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…

Painting of the pre-Columbian city of Tenochtitlan in Mexico.

Things can change: history and transformations to sustainability

by Nathan Oxley, Jonathan Dolley, Shilpi Srivastava and Gordon McGranahan This is one in a series of four blog posts exploring ideas and case studies on ‘transformations’, drawing on research carried out in 2017 and looking forward to the STEPS Centre’s work in 2018. For background and links to the other posts, read the introduction….

Satellite image of solar farm in China

Green transformations in India and China: who’s in charge?

by Sam Geall, Wei Shen, Lyla Mehta and Peter Newell This is one in a series of four blog posts exploring ideas and case studies on ‘transformations’, drawing on research carried out in 2017 and looking forward to the STEPS Centre’s work in 2018. For background and links to the other posts, read the introduction….

1970s illustration of two heads facing each other with cut out section showing cogs

How do we ‘co-produce’ transformative knowledge?

by Andy Stirling, Adrian Ely and Fiona Marshall This is one in a series of four blog posts exploring ideas and case studies on ‘transformations’, drawing on research carried out in 2017 and looking forward to the STEPS Centre’s work in 2018. For background and links to the other posts, read the introduction. There is…

Landmarks: how to get up close and personal with nature

I’ve just finished reading Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane, and it’s a must-read for anyone interested in sustainability and language. Each chapter focuses on one or two authors who’ve made deep impressions on Macfarlane through their writing about the natural world – including Nan Shepherd’s deep explorations of the Cairngorms, Roger Deakin’s explorations of wild swimming,…

How are the LDCs defining a new sustainable development agenda?

In June 2016, the Least Developed Countries Independent Expert Group, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the STEPS Centre hosted a dialogue for Least Developed Country (LDC) experts to discuss how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could help to define a new agenda for development. Our colleagues at IIED interviewed participants at the meeting…

Call for papers: Transformations 2017

A call for papers has been issued for the Transformations 2017 conference in Dundee, UK. Transformations 2017 is the third in a biennial series of international interdisciplinary conferences that focuses on transformations towards sustainability: addressing contemporary challenges and creating conditions for enhancing people’s wellbeing, today and in the future, while strengthening the Earth’s support system.

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.

Why we need Degrowth

In this post, Giorgos Kallis responds to a three-part critique by Andy Stirling of his ideas on the ‘Degrowth Hypothesis’. You can read Andy’s blog posts here: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 Andy Stirling’s three-part blog intervention on the occasion of my lecture at Sussex is much appreciated. I am particularly thankful…

Outgrowing the twin simplifications of Growth and Degrowth: part 3

This is the third 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 2, and see also Giorgos Kallis’ response. Part Three: Outgrowing the Growth/Degrowth Trap Giorgos Kalllis’s wonderful lecture, reviewed in these blog posts, extended much…