Gideon is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches and conducts research in transition design. He is a social ecologist/social theorist whose research focuses on the convergence between scientific holism and the ecological world view and a tradition of non-authoritarian social and political thinking that embraces such figures as Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs and social ecologist Murray Bookchin. He believes that the concepts developed within this tradition during the last century and a half are especially relevant to contemporary ecological, social and existential issues and can inform a more responsible approach to designing.
Gideon studied and worked with Bookchin over a period of several years, has worked with many grassroots green groups and networks in the UK, was programme administrator and course tutor for the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College (where he also built an extensive library of books on topics relating to the emerging ecological worldview) and holds a Phd in design from the University of Dundee, Scotland. His thesis, in which he introduced the concept of transition design, was entitled ‘Holism and the Reconstitution of Everyday Life: a Framework for Transition to a Sustainable Society’. It is summarised in the book ‘Grow Small, Think Beautiful’ edited by Stephan Harding and published by Floris.