by Patricia Pérez Belmont, Umbela Transformaciones Sostenibles
Over the last 15 years, STEPS has worked to shift discourses on the politics of sustainability to recognize and appreciate multiple pathways to sustainable futures. This task means challenging the methods people use to produce knowledge about the world. It also raises questions about how this knowledge can deliberately support emancipatory struggles towards alternative pathways of change.
In this essay, Amber Huff and Nathan Oxley reflect on questions that have emerged through Natures, the STEPS Centre’s theme throughout 2020.
I hope that this essay finds you well in these turbulent times.
When we last reached out in this format nearly one year ago, at the beginning of 2020, it was with a reflection on stories about Nature — or rather, Natures. …
by Nathan Oxley and Sophie Marsden, Institute of Development Studies
The UN Climate Summit next week in New York will once again convene governments to discuss the intimidating challenge of how to coordinate action around climate change. Around the world, a series of strikes are planned to show the depth of support — led by young people, but involving those of all ages — for radical transformation. It’s a useful moment to reflect on the different strategies that we have for understanding and acting on climate change.
While climate has grabbed the headlines in a big way in 2019, it’s…
by Nathan Oxley, ESRC STEPS Centre
In a parliamentary debate in London about climate change and ecology on 1 May, the debate turned to scripture to describe the scale of the problem. “We face catastrophes of biblical proportions: droughts, pestilence, famine, floods, wildfires, mass migration, political instability, war and terrorism. Global civilisation as we know it will be gone by the end of the century unless we act.”
by Andy Stirling, Adrian Ely and Fiona Marshall
This is one in a series of four blog posts exploring ideas and case studies on ‘transformations’, drawing on research carried out in 2017 and looking forward to the STEPS Centre’s work in 2018. For background and links to the other posts, read the introduction.
There is no shortage of big problems in the world. Food, water, climate, energy, biodiversity, disease and war all provoke demands for ‘transformation’. But tackling all this is not just about solving ‘grand challenges’ with big solutions. …
Right, it’s Christmas, and it’s nearly 2018. But why? About two millenia later, the first Christmas defines the date for many of us. It’s not often that an event makes people mark time in such a radical way: history (for a large part of humanity, though by no means all), after the fact, is divided into two sections — BC and AD. We may take the date for granted, but this kind of division between past and future is a big deal, and it matters right now how we deal with it.
People make lines in the sand: pre and…
In a laboratory in steamy corner of a compound in the northern outskirts of Yangon, the workload for a team of technicians and microbiologists has more than doubled over the past year. But while the number of biological samples processed in this lab has multiplied, the time taken to undertake the work has eased — and the results obtained are now many times more accurate.
Until recently, the ageing and limited facilities at Myanmar’s Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory meant that the capacity for testing livestock samples from farms and abattoirs for signs of disease was…
This impact story, one of a series from the ESRC STEPS Centre, shows how we engaged in processes around the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2015, a new set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals were formally adopted by members of the United Nations. They followed on from the previous set of 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
There are some key differences this time around. Sustainability is now central, and the goals apply explicitly to all countries, not just ‘developing’ ones. …
This impact story, one of a series from the ESRC STEPS Centre, shows how our research revealed new insights about science, technology and innovation. From the ‘New Manifesto’ to work on ‘grassroots’ innovation, STEPS researchers have opened up conversations around the world, exploring how citizens can be better involved in shaping the kinds of technologies, innovations and science that can contribute to more sustainable futures.
Science, technology and innovation can be crucial to creating prosperity and wellbeing, but there are big assumptions about how they do it. One is that investing in innovation and technology is bound to speed countries…
In this blog post, Laura Pereira explains the idea of a ‘Transformation Lab’ (T-lab). T-labs are being used in our Pathways Network project in 6 countries to try to enable socio-ecological transformations. In the post, Laura uses an example of a completed T-lab from the GRAID research project in South Africa.
For a short summary of T-labs, view a slideshow prepared by Laura and Per Olsson of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.