This report to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) covers the period from 2006 to 2017 – the first eleven years of the ESRC STEPS Centre.
A number of special features of the ESRC STEPS Centre can be highlighted:
- A conceptual and methodological perspective on sustainability – the pathways approach – that challenges our understandings of how to achieve sustainability in diverse contexts.
- In-depth empirical interdisciplinary research on the politics of sustainability, cutting across a diverse array of topics and both rural and urban sites, clustered around four ‘domains’ – climate and energy; water and sanitation; food and agriculture; and health and disease.
- A well-regarded contribution to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methods for sustainability research, available through the STEPS methods portal.
- Strong international partnerships built over many years, emerging in the form of the STEPS Global Consortium, with hubs in Argentina, China, India, Kenya, Mexico/US, and Sweden.
- Excellent communications and policy engagement capacity around core themes of the Centre, both sectorally around domains, but also more broadly, for example around Rio+20, the SDGs, and our own initiative, the New Manifesto, 40 years on from the path-breaking Sussex Manifesto.
- Training a next generation of sustainability professionals through PhD and MA programmes and our highly successful annual STEPS Summer School, involving now around 300 participants, connected in an Alumni network.