Unpacking the epic narratives of the Green Revolution

by Lidia Cabral, Poonam Pandey and Xiuli Xu Nearly 50 years since its apex, the Green Revolution – a chapter in history associated with rapid expansion in agricultural production driven by science and technology – retains the power to inspire. In spite of the criticism emphasising its social and environmental costs, there is talk about…

What can transdisciplinarity give back to communities?

By Simone Omori, Leandro Giatti and Saurabh Arora The water-energy-food and environment nexus (w-e-f-e nexus) is a matter of understanding and acting on interdependent areas of activity. By directing attention to connections that are often overlooked in disciplinary research and siloed policymaking, the w-e-f-e nexus can be used to address the socio-ecological scarcities and vulnerabilities created…

Biohacking machine

Call for papers: Platform economy and new collaborative forms of production

The journal Liinc em Revista is inviting submission of articles, subject to double-blind evaluation, for publication in Vol. 14, n. 1 (May 2018). Unpublished articles in Portuguese, Spanish and English are accepted. This issue will present a dossier on “Platform economy and new collaborative forms of production”, organized by Guest Editors Valeria Arza (Cenit/Steps América…

Are China and Brazil transforming African agriculture?

A new Open Access Special Issue in World Development based on our work on the changing role of China and Brazil in Africa’s agriculture is now available (links to individual articles are below, and also via here).

Exporting China and Brazil’s agricultural know-how to Africa

Can China and Brazil use their home grown agricultural knowledge, which has driven phenomenal agricultural productivity at home, to transform agriculture in Africa? That was one of many questions discussed at the Contested Agronomy conference. When Lidia Cabral interviewed a Brazilian agronomist from Embrapa, Brazil’s agricultural research corporation in Mozambique, he talked to her about…

Hand holding maize seeds / Photo: Speak-It films

Global lessons for agricultural sustainability from GM crops

Governing Agricultural Sustainability: Global lessons from GM crops is the latest title in the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series. Editor Phil Macnaghten introduces its reframing of the GM debate explored in the book. By Phil Macnaghten, Professor of Technology and International Development, Wageningen University ‘Can GM crops help to feed the world?’ It…

Technology & democracy: the story of Brazil’s Social Technology Network

A new STEPS working paper tells the story of a recent experiment in grassroots innovation – the Social Technology Network (STN) in Brazil. The paper, by Mariano Fressoli and Rafael Dias, is linked to our project on historical and comparative perspectives on grassroots innovation. Formed in 2004, the STN was a ‘hybrid’, involving social movements,…

SHIT AND CITIZENSHIP

In the last 15 years, the way sanitation is treated in Brazil has changed dramatically. The picture of poor investment and danger to public health is being replaced by climbing investment and a vision of sanitation as an issue of rights, dignity and equity. The seminar “Shit and Citizenship: The Political Economy of Sanitation Investment…

GRASSROOTS INNOVATION

By Adrian Smith It is imperative, in my view, that grassroots innovation does not become ghettoised into ‘technologies for the poor’. Last week I enjoyed a fascinating trip to Argentina, where I talked about grassroots innovation. The trip was made possible by the Argentine government’s Institute for Industrial Technology (INTI), whose new Quality of Life…

THE BIG BIOFUEL DEBATE RUMBLES ON

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Biofuels have little impact in cutting greenhouse gas emissions so governments should concentrate instead on lowering energy consumption to fight climate change, according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report published today. Governments should boost the so-called second generation biofuels that do not use food crops,…