Dr. Julian Manley

Social Innovation Manager | Centre for SME Development

Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise

Media Factory, ME418

+44 (0) 1772 89 3478


Julian Manley went to Cambridge University and Middlesex University as an undergraduate before pursuing post-graduate studies at the University of the West of England. He has a background in English Literature, Music, Group Relations and Psycho-Social Studies. Before joining UCLan, he pursued a career in secondary school education, school management and was the Founder and Managing Director of an organisational consultancy in Spain. In 2000 he trained with the Tavistock Clinic and qualified in organisational consultancy using the ‘Tavistock approach’. He is a world leading expert in the study of Social Dreaming a practice and research method of dream sharing in groups and associative thinking. His work in the field of the psycho-social includes a developing engagement with Deleuzian philosophy.

Full Profile

Julian Manley has years of experience in the field of psychosocial studies, and a background in group relations in the Tavistock tradition. He has published widely in the field of Social Dreaming, having recently published two books on the subject. The first of these is Social Dreaming, Associative Thinking and Intensities of Affect (Palgrave Macmillan 2018). The book is the first extended academic account of social dreaming and makes the case for considering social dreaming within a Deleuzian paradigm.

As part of his work around Social Dreaming, Julian has helped to develop the Visual Matrix method and published several articles that demonstrate the use of visual images and free association in groups in ways that are similar to social dreaming.

Julian’s research explores human relations, and the psychodynamics of relations in groups and society at many levels, very often with a focus on complexity and groups and social situations that are hard to engage with. His work encompasses social issues that defy simple explanations such as race issues, and attitudes towards climate change. He has most recently been profoundly involved with the meaning of relationships, community and citizenship in a co-operative society. He is the Chair of the Preston Co-operative Development Network that promotes the development of co-operative principles and values, which forms part of an on-going action research project into the validity and possibilities of learning from co-operative structures in a post-Brexit or even a post-growth society. He is recognised as one of the instigators of the Preston Model and is currently responsible for nurturing relationships and work partnerships between the University and the City Council in Preston as part of the continuing socio-economic development work and community wealth building project in Preston. He has been invited to speak at numerous public events and conferences on the Preston Model and the question of co-operatives, locally, nationally and internationally. His research and contribution to the field has been highlighted in national and international press and media, ranging from Europe to North America and Japan.

Julian works in Social Innovation, which is part of the Centre for SME Development, and manages a small research team dedicated to the study of co-operative values and principles and the Preston Model.

He wrote a blog for Insider North West about how grassroots growth can drive business and community prosperity and asks if the Preston Model could be taken up by other cities. He is also a member of UCLan’s Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change.

His overall interests are in multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches in psychosocial studies and in encouraging a more ‘holistic’, inter-subjective approach to thinking and understanding that embraces thought and feeling, intellectual and experiential, theory and practice. He is Co-Chair of the Climate Psychology Alliance Scotland, on the Executive Committee of the Climate Psychology Alliance and a founder and Board member of the Centre for Social Dreaming.

Julian had an article published on The Conversation in November 2018 about how the city of Preston changed its fortunes to be assessed as the most improved city in the UK in 2018, entitled ‘Preston changed its fortunes with ‘Corbynomics’ – now other cities are doing the same’.


Julian’s current research focus is into the social value aspect of working and living co-operatively, with a special focus on co-operative values and principles and their use in the context of worker owned co-operatives, especially the Mondragon co-operatives.

Research Activities

Julian’s active areas of research include co-operative values and principles at work and in community. He also contributes to studies in climate change psychology. Much of his research concerns the use and theory of social dreaming and associated psycho-social research methods, such as the Visual Matrix.


