Nathan Oxley

Nathan Oxley

Impact, Communications and Engagement Officer

Nathan contributes to the impact, communications and engagement work of the STEPS Centre. He is also a web editor for the Future Agricultures Consortium. He has worked for a specialist communications agency on sustainable development, and as a web editor for a national charity in the UK.

  • Melissa Leach on Ebola & inequality – lecture text & audio

    Published on 21 October 2014

    Some materials are now available from the recent Sussex Development Lecture on Equality, Sustainability, Security: Interlaced challenges in a global development era by former STEPS Director Melissa Leach. The text is available to download below as a PDF, and you can listen to Melissa’s lecture online, courtesy of the Institute of Development Studies.

    In the lecture, Melissa uses Ebola as a lens to look at how inequalities, unsustainability and insecurity can interact, enhanced by misguided interventions, to render people and places deeply vulnerable. Addressing these interactions must become central to a renewed vision of development for all.

    Melissa Leach Sussex Development Lecture Autumn 2014 by Ids (Uk) on Mixcloud


  • Gender equality and Sustainability: STEPS members contribute to new UN Women report

    Published on 19 October 2014

    STEPS Centre members have contributed to a major United Nations report that highlights the deep connections between gender equality and sustainable development, as the world moves towards a post-2015 framework.

    Edit (21 Oct 2014): The video from the launch event in New York is now available to watch on the UN website.

    The World Survey on the role of women in development 2014: Gender equality and sustainable development is the latest in UN Women’s flagship series, published every five years. Its conceptualisation was led by Melissa Leach, former STEPS director and now Institute of Development Studies Director; Lyla Mehta, STEPS Centre Water & Sanitation theme convenor; with assistance from Preetha Prabhakaran.

    World-Survey-2014-coverThis year’s report highlights the fundamental links between gender equality and pathways to sustainability, and recommends concrete policy actions to move towards an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future, in which all women and girls, men and boys enjoy their human rights.

    Pathways and gender

    The framing of the report draws centrally on the STEPS Centre’s Pathways Approach, outlining a ‘gendered pathways approach’ which unites the challenges of working for environmental sustainability and gender equality. Melissa Leach has written a STEPS blog explaining the background to this thinking. (more…)

  • David Ockwell at UNFCCC workshop on innovation systems (live webcast)

    Published on 13 October 2014

    On 13–14 October, the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) of the UNFCCC is holding a workshop on Strengthening national systems of innovation in developing countries, covering the entire technology cycle for climate technology. This workshop will be webcast (see link below).

    The workshop includes a presentation by David Ockwell, convenor of the STEPS Centre’s Energy and Climate Change domain, on the subject of Transferring climate technology knowledge and developing national capacity to absorb knowledge.

    The TEC is organizing the workshop to facilitate the implementation of its 2014-2015 rolling workplan. The workshop will support the TEC’s work on enhancing enabling environments for and addressing barriers to technology development and transfer, in accordance with its mandated functions. It will have three sessions:

    1. Strengthening national systems of innovation
    2. Issues related to knowledge transfer between national systems of innovation
    3. Knowledge transfer mechanisms: enhancing collaboration.

    Full details of the event, including an agenda, background note and speaker biographies, can be found on the TEC web page about the workshop.

    Webcast and virtual participation

    All stakeholders are invited to follow the workshop through the live webcast and participate in the workshop discussions via social media. By using the Twitter hashtag #climatetech, you may tweet questions for the consideration of the workshop participants.

  • Complex Adaptive Systems & health: new resources

    Published on 8 September 2014

    In June 2014, Future Health Systems (FHS) and the STEPS Centre co-hosted a workshop exploring Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) approaches to health systems strengthening in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

    complex1FHS and STEPS are particularly concerned with policies, programs, and individual level interventions promote and protect people’s health and wellbeing, particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

    The workshop was designed mainly to build capacity among both consortia on specific methods for working with and understanding CAS.

    Read the workshop summary

    The Future Health Systems team has produced a summary from the workshop with

    • A brief run-down of methods relevant to Complex Adaptive Systems
    • Video introductions from Taghreed Adam and Ben Ramalingam (YouTube playlist)
    • Full video of 7 presentations from the workshop (YouTube playlist)
    • 7 blogposts on complexity approaches & their use in health systems research

    View the summary on the Future Health Systems website. (more…)

  • Technology & democracy: the story of Brazil’s Social Technology Network

    Published on 16 July 2014

    A new STEPS working paper tells the story of a recent experiment in grassroots innovation – the Social Technology Network (STN) in Brazil.

