsible citizens can play in overcoming local infrastructure failure. It also includes a focus on resilience and the management of resilience.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Social Science, Office Development and the Regional City: Process Interest and Organisation, University of Leicester

Award Date: 18 Jul 1990

Bachelor of Social Science, Two Subject Moderatorship, Geography and Sociology , Trinity College Dublin

Award Date: 1 Jul 1985

External positions

Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands

2019 → …

Design Council, Expert Advisory Group


European Commission, Services and Internationalisation, Special Policy Committee


Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Core Executive Group, Greater Birmingham Project


Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Core Executive group, Strategic Economic Plan (SEP)


Higher Level Group on Business Services, European Commission


Inclusive Economic Growth lead for the Bishop of Birmingham's Social Inclusion Task Process


Independent Chair of the Worcestershire Climate Change Task Group


Member of European Commissions's European Forum on Services in the Internal Market


European Association for Research on Services (RESER)

15 Sept 200415 Sept 2010

Elmhurst Ballet School in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet

1 Mar 2003 → …

Sebright Educational Foundation

1 Mar 2002 → …


1 Jan 200030 Sept 2015


  • G Geography (General)
  • Economic Geography
  • HB Economic Theory
  • Global Production Networks
  • HD28 Management. Industrial Management
  • HE Transportation and Communications


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