This project carries out comparative research in six countries to explore how to work with local people on social transformations in the context of environmental change. We are conducting ‘Transformation Labs’ (T-Labs) with groups in each country (China, Kenya, Argentina, Mexico, India and the UK) to address a specific socio-ecological problem. We are hoping to provoke change through the T-Labs, as well as testing how they can be designed to be as effective as possible.
The project covers three areas:
- Sustainable agricultural and food systems for healthy livelihoods
- Low carbon energy transitions that serve the needs of the poor
- Waste and water for sustainable cities
- What ‘agency’ do researchers have in transformative research projects? Hallie Eakin, Lakshmi Charli-Joseph and J. Mario Siqueiros, 22 November 2017
- Seeding ideas: Knowledge brokering and recombination for agricultural transformations Adrian Ely, Paddy Van Zwanenberg, Elise Wach, Martin Obaya and Almendra Cremaschi, 20 November 2017
- Transformations from Beijing to Nairobi and back: what can we learn from each other? Yang Lichao, Kennedy Liti Mbeva and Jiang Chulin, 10 November 2017
- What does transformative research for sustainability look like? Patrick van Zwanenberg, Hallie Eakin, Ethemcan Turhan, Mutizwa Mukute and Fiona Marshall, 6 November 2017
- Coming to terms with messiness: What is a ‘Transformation Lab’?, Laura Pereira, 16 August 2017
- A day in the Chinampas, Rebecca Shelton, 3 July 2017
- Research, convening and bridging: sharing insights from the ISSC’s Transformative Knowledge Networks, Adrian Ely, 13 June 2017
- Learning across continents on sustainable transformations: a visit from China to Africa, Yang Lichao, 19 May 2017
- Could new alliances for seeds in Argentina be a way to nurture agricultural diversity? Patrick van Zwanenberg, 2 May 2017
- How rethinking local people’s agency could help navigate Xochimilco’s troubled waters, Rebecca Shelton, 2 May 2017
- How can solar power be part of transformations to sustainability in Kenya? Joanes Atela, 27 March 2017
- Exploring the social impacts of green transformations in China, Jiang Chulin, 22 March 2017
- Why local land matters for sustainable food systems, Rachael Taylor, 16 January 2017
- Sharing insights across continents: Africa Sustainability Hub researcher visits China Hub, 1 December 2016
- Winners and losers of China’s green transformation, Suzanne Fisher-Murray, 31 October 2016
- Seeking sustainable transformations around the world, Nathan Oxley, 3 May 2016
- How do we end the dominance of rich countries over sustainability science? Patrick van Zwanenberg, Anabel Marin and Adrian Ely, 19 January 2016
Descriptions of methods used or adapted as part of the PATHWAYS Network project.
- Evaluation H A method adapted for use in the Brighton & Hove (UK) T-lab
- Agency Network Analysis A method developed by the North America hub for use in Xochimilco, Mexcio City (the North America T-lab)
- Learning about ‘Engaged Excellence’ across a Transformative Knowledge Network
Adrian Ely and Anabel Marin, IDS Bulletin, January 2017
- Co-design with aligned and non-aligned knowledge partners: implications for research and coproduction of sustainable food systems
By Anabel Marin, Adrian Ely and Patrick Van Zwanenberg, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, June 2016
- Taller de Transformación: Semillas y el futuro de la Argentina – short version, August 2017 (in Spanish)
- Taller de Transformación: Semillas y el futuro de la Argentina – long version, August 2017 (in Spanish)
- Video: Intellectual Property and Seeds, STEPS America Latina, November 2016
The ‘Transformative Pathways to Sustainability’ project builds links and allows the exchange of ideas between researchers in Latin America, Europe, Africa, China, North America and South Asia. It is one of the activities of the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium, which STEPS launched in 2015-6.
In 6 sites (in Argentina, Mexico, Kenya, China, the UK and India) the project will run ‘Transformation Labs’ (T-Labs) to develop innovative responses to socio-ecological problems. The T-Labs will use creative methods to explore people’s visions, values and ideas for transformation.
Methods and capacity building
There is a strong focus on learning, creating dialogue between researchers and non-academics; and developing and combining research methods in an interdisciplinary way.
The project is one of three “Transformative Knowledge Networks” funded as part of the innovative Transformations to Sustainability Programme of the International Social Science Council (ISSC). It started in 2016 and will run for three years.
The programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Adrian Ely, SPRU/ESRC STEPS Centre, UK
Patrick van Zwanenberg, Fundacion CENIT/STEPS America Latina, Argentina
ESRC STEPS Centre, UK
African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Kenya
Beijing Normal University, China
Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Arizona State University, USA
Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias de la Sostenibilidad (LANCIS), Instituto de Ecología, UNAM, Mexico
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden
IDS 50 (conference panel): Sustainability transformations: the intersecting roles of state, market and society
5 July 2016, Institute of Development Studies, UK
Webinar: Transformative Knowledge Networks – solutions-oriented research in practice (video + slides)
6 July 2016
Presenting research at Resilience 2017 and Transformations 2017
August and September 2017
Agricultural and food systems
In particular, researchers from Latin America and Europe will work together on this theme.
‘Future of seeds’ workshop, Argentina, November 2014 (blog – in Spanish)
Low carbon energy
In particular, researchers from China and Africa will work together on this theme.
Water, waste & sustainable cities
In particular, researchers from India and North America/Mexico will work together on this theme.