winter school on transformation

Eu-SPRI Winter School on Innovation for Transformative Change

A call for applications has been issued for a new Eu-SPRI Winter School on Innovation policy for Transformative Change. The Winter School takes place on 16-20 January 2017 at the University of Sussex. The course seeks to familiarise participants with state-of-the-art debates about the ‘transformative change’ frame of Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) policy and…

Six grassroots innovation movements, and why they matter

Innovation is increasingly said to be vital for responding to global challenges like sustainable development. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that networks of community groups, activists and researchers have been innovating grassroots solutions for social justice and environmental sustainability for decades. A new STEPS book, Grassroots Innovation Movements (Routledge, 2016) examines six such movements…

Beyond two-dimensional perspectives: Sustainable energy access as adaptation and mitigation?

Earlier this year, the Institute of Development Studies convened a one day meeting of scholars to discuss the emerging field of the politics of climate change adaptation. I study sustainable energy access, which doesn’t conventionally get counted as adaptation, so I wondered to what extent the politics of adaptation extends to the framing of sustainable…

Digital fabrication. Whose industrial revolution?

As the Society for Social Studies of Science & EASST build up to their annual meeting in Barcelona next month, the 4S blog is featuring preview pieces by participants. One is by Johan Söderberg, Maxigas, and Adrian Smith, with a taste of their paper about democratizing the tools of scientific-technical expertise.  The last wave of…

The Wicked Foundations of the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene describes how human society has now become the dominant force on Earth’s geology and ecosystems. The notion of the Anthropocene highlights a confounding contradiction: we have an unprecedented ability to control the world around us, yet we are using this power to destroy the preconditions for our own existence, and we seem strangely…

Discussing low carbon urban mobility in China

On Sunday 13th March, the ‘Low Carbon Innovation in China: Prospects, Politics and Practice’ project held the closing workshop of its research package on urban e-mobilities at the Shenzhen Graduate School of Tsinghua University. The event involved over 50 delegates including senior government officials, automotive companies, mobility entrepreneurs, leading academics, NGOs and students to discuss…

Four neglected challenges for China’s low carbon future

Last year ended with a momentous political step forward on climate change. The Paris Agreement, signed at the COP21 climate conference in December, requires countries to work together to meet and surpass their ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) with an objective of limiting global average temperature change to 2⁰C, and an aspiration of keeping within…

COP21: How can climate-friendly innovation flourish in developing countries?

For low carbon development to work well, innovation is crucial. Both technological hardware like solar panels and grids, and social and institutional structures, need to change as the world looks towards a lower-carbon future. At a side event at the COP21 climate conference on Tuesday, Dr Rob Byrne (STEPS Centre/Sussex Energy Group) talked about how…

What are we doing when we do open science and inclusive innovation?

Last week I participated in the ‘launch’ event of STEPS América Latina, as part of ongoing work with researchers in the region. There, as elsewhere, we are exploring the politics of technology and science in society that support pathways to sustainable development. The event was by turns a fantastically rich, stimulating, humbling, troubling, and inspiring…