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Pathways to sustainability: knowledge, politics and power
8th December 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual event, 8 December 2021
Video playlist: Watch Talks from the event
This video playlist includes clips from the plenary and parallel sessions at the event. It begins with short reflections from Alison Park (ESRC Executive Chair) and Melissa Leach (Director, IDS), as well as Line Gordon (Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Dipak Gyawali (Pragya, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology).
The playlist also features recordings of eight of the parallel sessions, as well as talks that looked forward to ongoing initiatives and future plans, including the Mexico-based transdisciplinary collective Umbela – Transformaciones Sociales, the Africa Research and Impact Network (ARIN), the Transdisciplinary Research Cluster on Sustainability Studies (TRCSS) in India, and the Bioleft initiative on open source commoning in seeds.
Since 2006, the STEPS Centre has focused on multiple challenges around social justice and environmental sustainability, building on long-standing struggles. From epidemics and pandemics to water, energy, food and other resources, and the politics of innovation and technologies, multiple ‘pathways to sustainability’ are always influenced by different kinds of knowledge and forms of power.
As a research centre, we understand that knowledge is not neutral. It not only ‘speaks’ to – but is also partly shaped by – politics and power. Powerful interests not only sideline ‘inconvenient truths’, they also condition what is taken to be true. Through our research programmes and our Pathways Approach, the STEPS Centre has aimed to highlight this shaping of knowledge by power. We have sought to help establish practical ways to properly address the perspectives of marginalised people. We have helped develop diverse methods, options and understandings to underpin action to ‘open up’ the politics of sustainability.
13.00 Setting the stage (PLENARY)
- Alison Park, ESRC Executive Chair
- Melissa Leach, Director, IDS
- Chair: Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre
What’s next for the politics of knowledge, in driving radically progressive worldwide transformations to sustainability?
- Line Gordon, Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre
- Dipak Gyawali, Pragya, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology
13.30 Key themes: challenges, lessons and opportunities (PARALLEL)
14.15 Next steps and onward collaborations (PLENARY)
Plenary with interventions by speakers from initiatives connected to the STEPS Centre, followed by discussion (Chair: Andy Stirling, STEPS Centre)
- Transformative transdisciplinary experiences as inspirations for next endeavours
Lakshmi Charli-Joseph (LANCIS-IE, UNAM) & Patricia Pérez-Belmont (Umbela)
- Citizen alliances and ecological democracy for sustainable urbanisation
Ritu Priya Mehrotra (TRCSS-JNU, India)
- Decolonising methodologies for sustainability
Joanes Atela and Joel Onyango (Africa Research and Impact Network/ACTS)
- Towards open source commoning on seeds: The BioLeft initiative
Anabel Marín (IDS)
Visit our registration form to sign up for this event. When registering, you will need to indicate which breakout panel you would like to be in. You will be assigned to that breakout group on the day of the event.
BOOK: Transformative Pathways to Sustainability: Learning Across Disciplines, Cultures and Contexts
Edited by Adrian Ely (2021)
Routledge – Pathways to Sustainability Series, Open Access
Draws on content and cases from across the ‘Pathways’ Transformative Knowledge Network, an international group of six regional hubs working on sustainability challenges in their own local or national contexts. Each of these hubs reports on their experiences of ‘transformation laboratory’ processes on food systems, low carbon energy and industrial transformations, and water and waste in cities.
Book: The Politics of Climate Change and Uncertainty in India
Edited By Lyla Mehta, Hans Nicolai Adam, Shilpi Srivastava
Routledge – Pathways to Sustainability Series, Open Access (forthcoming – Winter 2021)
This book brings together diverse perspectives concerning uncertainty and climate change in India. With case studies from coastal Mumbai to dryland Kutch and the Sundarbans delta, the book unpacks the diverse discourses, practices and politics of uncertainty and demonstrates profound differences through which the “above”, “middle” and “below” understand and experience climate change and uncertainty.
Animation: What are Pathways to Sustainability?
Watch our short animation explaining the STEPS Centre’s Pathways Approach and what it means for transformative action for sustainability.
The STEPS Centre’s final year: reflections on a 15-year journey
STEPS Centre co-directors Ian Scoones and Andy Stirling reflect on the story of the Centre, with a timeline of key events and developments.
Stories of Change
Ten stories show what the STEPS Centre learned from our involvement in debates around pandemics, energy, food, nature, transformations, uncertainty and more.