Lightbulbs of different shapes and sizes

Doing digital differently: four innovation lessons from the grassroots

by Adrian Smith, Adrian Ely and Phil Jones When Knowle West residents met with artists Paul Hurley and Caleb Parking in 2016, they had little idea they were at the vanguard of grassroots innovation and doing ‘digital’ differently. The meeting was at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), a community-based space in Bristol that uses arts…

People walking along a flooded causeway

How can NGOs feel at home with uncertainty?

by Irene Guijt, Head of Research and Publishing at Oxfam Great Britain Uncertainty is a given in Oxfam. Each day brings new concerns, unexpected twists in relationships and the rollercoasters of dynamic contexts. We adjust out of necessity. But how explicitly do we build uncertainty into our work? And how do we not get paralysed…

ERPI banner

Rural resistance and the far right: news from ERPI Europe

The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) is continuing to explore changes and conflicts in rural politics, with a couple of forthcoming events and some publications from the Europe group of ERPI. In August 2020 in Croatia, there will be an ERPI-inspired session “Geographies of Rural Resistance/s” at the 28th Colloquium of the International Geographical Union…

Now is the time to rise up for Rojava

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been betrayed by the US, giving the Turkish state a green light to carry out atrocities in Northern Syria, write Amber Huff and Patrick Huff. This blog post first appeared on the Red Pepper website. The military alliance between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Northeastern Syria and Washington was always…

Embracing uncertainty: lessons from journeys and struggles

Michele Nori, Rose Cairns and Nathan Oxley Embracing uncertainty, by choice or by necessity, is something migrants, victims of political violence, and people holding a religious belief have in common. What could we learn from their experiences about a broader understanding of living with uncertainty, and how can this inform other domains and contexts? This…

Net zero and low-carbon transformation: why targets are not enough

This week, the UN Global Climate Summit meets in New York, calling global leaders to describe how they will meet the challenge of disruptive climate change. The long term target for countries is to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is a challenge for all countries, including in the industrialised world, not least in…

Climate change: how do we move beyond ‘the Great Derangement’?

by Andrea Nightingale and Lars Otto Naess Climate change has become an ever more pressing and tangible issue. July was the hottest month on record, the IPCC’s report on land and climate change contains stark warnings on the effects of human-induced climate change, the report by the Global Commission on Adaptation is asking for a…

Strikes to science fiction: 4 ways to transform climate and development

by Nathan Oxley and Sophie Marsden The UN Climate Summit next week in New York will once again convene governments to discuss the intimidating challenge of how to coordinate action around climate change. Around the world, a series of strikes are planned to show the depth of support – led by young people, but involving…

Control room

When ignorance does more than you think

Unstudied conditions are avoided as vigilantly as possible—right now, when it matters—by control room operators of large critical infrastructures mandated to operate reliably and safely systemwide. Having failed to fail because an operator was behaving ignorantly is orthogonal to high reliability management. That said, ignorance has differentiated functions in large socio-technical systems—but in ways not…