Four Scenarios of future urban E-mobility in China

What will it be like to live in Chinese cities as e-mobility takes hold? This is the question that has been investigated by a team at CeMoRe, Lancaster University and the Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, since 2013 in a major project funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). With China…

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.

Discussing low carbon urban mobility in China

On Sunday 13th March, the ‘Low Carbon Innovation in China: Prospects, Politics and Practice’ project held the closing workshop of its research package on urban e-mobilities at the Shenzhen Graduate School of Tsinghua University. The event involved over 50 delegates including senior government officials, automotive companies, mobility entrepreneurs, leading academics, NGOs and students to discuss…

Are China and Brazil transforming African agriculture?

A new Open Access Special Issue in World Development based on our work on the changing role of China and Brazil in Africa’s agriculture is now available (links to individual articles are below, and also via here).

Outgrowing the twin simplifications of Growth and Degrowth: part 2

This is the second of a series of 3 blogs by STEPS co-director Andy Stirling, responding to the ideas of Giorgos Kallis on the ‘degrowth hypothesis’. Read Part 1 and Part 3, and see also Giorgos Kallis’ response. Pluralities of Growings It is odd that the thrust of Giorgos Kallis’s excellent lecture should have concentrated…

Video: Dominic Glover on agricultural biotech and smallholder farmers

STEPS member Dominic Glover spoke yesterday at the FAO’s International Symposium on “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition”. Dominic’s presentation focused on the need to ensure that agricultural biotechnology policies benefit smallholders. You can watch his presentation on the FAO website (skip to 2 hours and 7 minutes in).

India’s seed sector is flourishing. Could African farmers benefit?

Africa’s farmers need quality seeds but the seed sector in Africa has often struggled to meet this need. The continent’s share in the global seed trade is very low, seed markets often aren’t supported, and the supply of quality seeds and improved crop varieties is weak. Poor seed supply threatens agriculture’s ability to play its…

Call for papers: EASST/4S session on makers, manufacturers and politics of digital fabrication

STEPS member Adrian Smith is one of the organisers of a session at this year’s EASST/4S conference. The session title is ‘Digital fabrications amongst hackers, makers and manufacturers: whose “industrial revolution”?’ The conference itself (title: ‘Science and technology by other means: exploring collectives, spaces and futures’) is on 31 August until 3 September in Barcelona,…

COP21: How can climate-friendly innovation flourish in developing countries?

For low carbon development to work well, innovation is crucial. Both technological hardware like solar panels and grids, and social and institutional structures, need to change as the world looks towards a lower-carbon future. At a side event at the COP21 climate conference on Tuesday, Dr Rob Byrne (STEPS Centre/Sussex Energy Group) talked about how…