group discussion

Coming to terms with messiness: What is a ‘Transformation Lab’?

In this blog post, Laura Pereira explains the idea of a ‘Transformation Lab’ (T-lab). T-labs are being used in our Pathways Network project in 6 countries to try to enable socio-ecological transformations. In the post, Laura uses an example of a completed T-lab from the GRAID research project in South Africa. For a short summary…

Food market in Madagascar

The global food system still benefits the rich at the expense of the poor

Ramen noodles in Sweden, wheat bread in Tanzania and Chilean wines in China. The cross-Atlantic transit of the potato and the tomato from the Andes to Europe, and back again as French fries and pasta sauce. We think of the world as globalised and sophisticated in its food tastes, and our palettes as curious and…

Arduino unit

Can open and collaborative approaches change the world?

by Patrick van Zwanenberg, Mariano Fressoli, Valeria Arza and Adrian Smith Around the world, people are changing how things are made and how knowledge is produced, by involving more people, opening up data, and sharing skills and insights with these activities across communities, countries or continents. Experimentation with radically open and collaborative ways of producing…

focus group discussion

Why will no one listen to the pig farmers of Yangon?

Sitting in a pig farmer’s house in the Yangon region of Myanmar, I heard a question I’d heard many times before from backyard farmers: “What will your project provide us with?” It was my last month of a year in Myanmar, undertaking fieldwork for the social science component of the Myanmar Pig Partnership, a project looking…

sad plate of food

Brexit and food: there is no plan, so what is the UK going to put on the table?

by Tim Lang, City, University of London; Erik P Millstone, University of Sussex, and Terry Marsden, Cardiff University Even the British eat. But one might be forgiven for thinking that the UK government does not know this for all the attention it has paid to the implications of Brexit for UK consumers and the nation’s…

tending vegetables

A day in the Chinampas

In the wetlands of Xochimilco in Mexico, farming is carried out in a system going back to Mesoamerican times, in chinampas – rectangular floating fields growing crops on a shallow lake. The area is changing rapidly with competing pressures from farming, urbanization and pollution, and we’ve been exploring how local people can respond to this…

Garden cultivation

How Kerala is making the transition towards healthy, home-grown food

In Kerala, agri-food systems are in transition towards self-reliance and sustainability. Through bringing traditional gardening into the mainstream food agenda, and adopting technologies and practices like agroecology, growers and consumers in Kerala are trying to overcome the impacts of external food dependency and related vulnerabilities. Debates on sustainable food systems are still largely trapped in…

Solar power

Unpacking sustainabilities in diverse transitions contexts: Four key lessons from empirical research

In the late 18th century, an Indian philosopher and religious leader offered a piece of knowledge to his followers. Taking into account the diverse religious faiths that exist in societies, he proclaimed that there are as many ways [to God] as there are faiths. The plurality of perspectives and interpretations in sustainability debates astonishingly reminds…

Confronting authoritarian populism: a new initiative and a new paper

A few weeks back, I highlighted the launch of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), and the availability of small grants for doing research on both the contours of the current conjuncture, and how authoritarian populism emerges and is sustained in rural areas, as well as the forms of resistance and diversity of alternatives being…

A few weeks back, I highlighted the launch of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), and the availability of small grants for doing research on both the contours of the current conjuncture, and how authoritarian populism emerges and is sustained in rural areas, as well as the forms of resistance and diversity of alternatives being…

Woman walking with goat

Results of four-year zoonoses research showcased in One Health ‘Special Issue’

Infectious diseases traceable to animals are driven by climate change, land-use change and the massive expansion of towns and cities, according to contributors to a paper in a major new output from the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, a STEPS Centre led project.