STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: “Are you an academic or an activist?”

By Elisa Arond, Doctoral student, Clark University and researcher STEPS Centre Grassroots Innovation project (Photo: poster at JNU, Delhi) “Are you an academic or an activist?” That was the first question I was asked over tea before the workshop on Grassroots Innovation Movements began at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University,…

Telling stories about scarcity

‘Scarcity’ is a key term in debates about the global rush for land and other resources. A new Future Agricultures working paper, co-authored by STEPS director Ian Scoones, looks at different narratives of scarcity related to the future of food and farming in Africa and globally, and finds that political questions – about distribution, needs,…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Every case is its own study? Every movement has its own goals?

By Adrian Smith, Researcher, STEPS Centre / SPRU Learning with and across diverse grassroots innovation movements Here in Delhi, first at the Grassroots Innovation Movements Workshop, and then at the STEPS-JNU Symposium, participants were interested in the commitments and positions taken in STEPS Centre research projects. Our project on Grassroots Innovation Movements in Historical and…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Nexus narratives – water politics in Asia

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre The fourth panel at the STEPS-JNU Symposium focused on the highly contested narratives around how water is stored and accessed in Asia, with cases from Nepal, Laos, and Thailand. As Uttam Sinha from The Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, commented, Asia is facing a “hydrological moment”…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Transformative innovation from the grassroots

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre Session three at the JNU-STEPS Symposium focused on ‘grassroots innovation’. The panel emphasised the transformative possibilities of innovation, and the need to go beyond a narrow definition of innovation as focused only on technology. Rooted in movements, Adrian Smith from the STEPS Centre, argued that innovation is also about…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Making climate change visible

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre The second session at the JNU-STEPS Symposium focused on how uncertainties generated by climate change are appreciated both ‘from above’ and ‘from below’ – and indeed by those in the middle. Three highly contrasting rural and urban case studies from Delhi and Mumbai, presented by Alankar of Sarai, Kutch…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Turning urban sustainability on its head

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre At the STEPS-JNU Symposium on ‘Exploring Pathways to Sustainability’ organised with the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP) at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the first session explored the contexts and consequences of rapid urban growth in India through some in-depth case studies on urban waste management and…

Call for participation: Engineering, social justice & peace, Argentina

The Network on Engineering, Social Justice and Peace (ESJP) has issued a call for participation ahead of its Annual Meeting in Buenos Aires in August 2014. STEPS Centre member Adrian Smith is among the speakers. Conference themes include: How can engineering and engineers contribute to community development? How can engineering and engineers contribute to the…

STEPS-JNU Symposium: Exploring Pathways To Sustainabilty

Our 2014 Annual Symposium, ‘Exploring pathways to sustainability’, was co-organised with the Centre for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and launched a new initiative across four schools at JNU to create a STEPS ‘Sustainability Hub’ for collaborative, interdisciplinary work. This exciting initiative will engender cutting-edge, academically rigorous research across the social and natural sciences,…