COMPLEXITY, SIMPLIFICATION AND RESILIENCE

By ADRIAN SMITH, STEPS Centre member Complexity pervaded debate at the Resilience Alliance conference last month. In one way or another, participants tried to get to grips with the sheer complexities of the socio-ecological systems that concerned them, and puzzled over the kinds of adaptive governance that might ensure these systems provided resilient livelihoods to…

BIOFUELLED PATHWAYS TO SUSTAINABILITY?

By ADRIAN SMITH, STEPS Centre member Last week, Achim Steiner, head of UNEP, and one of the sponsors of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, joined an increasingly audible group of voices arguing for a system of sustainability standards for biofuels. Without such a system, operating robustly at the international level, Achim feared a backlash…

INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH CHINA

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member Guangzhou, in South China, is one of the cities at the forefront of the country’s “ economic miracle”. The skyline is characterised as much by cranes and construction sites as by the high-rise towers which are already home to its thriving commerce. To what extent are Guangzhou’s innovators factoring…