Paulo Savaget

Associate Professor of Engineering (Engineering Entrepreneurship)

  • paulo.savaget@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Paulo holds a joint appointment between the Department of Engineering Science and Saïd Business School. His primary fields of expertise are entrepreneurship, sustainable development, systems change, and innovation management.


The emphasis of his work is on transforming unjust systems through entrepreneurship. He formerly served as Postdoctoral Researcher at the Skoll Centre and as an Assistant Professor at Durham University. Outside academia, he worked as an entrepreneur and as a consultant to large companies, governments, and intergovernmental organisations. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, as a Gates Scholar.

He has been granted the IBM Business of Government Award, the Green Talents Award from the German Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Oldham Award from the University of Sussex, and has received multiple scholarships for his studies, such as from the Gates Trust, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Brazilian Council for Science and Technology.


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Development
  • Workarounds and Hacking
  • Innovation
  • Systems Change.



Paulo's research covers the mechanics of entrepreneurship, often through a 'systems lens,' and always with a focus on sustainability challenges (e.g., poverty, climate change, circular economy). He is particularly interested in exploring innovative solutions in situations where information is limited, resources are scarce, and stakes are high.


Paulo engages with practitioners through action and translational research. He has worked extensively as a consultant in projects with different audiences and settings, which ranged from high-end offices of large companies and intergovernmental organisations to remote regions in the Amazon. He particularly enjoys teaming up with organisations to develop projects that contribute both to theory and practice. An example of Paulo's work would be his engagement with Colalife and IBM business of government. For more information, read the report.


Paulo builds on his interdisciplinary academic background and on his experiences working as a consultant and entrepreneur. He highly values students’ experiences and engagement, and his classes are grounded both in theory and in practical examples from different geographical settings.

Since his academic background includes qualifications from both engineering and from the social sciences (and he holds a joint appointment between the Department of Engineering Science and Saïd Business School), he is naturally inclined to combine different conceptual lenses and tools to make students question their knowledge assumptions and management practices.

He is also very interested in mentoring and supervising junior researchers and DPhil students, helping them identifying phenomena that seem at odds with conventional theories and practices, framing research problems, and understanding (and rigorously employing) research methods.

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