Challenging Research

In a series of events in 2021 entitled Challenging Research, we asked critical questions on the way we use and think about methodologies in sustainability research. About the series Faced with multiple intersecting crises and long-term social and ecological problems, sustainability research is called to challenge power, revealing alternative pathways to diverse futures. But it…

Gathering knowledges – Umbela Conversatorio #3

In connection with our 2021 Methods theme, the Mexico-based NGO Umbela – Transformaciones Sostenibles has held a series of online events on the theme of ‘Cultivating Knowledges’. In this third event, the conversation focuses on Gathering knowledges. ‘Gathering knowledges’ is a conversation where we speak from the collective, from the organisations that have sown diverse…

Bioleft open seeds transference. Photo: Ana María García.

Regulating technologies in diverse development contexts – looking back to look forward

by Adrian Ely, Vanesa Lowenstein and Yuhan Bao As part of the STEPS Centre’s final event on 8 December, we’ll be reflecting on the changes since the Centre’s project ‘Rethinking Regulation’  which took place between 2006 and 2011. The Rethinking Regulation project compared the regulation of two biotechnologies – transgenic seeds and antibiotics – with…

The ‘Methods bazaar’: what did we learn about transdisciplinary methods for sustainability?

What methods can help to ‘open up’ and ‘broaden out’ pathways to sustainability, revealing alternatives to one-track visions of progress and expertise? Sustainability challenges – from Covid-19 to climate change, agri-food futures to urbanisation – require thinking carefully about the relationships between power, knowledge and action. Transdisciplinary methods can offer a way to make new…

COP26: Two worlds talked past each other – or never even met

At the 2021 UN climate change conference in Glasgow, moving between the corporate slickness of the official “Blue Zone” (a UN-managed space which hosts the negotiations) and the wider fringe was quite a disconcerting experience for me. These were two different worlds. Everyone was committed to saving the planet, but there were highly diverging views…

Why carbon offsetting through tree planting won’t help solve the climate crisis

This is the second in a pair of blog posts focusing on tree planting, climate change and biodiversity. Read the first here. The first phase of the delayed Biodiversity Convention of the Parties (COP15) concludes today. In advance of the climate COP in Glasgow in November, there has been much talk of linking the twin…

Is mass tree-planting the answer to biodiversity and climate challenges?

Tree planting and ‘nature-based’ solutions are presented as a way to address biodiversity and tackle climate change at a massive scale. But in some cases, these schemes can undermine livelihoods and harm ecologies. This is the first in a series of two blogposts by Ian Scoones, published in the week of the COP15 conference on…

How do we put pastoralists at the centre of food and climate debates?

Last month’s UN Food Systems Summit was highly controversial. Back in July, around the pre-summit process, small-scale farmers and their allies raised concerns that the agenda was being set by corporations, investors and other powerful actors. On the day of the Summit itself, the alarm was raised again. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right…

Printing the Calamity: Pattachitra Scrolls on Tropical Cyclones and Natural Disasters in Shyamnagar, Shatkhira

By Sumaiya Binte Anwar, Research Officer, ICCCAD; Mahmuda Akter, Research Officer, ICCCAD; Faizah Jaheen Ahmed Research Intern, ICCCAD “We are the people of coastal area, Our sufferings know no bounds, We have to survive fighting various disasters.” —Shagorika Mondol, song sung to pattachitra scroll on disaster awareness How do you creatively inform the community about…

Methods: The sowing of shared dreams – Umbela Conversatorio #2

In connection with our 2021 Methods theme, the Mexico-based NGO Umbela – Transformaciones Sostenibles is holding a series of online events on the theme of ‘Cultivating Knowledges’. In the second event in this series, The sowing of shared dreams, Tania, Enrico, Mirna and Loni talk about how to plant dreams, utopias that they describe as…