Sean Geobey

Associate Professor
headshot of sean geobey

Contact Information
519-888-4567, ext. 48680
EV3 4259

Twitter: @sgeobey
LinkedIn: Sean Geobey's LinkedIn

Sean Geobey brings applied expertise in social innovation theory, sustainable finance, planning, governance, and decision-theory to his research and teaching. As the Co-Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) his teaching includes cutting edge work in social entrepreneurship and social innovation, with a pedagogical approach that uses problem-based, community-engaged learning. His research focuses on the governance and design f collective action for social innovation. This research includes the use of evidence in interdisciplinary decision-making, design for participatory decision-making, and social finance. He runs the social innovation lab work for WISIR and is the Principal Investigator of WISIR’s Legacy Leadership Lab, an ecosystem mobilization program funded by the Canadian Social Finance Fund’s Investment Readiness Program to explore the conversion of conventional small businesses into social purpose organizations through social acquisitions.

Courses Taught

  • ENBUS 403 A/B – Sustainable Entrepreneurship Project

Selected Publications

  • Piscitelli, A., & Geobey, S. (2020). Representative Board Governance: What Role Do Nonprofit Board Directors Have in Representing the Interest of Their Constituents?. Canadian Journal of Nonprofit & Social Economy Research/Revue canadienne de recherche sur les OSBL et l'économie sociale, 11(1).
  • Geobey, S., and K. A. McGowan. 2019. Panarchy, ontological and epistemological phenomena, and the Plague. Ecology and Society 24(4):23.
  • Geobey, S., & Ronson, M. (2018). The Co-Operative Opportunity in Ontario’s Small Business Succession Challenge. Toronto: Atkinson Foundation.
  • Geobey, S., & Callahan, J. (2017). Managing Impact Portfolios: A Conceptual View of Scale. ACRN Oxford Journal of Finance and Risk Perspectives, 6(4), 17-36.
  • Geobey, S., Westley, F. R., & Weber, O. (2012). Enabling social innovation through developmental social finance. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 3(2), 151-165.


  • Ph.D - Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, 2014
  • M.A. - Economics, Queen’s University, 2005
  • BA (Hons.) - Economics & Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2003