group discussion

Endings and beginnings: project-based work within wider transformations

by Adrian Ely and Elise Wach Since 2016 we have been involved in a small-scale project, as part of the broader ‘Pathways Network’, that has explored how to move towards more sustainable agri-food systems in Brighton and Hove.  The project’s focus has been evolving on the basis of changing circumstances, knowledge and ideas – a…

Petrol station in a dry landscape with goats in foreground

Who benefits and loses from large developments in Eastern Africa’s rangelands?

The past ten years have seen the spread of large-scale investments in infrastructure, resources and land across pastoral areas of eastern Africa. In the past, these areas were insignificant to states in the region and large capital from beyond – at least, compared to the region’s agrarian highlands and Indian Ocean coast. But the recent…

Flag of Europe as a round plate with knife and fork

Is the new European ruling on GM techniques ‘anti-science’?

Frontstage rhetorics, backstage forces in current debates around the European Court of Justice ruling on GM crops There has been much commotion in the media over the past week, following the ruling by the European Court of Justice over how to interpret EU laws bearing on the regulation of GM crops. The ruling clarifies an…

A car drives on a mountain road with clouds of smoke in the background

What do we do about the heatwave?

The heatwave has turned deadly. Tinder-dry fields and forests in Europe, most dramatically in Greece, have burst into flames, with catastrophic results. Crops are failing; for some, the health risks of the heat are critical. These events have added urgency and weight to the calls to put the weather in context. A hot day is…

Round icon with colours representing the Sustainable Development Goals

How can the Sustainable Development Goals be transformative?

The theme of this year’s High-level Political Forum on sustainable development is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The HLPF meets every year to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s event runs from 9-18 July, with a ministerial meeting on 16-18 July. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to be transformative: they focus…

People praying in

Why politics has to be at the heart of any response to zoonoses

World Zoonoses Day, on July 6 every year, is a reminder of the continuing problem of emerging diseases, particularly those originating in animals. Zoonoses have dominated policy debates in the past years – from SARS to avian influenza to Ebola. There have been calls to control ‘at source’ and stamp out such diseases through a…

Elif Sarican speaks as part of a panel at the 'Report from Rojava: Revolution at a Crossroads' event

Report from Rojava: Revolution at a Crossroads

Rojava’s revolution is one of the most promising projects of democratization and social transformation afoot in the current conjuncture in the Middle East. Its context within the ongoing Syrian War – a war entangling local, regional, and global powers – marks it as highly precarious. Those struggling for positive societal transformation require solidarity with those…

Dialogues along Plural Pathways: STEPS researchers and Summer School participants in conversation

Following the STEPS Summer School in May 2018, this blog post is a conversation convened by three participants, Nimisha Agarwal, Ankita Rastogi and Jessica Cockburn. It includes introductions to the STEPS Centre’s ideas on six topics by STEPS researchers, and responses to each by different participants at the Summer School, drawing on their own knowledge…

New insights on navigating complexity in development

by Marina Apgar and Eric Kasper, Institute of Development Studies The challenges of development are complex. Insights about the nature of complexity – coming from various scientific disciplines – lead us to conclude that complex adaptive (social) systems cannot be managed in a formal top-down sense. The best we can do is to find ways…

Outdoor exhibition with prototype pedal tractor and solar panels

Forking the SDGs: How prototypes could transform the new global goals

Sustainable alternatives often come about through prototypes, from DIY electronics repair to ecohousing, agricultural tools to digital knowledge platforms. Prototypes are often small (at least to begin with) and local, but they can yield surprising results – sometimes becoming mainstream technologies like wind turbines, or ways of doing things like car clubs. This makes prototypes…