    The paper, by Mariano Fressoli and Rafael Dias, is linked to our project on historical and comparative perspectives on grassroots innovation.

    Formed in 2004, the STN was a ‘hybrid’, involving social movements, NGOs, national institutions and semi-public companies like Banco do Brazil’s Foundation and Petrobras. It was remarkable for its success in attracting a large number of projects – over 900.


  • Mission-Oriented Finance for Innovation: top-down missions or bottom-up causes?

    Published on 8 July 2014

    Andy Stirling, co-director of STEPS, will be a speaker at the conference Mission-Oriented Finance for Innovation on 22-24 July in London, which examines the important role of public sector agencies in tackling societal challenges through innovation. The conference is organised by Prof Mariana Mazzucato of SPRU with Prof L. Randall Wray (UMKC & Levy Institute, USA).

    Prof Stirling is part of a panel on ‘Mission-oriented finance for smart and inclusive growth’ on the third day of the conference, with a contribution entitled ‘From top-down missions to bottom-up causes’.

    A limited number of tickets are available to the general public free of charge through the conference registration page.


  • The nexus – politics, practice and disciplinary dilemmas

    Published on 20 June 2014

    STEPS researchers have written a series of blogposts for the Guardian and the Nexus Platform website addressing the challenges of the water-food-energy-environment ‘nexus’. Andy Stirling addresses the challenges of working across disciplines, Jeremy Allouche looks at nexus politics while James Wilsdon and Rose Cairns discuss joining research, policy and practice. The Guardian Nexus blogpost series launches the Nexus Network, of which STEPS is a lead partner.

    30 June 2014: Whose nexus? Whose security?

    Jeremy Allouche and Maria Cooper examine the framings of security inherent in the nexus, and who stands in a position to influence them.

    20 June 2014: Food, energy and water: the politics of the nexus

    Jeremy Allouche writes on the food-energy-water nexus and the need to recognise that global priorities may not reflect local concerns, and resource allocations are always political.

    11 June 2014: Disciplinary dilemma: working across research silos is harder than it looks

    STEPS Co-Director Andy Stirling writes about the ‘nexus’ being the latest buzzword intended to lure researchers out of their disciplinary comfort zones and get them working together on the big challenges of the day. But asks how easy is it in practice?

    9 June 2014: Navigating the nexus of food, energy, water and the environment

    STEPS members James Wilsdon and Rose Cairns on navigating the nexus of food, energy, water and the environment with the help of The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council new £1.8m network to join up research, policy and practice on environmental challenges.


  • ‘Resilience’ and the peri-urban: limitations & potential

    Published on 5 June 2014


    A new IDS Briefing looks at the potentials and pitfalls of the use of the ‘resilience agenda’ in talking about the role of the peri-urban space in urban expansion. One of the authors is STEPS Centre member Lyla Mehta.


  • ‘Negotiating Environmental Change’ now available as an e-book

    Published on

    negotThe 2003 book Negotiating Environmental Change: New Perspectives on Social Science, edited by STEPS director Ian Scoones, Melissa Leach (former director) and Frans Berkhout (Interim Director of Future Earth), has been released as an e-book, with chapters available in digital form from Edward Elgar Publishing.

    The book includes an opening chapter by the editors, as well as a contribution by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, writing on risk, uncertainty and precaution. Other chapters cover economics, deliberative democracy, governance, trade, business, technology and consumption.

    To view the digital edition, readers will need to purchase it online, or access it via asubscription (for example via an institutional library).

    Negotiating Environmental Change is also still available in print from the same publishers and bookshops.

  • Nature Not For Sale: Ian Scoones discusses biodiversity & communities

    Published on 2 June 2014

    STEPS Centre Director Ian Scoones is on a panel at Nature Not For Sale: 2nd Forum on Natural Commons today in London. The forum brings together NGOs, academics, activists and the general public to respond to concerns about biodiversity offsetting, which the event organisers see as a flawed policy to allow wildlife to be destroyed in the promise that it will be ‘replaced’ elsewhere.

    Prof Scoones is on the “Biodiversity offsetting and community rights” panel.