How can the STEPS pathways approach help us understand the Anthropocene?

by Mathew Bukhi Mabele (Department of Geography, University of Zurich) and Jacob Weger (Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia) It has been sixteen years since Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer first introduced the term ‘Anthropocene’ to signify that the ‘growing impacts of human activities on earth and atmosphere’ had reached planetary proportions. Their central argument is…

Group photo

Seeking sustainable transformations around the world

The new ‘Pathways’ Network, which explores transformations to sustainability in 6 cases around the world, had its opening workshop in Buenos Aires on 24-27 April 2016. At the workshop, participants from Sweden, South Africa, and ‘hubs’ in Kenya, the UK, Argentina, USA/Mexico, India and China discussed research questions and how best to share learning.

How do we link research and action for sustainability?

In March, researchers, knowledge brokers and funders gathered in Pretoria, South Africa to share lessons and experiences on how a decade of ESRC-DFID research support has impacted on poverty reduction. The Conference came just a few months after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  These goals articulate the value of research and capacity…

People riding motorbikes in Chennai

The challenges of creating new visions for sustainable urbanisation in India

by Poonam Pandey, from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University. A two-day conference organised at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in collaboration with the STEPS centre, raised questions about how to bring about critical new thinking on sustainable urbanisation in India. For the creation of new visions for a sustainable city the foremost questions to be…

In defence of ethics

Michael Hauskeller writes in defence of ethics: “We are not sitting in an evolutionary elevator that has only two directions: up and down. Instead, there are many different ways of going up and going forward, many different ways of going down and backwards, and many different ways of going sideways, or around in circles, or…

STEPS SUMMER SCHOOL: MAY 2012

An event at the STEPS Centre We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be holding a two-week Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability next May. An international group of leading researchers will run interactive sessions drawing on their work into the interactions of social, technological and environmental systems. The Summer School is aimed at a selected…

VIDEO: MELISSA LEACH AT NESS 2011

Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre Director, spoke at NESS 2011 (The 10th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference) in Stockholm last week. Her talk (56 minutes), “Pathways to sustainability? Environmental social science and justice in a complex, dynamic age” explains the STEPS Centre’s work in the context of the rapidly changing, complex world we live in. Video…

REVOLUTIONISING DEVELOPMENT: WHOSE FUTURE COUNTS?

By Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre director I first worked with Robert Chambers as a research assistant when I was little more than an undergraduate myself. In the book ‘Revolutionising Development’, launched last Friday, I write about the specific piece of research we did together, and its legacies. However, over twenty years as a colleague at…

FILM: “SEEDS AND SUSTAINABILITY” OUT NOW

Our new film, “Seeds and Sustainability: Maize pathways in Kenya”, explores how to secure seeds for farmers growing maize – Kenya’s key staple crop – in drought-prone regions of the country. Below is a trailer: you can watch the full version on our website. The film draws on our research into maize and environmental change…

FINDING PATHWAYS IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY

We’re living in an age of anxiety where politicians, policy makers and the public search for solutions to narrowly-defined problems and risks. At the recent CRASSH conference, “Challenging Models in the Face of Uncertainty”, Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre Director, spoke about how this search for solutions can lead to social injustice. She argues for a…