Moving beyond products to material culture

Prototyping or debating sustainable developments in makerspaces? In the previous blog I introduced some of the diverse ways that makerspaces are helping cultivate sustainable developments. Admittedly, these initiatives do not represent the totality of makerspaces, where many projects and activities are oblivious to demands for sustainable developments. In this blog I discuss some of the challenges…

Same meat, different gravy? The new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA)

  By David Ockwell, STEPS Centre Deputy Director, Research On 2 July African Union Heads of State and Government adopted the new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024)[i]. This replaces the previous African Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) that was adopted by the AU back in 2006. STISA-2024 sets…

Community-based Micro Grids: Experiences in Rural Kenya

By Lorenz Gollwitzer I am standing in Olosho-Oibor, a small village three-hours from Nairobi, at the bottom of the Ngong Hills (famous as the place where Denys Finch Hatton crashed his plane and died in Karen Blixen’s autobiography Out of Africa). Beeping in my pocket, my smartphone has just received an email, yet the nearest connection to the national grid…

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…

Resilience 2014: Limits revisited? Planetary boundaries, justice and power

By Melissa Leach, IDS Director In 1972 Meadows et al’s Limits to Growth made scientific and policy waves, as its ‘World3’ model predicted the end of growth and prosperity as rising, consuming populations ran up against resource limits. In critique, SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research) at the University of Sussex offered alternative models predicting…

More than just a “clean energy race”? BRICS invesment and innovation could lead the way on green transformation

By Adrian Ely On the sidelines of the World Cup in Brazil this year, another competition will be the subject of conversation amongst the delegations attending this year’s BRICS summit, also in Brazil.  Which of the ‘rising powers’ is winning the ‘clean energy race’? The sixth summit meeting of the group known as the ‘BRICS’…

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,…

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,…

Best of STEPS 2013: Science and technology for development

From the global politics of scientific advice to solar home systems in Kenya. From the GM crops debate to living with climate uncertainty in India. The STEPS Centre and our partners around the globe have been hard at work throughout 2013 seeking to make science, technology and innovation work for the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. Here are…