Sustainability in a Changing China

The STEPS Centre is delighted to be working with partners in China to launch a Sustainability Hub for collaborative, interdisciplinary research and learning, launched today at an international conference on Pathways to Sustainability in a Changing China.

Beijing Normal University School of Social Development and Public Policy (BNU-SSDPP) and the STEPS Centre are working together with other partners in China to create a Sustainability Hub, one of six hubs spread across five continents, forming the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium,  an emerging new international network to tackle the most pressing sustainability challenges facing the world now and in decades to come.

Over three decades, our host organisations, SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex have worked closely with Chinese colleagues on the problems of science and innovation for development.

Since 2006 the STEPS Centre’s UK-China projects have provided cutting edge interdisciplinary research and engagement with key ministries, academic institutions and think tanks and the new China Sustainability Hub builds on this work and that of our Chinese partners.

Responding to the shared global goals of sustainable and equitable development that confront both the UK and China, our collaborative work investigates the interactions between science, technology, environment and society to inform decision-making at different levels of government.

Our work in China covers three interlinked areas: Agricultural transformations, food security and food safety; technology collaboration for international development (including health); and low carbon innovation and sustainable cities.

The Pathways to Sustainability in a Changing China conference (20-21 April 2015) will provide a valuable opportunity for STEPS Centre members, colleagues from across China and international partners from our Global Consortium to share insights, experiences and plans for future research and engagement.

We are delighted that Zhang Xiulan (Director, BNU-SSDPP) and Melissa Leach (Director, IDS; Former Director, STEPS Centre) will make the keynote speeches (videos to follow).

The conference is preceded by a one day Masterclass involving early career researchers and students from BNU and other Chinese universities with STEPS Centre members and alumni. The event will explore the STEPS pathways approach and pathways methods and methodologies. Presentations will be made to winners of the Sustainability Hub research proposal competition and South-South Cooperation Forum with international students at BNU and contributions from STEPS Global Consortium partners from Africa and Argentina.

The Masterclass and conference are hosted by Beijing Normal University School of Social Development and Public Policy in partnership with the STEPS Centre and under the auspices of the Ministry of Education’s 2011 Cooperative Platform on Innovation, Governance and Development. Funding for this conference has been gratefully received from the UK Economic and Social Research Council through the Newton Fund.

We will be publishing blogposts, summaries, videos and more resources from the conference, which is part of a series of events in Beijing this week involving the IDS and SPRU. Keep your eyes on the blog for more details later this week.