Tone Smith is a researcher in the fields of ecological economics, social-ecological transformation, institutional change and degrowth. She defended her doctoral thesis on The Role of Numbers in Environmental Politics in 2017, a topic chosen after working many years at Statistics Norway and with the OECD in the field of sustainability indicators, environmental performance assessment, environmental-economic accounting and environmental statistics. Her research addresses questions at the interface of the natural and social sciences, and also issues related to scientific knowledge and philosophy of science. The latter has led to the setting up of the the Vienna Critical Realist Workshop series, of which she is a co-organiser.
After finishing her doctoral studies, Smith worked for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism during the Austrian Presidency of the EU Council. She worked on policy issues related to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), preparing position papers and acting as a negotiator on behalf of the European Union Member States during the Austrian Presidency period in 2018. She has also been teaching economics at various Austrian universities (FH Krems, FH Bfi Wien) besides the WU.
Since 2019, she is an independent researcher and freelance writer, active in the Rethinking Economics network, and still associated with the WU and the Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development (MLGD). In 2020, she was part of the organisation team & advisory board of Degrowth Vienna 2020 - online conference co-hosted by the MLGD, and part-time post-doc preparing a research project on Post-Covid Economics.
PhD. 2017; Supervisor: Dr. Andreas Novy