Against authoritarianism: Why we shouldn’t ‘put democracy on hold’ to achieve sustainability

Does the human response to global environmental challenges need to be channelled through authoritarian, controlled ‘transitions’? Threatened by climate change, should we ‘put democracy on hold for a while’? Or could more unruly modes of change, inspired by other ongoing radical social transformations – release from colonialism, racism and patriarchy, for example – offer more…

Latin American STEPS Centre Hub starts with debate series on sustainability

by Valeria Arza, Mariano Fressoli, Anabel Marin and Patrick van Zwanenberg, STEPS Centre Latin American hub A new series of Debates on Sustainability and Development in Latin America has kicked off in Argentina with a discussion on the social utility of publicly funded research for transgenic crops. Organised by two of the STEPS Centre’s partner…

The Wonders of Walkshops

By Melissa Leach, IDS Director The STEPS Centre Summer School has been running here at IDS over the last two weeks – 38 fantastic PhD students and early career researchers from 25 countries. As ever we’ve all been enriched, enlightened and challenged by presentations, discussion and searching debate around building pathways to sustainability and social…

Learning from Great Transformations Past and Present

Reflecting on Karl Polanyi at the Resilience 2014 Conference By John Thompson, STEPS Centre Food and Agriculture Convenor In June 2013, I served on the Scientific Steering Committee of the international conference on Transformation in a Changing Climate, which was held at the University of Oslo. One of my duties for that event was to…

The power and politics around ‘objective’ performance monitoring

Performance monitoring, most prominently exemplified in the Millennium Development Goals, is often perceived as providing objective results. Using the case of access to rural water supplies in Ethiopia, a new journal article (£) by STEPS alumna Katharina Welle explores the power and political dynamics inherent in sector performance monitoring. Welle, K. (2014) Monitoring performance or…

Mariana Mazzucato on ‘The Green Entrepreneurial State’: video, audio & slides

Mariana Mazzucato gave a public lecture on ‘The Green Entrepreneurial State’ as part of this year’s STEPS Summer School. Audio, video and slides from her talk are now available (see below). Prof Mazzucato is the author of the book ‘The Entrepreneurial State: public vs private sector myths’. She holds the prestigious RM Phillips chair in…

Grassroots fabrication in makerspaces: the importance of culture, context & relationships

On Thursday 10th April 2014, the Grassroots Innovations project organised a half-day World Café workshop in Copenhagen on the topic of grassroots fabrication in makerspaces. It formed one session within a wider conference exploring an ‘Innovative Civil Society’ and hosted by the international Living Knowledge network of science shops. Makerspaces are one of the case…

On the benefits of walking and talking

Our Summer School kicked off today, with 38 students from 25 countries meeting at IDS for two weeks of intensive debate and discussion. On Wednesday, after a short lecture on ‘uncertainty’, they’ll take a long walk over the South Downs, talking to each other around a set of guiding questions. This builds on a strong…

STEPS Centre Summer School 2014

Our Summer School brought together an exceptional group of people who are exploring and developing ideas on building pathways to sustainability. This year 38 participants from 25 countries challenged the STEPS team and each other on questions of science, society and development through a mix of lectures, walks, discussions and public events. Storify: The story…

Public lecture, 12 May: ‘The Green Entrepreneurial State’

We’re delighted to announce that Prof Mariana Mazzucato will be the speaker for our annual public lecture at Sussex University, which takes place as part of the STEPS Centre Summer School. Mariana Mazzucato: ‘The Green Entrepreneurial State’ 12 May 2014 at 5.30-7pm Followed by drinks reception Fulton A Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex Falmer, Brighton,…