World Social Science Report 2013: Navigating pathways in the safe and just space for humanity

A framework for negotiating pathways to a safe and just sustainable future for people and planet is presented by Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre director, in a new article for the World Social Science Report 2013, launched today. Prof. Leach and her co-authors Johan Rockström, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and economist Kate Raworth, combine…

COP19: Cutting edge policy research

The ESRC STEPS Centre is seeking to address the many different impacts that climate change has on peoples’ lives and livelihoods in sustainable ways that work for people and planet, using their own knowledge and expertise through our research with partners around the world. The COP19 United Nations summit on climate change in Warsaw, Poland (11-22 November 2013) played…

Who knows best when creating technology?

What attempts are being made to ‘improve reality’ and who are the real beneficiaries of bids to mould the future to the vision of a few, powerful actors? STEPS Centre PhD student Justin Pickard explored a variety of inititaives to improve reality on a global scale as part of a session at the Brighton Digital Festival last…

Living on the edge: Rethinking aid amidst complexity

By Melissa Leach, STEPS Centre director These days, a remarkably short and convenient flight takes one from Sussex UK –  where among other STEPS Centre activities this week I’ve been contributing to the post-2015 global sustainable development goals process and the international Future Earth Science Committee  – and Sierra Leone. Here, I’m on my way…

Building pathways of pro-poor energy access

The misconception that developing countries can plump for either increasing access to energy, or low carbon development, but not both, is exploded in a paper presented by Dr Rob Byrne, STEPS Centre energy and climate change co-convenor, at the Poverty Reduction, Equity, and Growth Network’s (PEGNet) conference this week. Because conventional high carbon energy options…

IPCC climate report: research, resources and expertise

As the most comprehensive statement on climate science to date is published, we have gathered some of our key resources on the impact of climate change on poor and marginalised people in developing countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summary for policymakers on the physical science of global warming is published today, with the full report to follow. The summary concludes that…

Post-2015 outcome document: inclusivity needed

By Julia Day “With less than 850 days remaining.” It’s a sobering thought. If we were talking about football, we’d be well in to extra time now. As it is, the figure relates to the amount of time remaining to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, quoted in a United Nations report published yesterday (Wednesday).

Harnessing diversity across the global innovation system: a key challenge post Rio+20

By Adrian Ely, Head of Impact and Engagement, STEPS Centre Technology and innovation feature prominently in what looks likely to be the final outcome document from Rio+20, however the diversity of new ideas that can contribute to sustainable development remains underappreciated. Mark Stafford-Smith, co-chair of the ‘Planet Under Pressure’ conference that was held in London…

Opening up Sustainable Development decision-making at the UN?

By Adrian Ely, in Rio de Janeiro The Rio+20 conference has been enriched by a process to engage civil society  the Rio+20 Dialogues forSustainable Development.  While innovative and pioneering approaches like this should be encouraged, there is much room for improvement in the future. The Rio Dialogues were initiated in April by the Government of…

GLOBELICS’11: Innovation for social inclusion and sustainable development

By Adrian Smith, STEPS Centre and SPRU During the session Innovation for Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development, we heard a rich set of perspectives from different regions around the world. I was particularly struck by the way the challenges of social inclusion and sustainable development both ask searching questions about what we know about innovation…