From Knowledge Economy to Innovation Democracy

The ESRC STEPS Centre’s Co-Director Professor Andy Stirling recently gave a keynote speech at the European Commission’s ‘FTA 2014: future oriented technology analysis’ conference. Prof. Stirling’s address, From Knowledge Economy to Innovation Democracy: collective action in the shaping of scientific and technological futures, was based on his extensive work on technocratic transitions and opening up…

Climate innovation systems: new STEPS working paper

A new STEPS working paper discusses the academic evidence for a promising idea for supporting climate change technology in developing countries. The paper, CRIBs (Climate Relevant Innovation-system Builders): An effective way forward for international climate technology policy by David Ockwell and Rob Byrne follows a shorter policy-focused paper and summary briefing on the same subject…

Researchers pick ‘breakthrough’ technologies for growth

Dr Adrian Ely, STEPS Centre head of impact and engagement was interviewed for a story about ‘breakthrough’ technologies by Aamna Mohdin for SciDev.net Desalination using renewable energy, vaccines to help eradicate HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and electronic textbooks that adapt to readers’ skills are among the 50 development-boosting technologies identified in a report published last…

Warning tape and turning points: how we talk about planetary boundaries

Last week, updated research on ‘planetary boundaries’ was published, with new analysis of what humanity is doing to various natural processes and the risks we face as a species. Reading the paper, I was struck by the prominence, alongside the various statistics and methodology, of something quite different: the authors spend some effort to define…

Stairways to the sky: sustainability & rice in the Philippines

The rice terraces of central Luzon’s Cordillera mountain range in the Philippines climb up the steep valley-sides like bleachers designed for an audience of giants. This remarkable human-made landscape was inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage monuments in 1995. The neat ranks of flat-topped pond-fields have also been called ‘a stairway to the…

Davos, development and delivering progress

As the money men and women of the world gather in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for annual The World Economic Forum (WEF), the challenges of addressing inequality, mitigating against climate change and living sustainably on this fragile planet are at the forefront of their minds. Actually, I lie. Those things do not appear…

Resource Politics 2015: Call for panels and posters

We are delighted to announce our annual conference, Resource Politics: transforming pathways to sustainability, to be held at the Institute of Development Studies on 7-9 September 2015. Among the plenary speakers are: Rohan D’Souza, Betsy Hartmann, Melissa Leach, Johan Rockström and Michael Watts with those among the panel speakers including Tor Benjaminsen, Esteve Corbera, Wendy Harcourt…

‘Thousands of models’: Planetary boundaries, values & power

The role of current patterns of human habitation in earth systems processes is pushing beyond planetary boundaries; which is to say our impacts on climate and biosphere risk tipping our environments into states dangerous to our societies. As Katherine Richardson from Copenhagen University puts it, “Earth is familiar with large environmental changes, but modern human…

STEPS Africa research network to boost development in Africa planned

By Gilbert Nakweya for SciDev.net [NAIROBI] A new research and capacity building hub focusing on sustainable development issues in Africa will be established by mid this year, a meeting has heard. The STEPS Africa Sustainability Hub, which was announced during a meeting held in Kenya last year (6 November), aims to create a network of…

How climate change transformed India’s megacities

By Alankar, researcher at Sarai / STEPS Uncertainty from Below project. The megacities of India like Delhi and Mumbai are exhibiting today what we can call ‘urbanization of poverty’ and ‘urbanization of consumption’. More than half of the populations of both cities survives under acute poverty. At the same time, both these megacities today house…