Makerspaces: Creating inclusive spaces for sustainable innovations

Making stuff is all the rage these days. But how does sustainable development fit into this enthusiasm? The White House is celebrating a Week of Making from June 16-23 2016 after hosting its first Maker Faire in 2014 to spark a “grassroots renaissance in American making and manufacturing”. The hope is that by exposing people…

murmuration

Opening up democratic politics for sustainable development: reflections from STEPS America Latina

The event that launched STEPS América Latina earlier this month, ‘Opening up the development agenda’, was a great workshop. It’s rare for a meeting of this kind to be so diverse yet so coherent. And this is especially so, on a topic as challenging as the transforming of development. Despite many differences in terms of…

Moving beyond products to material culture

Prototyping or debating sustainable developments in makerspaces? In the previous blog I introduced some of the diverse ways that makerspaces are helping cultivate sustainable developments. Admittedly, these initiatives do not represent the totality of makerspaces, where many projects and activities are oblivious to demands for sustainable developments. In this blog I discuss some of the challenges…

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…

Buba river

Rethinking Africa’s sustainable development pathways

Sustainable development (SD), brought into the spotlight with this week’s UN summit, remains a landmark policy and global development agenda since the 1992 Convention on Environment and Development. Anchored on the Brutland Commission report ‘Our Common Future’, sustainable development articulates the urge to harmonise the temporal and spatial redistribution of development with a natural resource…

Achieving sustainable development means no goal leaving gender behind

This article is part of a series on the Sustainable Development Goals. Feminists and their allies fought strongly for a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. Goal 5 now offers the potential to embed gender equality into transformative approaches to sustainable development. For this promise to be…

Book: Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

A new book, Gender Equality and Sustainable Development, edited by Melissa Leach, has been published in the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series. For pathways to be truly sustainable and advance gender equality and the rights and capabilities of women and girls, those whose lives and well-being are at stake must be involved in…

China conference

China Daily covers launch of China Sustainability Hub

Mutual learning across continents is one of the key imperatives behind the launch of our China Sustainability Hub and the focus of a China Daily article about the Hub, which is coordinated by Beijing Normal University School of Social Development and Public Policy (BNU-SSDPP) In Research hub helps China’s sustainable development Cecily Liu today reports…

Between ‘greenization’ and ‘citizenization’: Welcome to China’s New Normal

By Sandra Pointel A group of researchers from China, Africa, Latin America and Europe met last week in Beijing to launch the new China Sustainability Hub, in collaboration with the STEPS Centre’s long-term partner Beijing Normal University (BNU) and other institutions. Hosted at BNU School of Social Development and Public Policy (SSDP), the launch was…

Made in China? Mutual learning in a global development era

This week marks the 60th anniversary of the Bandung conference when Asian and African countries gathered in Indonesia to discuss independence, peace and prosperity. The conference resulted in 10 principles based on friendship, solidarity and cooperation in this newly post-colonial era for many of the states involved, prefiguring what many now term ‘South-South’ cooperation in…