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Food in the time of Covid-19: how can local action and national coordination work together?

As we approach the end of week 7 of the UK government’s Covid-19 social distancing measures, we have been witnessing a combination of remarkable efforts to sustain the country through this challenging time.  Workers from the National Health Service (supplemented by volunteer responders) and other ‘key workers’ are applauded across the country on a weekly…

Transdisciplinarity and transformative spaces: six reflections for researchers

For transformations to sustainability to be socially and ecologically just, they must derive from diverse, discursive processes embedded in specific political contexts and cultural conditions. Questions arise from this statement: what do such transformations look like? How and where do they happen; with whom and why? The Transformations 2019 conference in Santiago, Chile, offered a…

Round icon with colours representing the Sustainable Development Goals

HLPF 2019: Why inclusion and power matter for sustainability

On 9-18 July the UN’s High-Level Political Forum meets to discuss progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This meeting takes the theme of “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality“. The theme particularly addresses goals around education, growth and employment, inequality, climate change, peace, justice and inclusion, and partnerships. The theme is a crucial…

Change mural

How do ‘transformative spaces’ open up possibilities for action?

A paper by Fiona Marshall (SPRU), Jonathan Dolley (SPRU) and Ritu Priya (South Asia Sustainability Hub) explores how ‘transformative space making’ can contribute to systemic change that supports pro-poor transformations to sustainability. The authors describe transformative spaces as follows: “The metaphor of transformative spaces is used here not to suggest a bounded location in space…

New publication: T-Labs: A Practical Guide

The ESRC STEPS Centre and its partners have published a new guide to T-Labs (Transformation Labs). The 40-page guide draws on lessons from the Pathways Network, a project investigating new approaches for transformations to sustainability. Since 2016, the Pathways Network has convened T-Labs to respond to social-ecological problems in six countries (Argentina, Mexico, Kenya, China,…

group discussion

Endings and beginnings: project-based work within wider transformations

by Adrian Ely and Elise Wach Since 2016 we have been involved in a small-scale project, as part of the broader ‘Pathways Network’, that has explored how to move towards more sustainable agri-food systems in Brighton and Hove.  The project’s focus has been evolving on the basis of changing circumstances, knowledge and ideas – a…

Gurgaon skyline with skyscrapers and construction

The Power of a T-Lab: Sharing lessons on water and justice in Gurgaon, India

by Dinesh Abrol, Pravin Kushwaha and Bikramaditya K. Choudhary, South Asia Sustainability Hub & Knowledge Network. As big cities change rapidly, people moving into them can struggle for access to basic services like clean water and sanitation. One such city is Gurgaon, a secondary city that’s experienced rapid urban transition over the last two decades….

mobile payment kiosk

How transformative are mobile payments for solar home systems in Kenya?

by Victoria Chengo and Kennedy Mbeva, Africa Sustainability Hub The second Transformation Lab workshop (T-Lab) organised by the Africa Sustainability Hub was held in June in Nairobi, Kenya – one of six study sites in the international Pathways Network. As part of a 3-year process, the workshop discussed what needs to be done to enable…

Fukuoka city skyline

STEPS at the World Social Science Forum (WSSF) on 25-28 September

The STEPS Centre and its partners from the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium will be at the World Social Science Forum (WSSF) next week. This year’s event is held in Fukuoka, Japan. The WSSF’s theme this year is ‘Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures’. Convened by the International Science Council (ISC), the WSSF aims to…