  • PhD, Psychosocial Studies, (Social Dreaming), University of the West of England, 2010
  • MSc, Group Relations and Society, University of the West of England, 2004
  • MA, English, University of Cambridge, 1990
  • DipHE Creative Arts, (Music), Middlesex University, 1986
  • BA (Hons.) English, University of Cambridge, 1983


Academic Books

Long, S. and Manley, J. (Eds.) (2019). Social Dreaming: Philosophy, research, theory and practice. London: Routledge

Froggett, L., Manley, J. Smith, M., and Roy, A.(Eds)  (2019) Social Work and the Visual Imagination: Seeing with the Mind’s Eye. London: Routledge

Manley, J. (2018). Social Dreaming: Associative thinking and intensities of affect. London: Palgrave Macmillan (Studies in the Psychosocial series)

See Clok profile

Peer reviewed academic journals

Ramvi, E., Manley, J., Froggett, L., Liveng, A., Lading, Å., Hollway, W. and Gripsrud, B.H. (2018) ‘The Visual Matrix Method in a Study of Death and Dying: Methodological Reflections’, to Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society

Manley, J. and Trustram, M. (2018) ‘Such endings that are not over’: The slave trade, social dreaming and affect in a museum’, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 23(1), pp. 77-96

Roy, A. & Manley, J., (2017) ‘Recovery and Movement: Allegory and ‘journey’ as a means of exploring recovery from substance misuse’. Journal of Social Work Practice. Vol 31, Issue 2, pp 191-204

Manley, J. & Roy, A. (2017) ‘The visual matrix: a psycho-social method for discovering unspoken complexities in social care practice’, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society 22(2), pp. 132-153

Book Chapters

Manley, J. & Hollway, W. (forthcoming 2019) ‘The Unthought Known of Climate Change: How social dreaming and art can be used to think the unthinkable.’ In Hoggett, P. (Ed.) Climate Psychology: Psycho-Social Research on Human/Nature Relations in the Age of Climate Change. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Karolia, I. & Manley, J. (2018) ‘1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ Sympathy for Jihadis’: An insight into the Lived Experience of UK Muslims following the Terror Attacks in Paris’. In: Adlam, J., Gilligan, J., Kluttig, T. & Lee, B.X. (eds) Creative States: Overcoming Violence. London: Jessica Kingsley

Berman, H. & Manley, J. (2018) ‘Social Dreaming and creativity in South Africa: Imagi(ni)ng the unthought known’. In: Adlam, J., Gilligan, J., Kluttig, T. & Lee, B.X. (eds) Creative States: Overcoming Violence. London: Jessica Kingsley

Manley, J. (2018) ‘Every human being is an artist’: From social representation to creative experiences of Self’. In: Cummins, A.M., & Williams, N. (eds) Further Researching Beneath the Surface. Psycho-social research methods in practice: Volume 2, Chapter 5, pp. 97-121. London: Routledge.

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

  • The Preston Co-operative Development Network
  • British Sociological Association
  • Climate Psychology Alliance
  • Climate Psychology Alliance Scotland
  • Association for Psychosocial Studies

External Activities

Julian is External Examiner for the Tavistock ‘D10’ Masters ‘Consulting and Leading in Organisations: Psychodynamic and Systemic Approaches’. He is Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire.


Manley, J, (2012), ‘Dreaming New Thoughts: Between Self and Utopia’, presentation and workshop at the Museums Utopias Conference, University of Leicester, 27-28 March 2012

Manley, J, (2011), ‘Between Place and Perception: The Potential Space of Creativity’, presentation at the Shorelines Conference, Ayr, organised by the University of the West of Scotland and the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, 15 November 2011

Manley, J, (2011), ‘Can the Arts heal Trauma? Social Dreaming as an Creative Model for Healing’, Über(W)unden: Art in Troubled Times, Conference, Goethe Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa, 7-11 September 2011

Manley, J, (2010), ‘Social Dreaming as a tool for exploring the feelings, emotions and unconscious thoughts of visitors to museums’, symposium at Manchester Art Gallery, ‘The unconscious in the museum’, 12 November 2010

Manley, J, (2010), ‘Transgression: Self, Sanity and Society’ at Transgression and its Limits Conference, University of Stirling, 29-30 May 2010

Manley, J, (2010), ‘Image-Affect in the Social Dreaming Matrix and its Potential in Psycho-Social Research’, at Vital Signs (2) Conference, University of Manchester, 7-9 September 2010