Person with full-body protective clothing walks behind a fence

Preparing for pandemics and the role of uncertainty explored in new project

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has announced a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust: Pandemic Preparedness: local and global concepts and practices in tackling disease threats in Africa. The project aims to track the meanings and concepts of pandemic preparedness at global, regional and local levels, and the ways these interconnect – or…

'Workshop' sign

Call for abstracts: ‘Post-automation’ Symposium, September 2019

A call for paper proposals has been issued for an international symposium on ‘post-automation’ at the University of Sussex in September 2019. STEPS members Adrian Smith (SPRU, University of Sussex) and Mariano Fressoli (Steps America Latina) are holding the symposium, on the theme of ‘Post-Automation? Exploring Democratic Alternatives to Industry 4.0’. The Symposium is hosted…

pastoralist with sheep in a mountainous landscape

How do pastoralists handle uncertainty? Insights from Asia, Europe and Africa

Pastoralists are experts in uncertainty. In a series of 3 blog posts, STEPS director Ian Scoones reports back from visits to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Isiolo (Northern Kenya) and the Tibetan plateau. The visits were carried out under the PASTRES (Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience) project, which explores what can be learned from the ways…

Change mural

Learning from rapid change in a warming world: Rapid Transition Alliance launches

A new initiative to learn from stories of rapid change is launched on 3 December, at the start of COP24, the UN’s annual global conference on climate change. The Rapid Transition Alliance explores the lessons from changes – over a scale of five to ten years – that represent transformations in finance, work, resources, food,…

Japan book launches: Ian Scoones on sustainable rural livelihoods and the SDGs

This week, as part of book launches of the Japanese edition of “Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development”, STEPS Centre director Ian Scoones will be giving two talks in Japan. The talks explore the linkages between livelihoods and agrarian political economy and the links between a politically-informed sustainable livelihoods approach and the SDGs. Buy the book…

Lightbulbs of different shapes and sizes

‘Creative engine room’ launched in Brighton to respond to environmental challenges

A new ‘creative engine room’ to generate art that responds to urgent environmental challenges, including climate change, has been launched in Brighton. The ‘System Change HIVE’, hosted by the University of Brighton’s School of Media, brings together emerging artists from the Sussex area and university arts and media students, with experts in sustainable development, post-growth…

New publication: T-Labs: A Practical Guide

The ESRC STEPS Centre and its partners have published a new guide to T-Labs (Transformation Labs). The 40-page guide draws on lessons from the Pathways Network, a project investigating new approaches for transformations to sustainability. Since 2016, the Pathways Network has convened T-Labs to respond to social-ecological problems in six countries (Argentina, Mexico, Kenya, China,…

Fukuoka city skyline

STEPS at the World Social Science Forum (WSSF) on 25-28 September

The STEPS Centre and its partners from the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium will be at the World Social Science Forum (WSSF) next week. This year’s event is held in Fukuoka, Japan. The WSSF’s theme this year is ‘Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures’. Convened by the International Science Council (ISC), the WSSF aims to…

Question mark sign

How can we reveal power and bias when synthesising evidence for policy?

In a letter published today in Nature, STEPS co-director Andy Stirling and Clive Mitchell (Scottish Natural Heritage) suggest that ‘open-mindedness’ is a key principle in making evidence synthesis more useful for policy. From pesticides to epidemics or obesity, there is often demand for analysis of a vast range of evidence to help inform decision-making and…

A crowd of people walk through deep flooding in New Orleans

New journal ‘Nature and Space’ launched

The links between the environment and justice, past and present, are highlighted in a  new article, ‘The antinomies of nature and space’, co-authored by STEPS member Lyla Mehta. So-called ‘natural’ disasters, whether heatwaves, hurricanes, droughts or earthquakes, are linked in their impacts – and sometimes their causes – to patterns of injustice.  Poverty and inequality…