Seeking unconventional alliances and bridging innovations in spaces for transformative change: the seed sector and agricultural sustainability in Argentina

Experimental spaces for learning about and nurturing processes of social-ecological transformation are of increasing interest; a reflection, in part, of a more interventionist approach to sustainability research and funding. We reflect on our experience in Argentina facilitating a multistakeholder transformative space to identify and discuss agricultural sustainability challenges associated with seed market concentration, and to…

Waste to Energy in Delhi: Alternatives towards Sustainable Urban Waste Management

With the increasing waste production in urban areas, multiple technological solutions, models of waste governance and alternative practices of solid waste management have started acquiring momentum in Indian cities. Of the numerous solutions to this problem, waste to energy technology is emerging as an essential solution in India. Hence, this paper probes whether the emergence…

Low carbon China: Emerging phenomena and implications for innovation governance: Introduction to the special section of environmental innovation and societal transitions

This special section of ‘Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions’ investigates emerging phenomena associated with low carbon transitions in contemporary China. It looks at supply and demand side dynamics, the changing role of citizens and a range of policy approaches characteristic of the Chinese context. The papers draw on diverse methods and frameworks, considering various sectors…

Pathways to Sustainability book series

Our flagship book series addresses core challenges linking science, technology and sustainability with poverty reduction and social justice – with insights from across the STEPS Centre’s projects and themes. The series editors are Ian Scoones and Andy Stirling. For more information and to buy the books, visit the Routledge website. View and order online Freebooks…

Farmers’ agency and experiences of agricultural change in rural Kenya: Insights from exploratory fieldwork

STEPS Working Paper 102 March 2018 Using novel agricultural technologies to boost farm productivity in the face of climatic and demographic disruption remains a priority for African policy and research. This paper uses an innovative, participatory and ethnographic methodology to explore, through farmers’ experiences, the historical pathways of social, ecological and technical (socio-eco-technical) change that…

Open and Collaborative Developments

STEPS Working Paper 98 Experimentation with radically open and collaborative ways of producing knowledge and material artefacts can be found everywhere – from the free/libre and open-source software movement to citizen science initiatives, and from community-based fabrication labs and makerspaces to the production of open-source scientific hardware. Spurred on by the widespread availability of networked…

Configurations of agency and power in the academic discourse on the Green Revolution in East Africa

STEPS Working Paper 97 In this paper I perform a discourse analysis of the academic literature on the Green Revolution (GR) in East Africa, governed by two questions: what form or shape is given to agency in each GR study? And, which agencies are considered prime movers that play leading roles in the narratives and…

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Innovation, Sustainability and Democracy: An Analysis of Grassroots Contributions

In this paper we introduce an area of activity that has flourished for decades in all corners of the globe, namely grassroots innovation for sustainable development. We also argue why innovation in general is a matter for democracy. Combining these two points, we explore how grassroots innovation can contribute to what we call innovation democracy,…

Agronomy for Development: The Politics of Knowledge in Agricultural Research

edited by James Sumberg Over the last decade there has been renewed interest in food security and the state of the global food system. Population growth, climate change and food price spikes have combined to focus new attention on the technologies and institutions that underpin the production and consumption of food that is varied, nutritious…

Cultivating sustainable developments in makerspaces

 In October 2015, we convened a workshop for 80 researchers and practitioners involved in makerspaces in Europe. Our aim was to explore how makerspaces can help cultivate sustainable developments. This paper reports workshop discussion and ideas on the topic, and illustrates interest in the deliberative potential for this kind of ‘citizen lab’. Interestingly, given the…