Dr Bjorn Peterson

  • Lecturer in Community Development (TLS) (School of Education)

email: Bjorn.Peterson@glasgow.ac.uk

Room 653, 11 Eldon St, St Andrew's Building, Glasgow, G3 6NH

ORCID iDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7119-0970


Dr Bjørn Peterson holds a PhD in Community Resources and Development from Arizona State University. He has a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Group Identity from Oregon State University and a Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership from Seattle University. 

As a scholar/practitioner of Community Development, his teaching and research focus on the intersection of ecological selves, collective practices for healing justice, and community-based praxis for social transformation. His academic expertise is in transformational leadership, critical pedagogy, interpretive research methods, social identity construction, and theory and practice for sustainable and inclusive Community Development. 

Bjørn grew up mostly in Minnesota, USA, but has lived in and traveled to six continents and Oceania. Bjørn is a big ice hockey fan and loves music, tattoos, poetry, woodworking, books, hiking, photography, and street art. Nothing renews him quite like being in the mountains with his family.

Research interests

My research and scholarship interests focus on the impact, longevity, integrity, and philosophy of social transformation. In addition, I am interested in how these might inform Community Development pedagogy and practice.

Areas of interest include:

  • Confluence of Personal and Social Transformation
  • Philosophy of Social Change
  • The Ecological Self
  • Inner Worlds of Community
  • Accompaniment Methodology
  • Reflective Community Practice
  • Collective Practices for Wellbeing in Social Change
  • Circles of Trust and Clearness Committees 



Current Teaching

Undergraduate Courses:
  • EDUC1066: Community Development Practice 1
  • EDUC2095: Power and Empowerment
  • EDUC2098: Local and Global Contexts (CD study trips)
  • EDUC2077: Popular Education: Theory & Practice
  • Practices for Sustainability in Community Development
Graduate Courses:
  • EDUC5946: Theoretical Frameworks for Practice
  • EDUC5944: Practice and Policy Inquiry
  • EDUC5408: Empowerment and Social Change


Past Teaching

Undergraduate Courses:
  • CRD 210: Community Services and Professions 
  • CRD 301: Sustainable Communities
  • CRD 302: Inclusive Community Development 
  • NLM 160: Voluntary Action and Community Leadership
  • NLM 310: Volunteer Management
  • PRM 120: Leisure and Quality of Life
  • LIB 201: Diversity in the United States
  • LIB 323: Design Thinking to Meet Real World Needs
Graduate Courses:
  • STML 5610: Transformational Leadership
  • STML 5690: Leadership Integration for Social Justice
  • STML 5730: Leadership Synthesis 


Professional activities & recognition

Research fellowships

  • 2014: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute - Arizona State University

Editorial boards

  • 2021: Community Development

Professional & learned societies

  • 2014: Member, Community Development Society
  • 2014: Member, International Association for Community Development

Selected international presentations

  • 2021: World Community Development Conference (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • 2019: Community Development Society Conference (Columbia, Missouri, USA)
  • 2017: International Conference on Public Policy (Republic of Singapore)
  • 2015: International Society of Quality of Life Studies (Phoenix, Arizona, USA)
  • 2015: By the People: Participatory democracy, civic engagement and citizenship education (Tempe, Arizona, USA)
  • 2014: Community Development Society Conference (Dubuque, Iowa, USA)
  • 2014: International Association for Community Development Conference (Glasgow, Scotland, UK)