Discussing low carbon urban mobility in China

On Sunday 13th March, the ‘Low Carbon Innovation in China: Prospects, Politics and Practice’ project held the closing workshop of its research package on urban e-mobilities at the Shenzhen Graduate School of Tsinghua University. The event involved over 50 delegates including senior government officials, automotive companies, mobility entrepreneurs, leading academics, NGOs and students to discuss…

Four neglected challenges for China’s low carbon future

Last year ended with a momentous political step forward on climate change. The Paris Agreement, signed at the COP21 climate conference in December, requires countries to work together to meet and surpass their ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) with an objective of limiting global average temperature change to 2⁰C, and an aspiration of keeping within…

COP21: How can climate-friendly innovation flourish in developing countries?

For low carbon development to work well, innovation is crucial. Both technological hardware like solar panels and grids, and social and institutional structures, need to change as the world looks towards a lower-carbon future. At a side event at the COP21 climate conference on Tuesday, Dr Rob Byrne (STEPS Centre/Sussex Energy Group) talked about how…

What are we doing when we do open science and inclusive innovation?

Last week I participated in the ‘launch’ event of STEPS América Latina, as part of ongoing work with researchers in the region. There, as elsewhere, we are exploring the politics of technology and science in society that support pathways to sustainable development. The event was by turns a fantastically rich, stimulating, humbling, troubling, and inspiring…

Making new worlds together

How could we end up in this world nobody ever wanted? This question, posed by Justyna Swat from POC21 during her talk at Monday’s event on makerspaces and sustainability, has no short answer. It also implies a further question: if you could shape the world you wanted, what would it look like? Shared workshops –…

Why should we seek sustainable developments in makerspaces?

Community-based workshops like hackerspaces, fablabs and makerspaces, equipped with design, prototyping and fabrication tools have spread rapidly in recent years. Interest in the social, economic and environmental possibilities of these spaces has grown too. Amidst the claims and aims people bring to this collaborative flourishing of tool-based creativity is an argument that makerspaces can become experimental sites for the pursuit of…

Giving flesh to the science and innovation we need to see

by Ben Ramalingam, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies Science, technology and innovation have been integral in successful development and poverty-reduction efforts, whether in Europe, Latin America, Asia or Africa. But time and time again, the real lessons of how this contribution actually worked — the genuine pathways of development change — have been lost…

SDGs: time to rethink energy infrastructure?

As the new Sustainable Development Goals are launched this week, attention will be focused on some of the great global challenges that face our world. They also give us a chance to think about how to do things differently. One of the big questions is how processes of industralization and innovation can really create the…

Debating Science and Technology for Development in Africa

By Ian Scoones, Director of the STEPS Centre At an event today we will be debating the STISA-2024 (Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa) initiative by the African Union (AU), the latest attempt to bring science and technology to the centre of the development debate in Africa. The STISA-2024 document opens with a rousing…

STISA-2024: Debating Africa’s “Blueprint” for Science, Technology & Innovation

The desire to enhance the strategic use of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), and public policies in achieving Africa’s socio-economic and development aspirations started decades ago. We know that as early as in the 1970s efforts to build relevant science and technology (S&T) capabilities in Africa (pdf) were well underway, both supported from within Africa…