Composite image of a segment of the sun showing different light wavelengths

What does transformative research for sustainability look like?

by Patrick van Zwanenberg, Hallie Eakin, Ethemcan Turhan, Mutizwa Mukute and Fiona Marshall Efforts to nurture more sustainable, just futures are happening all around us, albeit in the context of a rapidly changing and highly unequal world that is on the brink of irrevocably dismantling the ecological foundations that sustain human life. The researchers 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…

Farmers' jury

Using a “farmers’ jury” to see Nicaragua’s food system from rural perspectives

Jorge Irán Vásquez Zeledón, a participant in the project on Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems based in Nicaragua, has written a blog post (in Spanish) about a “Farmers’ Jury” organised in connection to the project. The event aimed to investigate farmers’ views on the state of agroecological systems in Nicaragua, and what challenges need to…

Open Science discussion

How can open and collaborative knowledge help to build communities?

by Adrian Smith, STEPS Centre and Patrick van Zwanenberg, STEPS America Latina Experimentation with open and collaborative ways of creating knowledge is flourishing. How might the increasing interest in initiatives such as open science, open hardware and open data lead to a transformation in knowledge production? And could this enable more inclusive and sustainable approaches…

Argentina workshop

Could new alliances for seeds in Argentina be a way to nurture agricultural diversity?

Over the last three decades there has been an unprecedented process of concentration in world and regional seed markets. Seed R&D has shifted from being widely distributed over hundreds of medium and large seed firms and public sector institution to being heavily concentrated in just five or six multinational agro-chemical firms.

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…

Participants at a hackathon

From social networks to robot scarecrows: Agroecology meets Open Source technologies

Agroecology has been traditionally based on co-producing knowledge with farmers, scientists, indigenous communities and technicians. As such, it could be regarded as an “open and collaborative” practice. But does this mean that it is ready to meet open source technologies?

Group photo

Seeking sustainable transformations around the world

The new ‘Pathways’ Network, which explores transformations to sustainability in 6 cases around the world, had its opening workshop in Buenos Aires on 24-27 April 2016. At the workshop, participants from Sweden, South Africa, and ‘hubs’ in Kenya, the UK, Argentina, USA/Mexico, India and China discussed research questions and how best to share learning.