Many methods offer ways to link knowledge and action for sustainability. But there are intense pressures to close down and narrow the way knowledge is produced and used for instrumental ends. What methodological assemblages, frameworks, tools and associated ways of being could help challenge these pressures, open up to more perspectives and participation in research, and allow us to pursue more plural pathways to sustainability?
17 February 2021: Challenging research for sustainability – transdisciplinary methods, relationships, politics and praxis
Speakers: Andy Stirling (STEPS/University of Sussex); Anabel Marin (IDS); Lakshmi Charli-Joseph and Patricia Pérez-Belmont (LANCIS-IE-UNAM/Umbela); Joel Onyango and Joanes Atela (ACTS/ARIN). Moderators: Marina Apgar (IDS) and Rose Cairns (SPRU).
5 March 2021: Power and Methods
Webinar convened by the Africa Research and Impact Network (ARIN) on how larger theories about methodologies have been applied to engage, challenge and shift power, and rein in hierarchical authorities (coloniality) associated with methods in Africa.
Blog: Challenging sustainability research: how can methods make a difference?
In this introductory blogpost for the STEPS theme on Methods, theme convenors Marina Apgar and Rose Cairns discuss three meanings of sustainability research as ‘challenging research’. Methods make a difference to the potential of research to challenge power; yet power also deeply shapes the way research is framed, carried out and interpreted. This encourages us to look beyond myths of ‘neutral’, objective research for sustainability, and understand how research and action are intertwined.
Browse our selection of methods that can be used to explore different pathways to sustainability. We emphasise methods that help to ‘open up’ perspectives on a problem, and ‘broaden out’ the possible options or outcomes.
The Pathways Approach
Learn more about the STEPS Centre’s ‘pathways approach’: a guide to thinking and action around emerging sustainability challenges associated with climate change, energy, pandemic disease, water scarcity, hunger, poverty and inequality.
Further resources on methods, including courses and suggested readings.