Flight instructions - brace position

Facts vs truth: Brexit and sustainability in turbulent times

Today the UK’s Article 50 letter will be delivered, formally marking the UK’s intention to leave the European Union. Two weeks ago a conference on ‘Sustainability in Turbulent Times’ was held in London to discuss the uncertainties around Brexit and other momentous political developments in the global North, which seem to be driven by a…

Mobile phone with Kenyan shillings

How can solar power be part of transformations to sustainability in Kenya?

Transforming pro-poor energy access is a priority goal for many countries in Africa. Many poorer households are not connected to the grid, so use kerosene, paraffin or batteries, or have to travel to charge mobile phones. In Kenya, solar home systems (SHS) via mobile payment systems are tackling this problem by giving access to renewable…

water pipe

Just another drop in the bucket on World Water Day?

Each year, the United Nations uses World Water Day as an opportunity to raise awareness and demand action around the global water crisis. Each year, there is a theme. This year’s theme is wastewater, framed as a ‘grossly undervalued as a potentially affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials’ (pdf)….

Protected: Reading list: Summer School on Pathways to Sustainabilility 2017

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Green grabbing

Impact story #2: From land grabs to the Anthropocene

A new impact story, From land grabs to the Anthropocene: exploring the politics of resources is the second in our series looking back at a decade of STEPS Centre research and engagement. This story looks at how STEPS intervened in debates on land grabbing following the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, and how our…

City street

How understanding politics and science can help create resilient cities

A new article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) explores how urban resilience can be strengthened by considering social and political norms, values and behaviours alongside engineering and environmental science approaches. The article, Urban resilience efforts must consider social and political forces, is written by colleagues at Arizona State University and UNAM…

world map made out of food

How open science practices in evaluation systems can make research socially relevant for developing countries

Researchers’ choices are inevitably affected by assessment systems. This often means pursuing publication in a high-impact journal and topics that appeal to the international scientific community. For researchers from developing countries, this often also means focusing on other countries or choosing one aspect of their own country that has such international appeal. Consequently, researchers’ activities…

one health

One Health: are we doing it wrong?

International scientific meetings are great for many reasons. But I also found myself profoundly frustrated and disappointed when I attended the 4th International One Health Congress, One Health EcoHealth 2016, in Melbourne recently.

water in mozambique

From remunicipalisation to reprivatisation of water? The case of Mozambique

After widespread privatisation in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, many water services around the world began to be transferred back into public control. This ‘remunicipalisation’ has been welcomed by the Transnational Institute and like-minded organisations, who suggest that ‘remunicipalisation is here to stay’ (Lobina et al., 2014). While I am sympathetic to this work on…

People sit around a table talking about sustainable food systems.

Why local land matters for sustainable food systems

Land presents both challenges and opportunities for establishing sustainable food systems. That is one of the learning points from a workshop in Brighton on 7 December 2016. Stakeholders joining the discussions included local small-scale producers, retailers of sustainable produce, non-governmental organisations (Food Matters and The Gaia Foundation), and researchers from the University of Sussex and…