Pathways to Sustainability: an overview of the STEPS Centre approach

Working Paper

Who benefits from genetically-modified crops? Will there be enough water for people to survive this century? What are the implications of the HIV/AIDS pandemic? These are some of the questions that the STEPS Centre is asking. This booklet gives a quick insight in to the STEPS approach as the Centre seeks to grapple with two of the most pressing challenges of our times: linking environmental sustainability with poverty reduction and social justice, and making science and technology work for the poor.

Today’s world is highly complex and dynamic, involving interacting social, technological and ecological processes across multiple scales, many uncertainties, and often conflicting understandings and priorities amongst different people. This booklet outlines an approach to understanding dynamic systems and addressing their governance so as to promote pathways to Sustainability that meet the perspectives and priorities of poorer and marginalised groups. It lays out essential ingredients of the STEPS Centre’s work, including linking diverse social and natural science perspectives, connecting theory, policy and practice, and an engaged, interactive approach to communications.

A summary briefing of this paper is also available.