Dr. Alfredo Ortiz Aragon
Professor Dr. Alfredo Ortiz Aragon is an Associate Professor in the PhD Program in the Dreeben School of Education at the University of the Incarnate Word, and part time faculty at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), focusing on Nonprofit Management and Social Change. He is also an action-researcher and designer / facilitator of organizational change processes, working in international and local development contexts for the last 17 years. In all of his work, Dr. Ortiz tries to prioritize critical reflection on how power relationships between people enable and constrain “desirable” and “feasible” change. He believes that increased awareness on the role all people play in including and excluding diverse ways of understanding and acting in the world can lead to new perspectives and increased inclusion of marginalized people, causes, ideas and ways of knowing.
Dr. Ortiz’s research interests are focused on how organizations that support social change emerge, lead, strengthen themselves, adapt and remain relevant in complex, contested development realities. Methodologically, he is particularly interested in how action research (AR) and capacity building as AR may support these processes. Action research offers extended epistemological philosophies and tools that allow people to connect their deeper identities and ways of knowing to change processes, thereby affording deeper transformational opportunities. His AR interests include exploring the implications of taking a “soft systemic” epistemological stance—i.e. using theories, classroom content, and methodologies not as knowledge to accumulate, but as sources of good questions to ask of real life situations. He is an Associate Editor of the Action Research Journal and has a a PhD from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), as a member of the (then) Participation, Power and Social Change team.