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STEPS Conference 2010: Pathways to Sustainability

24th September 2010 - 25th September 2010

STEPS Conference 2010: Pathways to Sustainability Agendas for a new politics of environment, development and social justice 23-24 September 2010 at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University.

Video from the conference

Keynote speeches

Rio+20 Policy/Research Roundtable

A roundtable on sustainability research and its implications for policy, in the run-up to the Earth Summit 2012.

Individual roundtable speakers:


Most of the presentations from the conference are available to view on our Slideshare site.

Photos from the conference


Amidst unprecedented evidence of rapid environmental change and complex ecological dynamics, addressing environmental sustainability has become a central practical, moral and political challenge of our times.

With social systems changing rapidly too, linked to population growth, urbanisation, mobility and globalized economic change, core development challenges around alleviating poverty and inequity are also becoming more complex.

In this context, how might pathways to sustainability – that link environmental integrity with social justice – be conceptualised and built? As the world prepares to unite for the β€˜Rio+20’ Earth Summit in 2012, what ideas, concepts and agendas can best inform effective action? How can we enrich and (re)invigorate our intellectual and practical repertoires towards a new politics of environment, development and social justice?

Conference themes

The five themes of the conference are:

  • Contesting sustainabilities
  • Framing narratives
  • Dynamics and sustainability
  • Uncertainty, ambiguity and surprise
  • Pathway-building and governance

Conference format

The conference comprised a mixture of invited keynote talks, perspectives and provocations which respond to the overall conference questions and themes, with a series of parallel panel sessions.

There was also an “Open Space” session which included posters and films presented by conference participants.


24th September 2010
25th September 2010