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Politics in the language of uncertainty

Uncertainty is not a condition out there in the world. It is a state of knowledge – deeply embedded and shaped in society. The difference may seem abstract. But it could hardly be of more profound or practical importance. And this has arguably never been more true than in today’s turbulent world. One key upshot…

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Preparing for pandemics and the role of uncertainty explored in new project

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has announced a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust: Pandemic Preparedness: local and global concepts and practices in tackling disease threats in Africa. The project aims to track the meanings and concepts of pandemic preparedness at global, regional and local levels, and the ways these interconnect – or…

Art, Uncertainty and System Change

It is becoming increasingly common to see funders, at national and international levels, in the sciences, arts and humanities, encouraging interdisciplinary approaches to various fundamental policy challenges. Initiatives focusing on the interface between art and environment, or art and ecology, mostly have emerged from an arts-based starting point, but the Arts and Environment Network (AEN)…

Embracing uncertainty: what are the implications for sustainability and development?

Uncertainty is a concept that defines our times. Every media headline seems to assert that things are uncertain, and increasingly so. Whether it’s climate change, disease outbreaks, economic conditions or political settlements, the same narrative exists. Helga Nowotny, in her book The Cunning of Uncertainty, argues that “uncertainty is written into the script of life”….

Uncertainty is a concept that defines our times. Every media headline seems to assert that things are uncertain, and increasingly so. Whether it’s climate change, disease outbreaks, economic conditions or political settlements, the same narrative exists. Helga Nowotny, in her book The Cunning of Uncertainty, argues that “uncertainty is written into the script of life”….

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New ‘TAPESTRY’ project on transformations from below in uncertain environments

A new project involving STEPS is one of twelve awarded funding by the Belmont Forum and NORFACE joint programme Transformations to Sustainability (T2S). The project is entitled TAPESTRY: Transformation as Praxis – Exploring Socially Just and Transdisciplinary Pathways to Sustainability in Marginal Environments. It is organised in a transnational and transdisciplinary consortium across the UK,…

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STEPS presents research at Resilience and Transformations conferences

The STEPS Centre and our partners in the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium will present new and emerging research at two major international conferences in August and September 2017. We will be taking part in the Resilience 2017 conference in Stockholm, Sweden on 20-23 August, and the Transformations conference in Dundee, UK on 30 August…

Workshop: Climate Change and Uncertainty from Above and Below

27-28 January 2016 New Delhi, India Presentation slides and photos from this workshop are now available. Presentation slides Photos Blog: Uncertainty and Climate Change in India by Hans Nicolai Adam, 26 February 2016 (NMBU) Video: views on uncertainty and climate change Participants at the workshop share their views on the relationships between experts and local…

Irrigation isn’t the only way to achieve food security in Ghana

Farmers attending their livestock in Northern Ghana (2012) by Ericsson Images / Flickr By Rachael Taylor, PhD studentSPRU, University of Sussex Earlier this month, a number of Members of the Ghanaian Parliament presented a statement to the House calling for large investment in irrigation systems throughout Ghana. They advocate the use of irrigation for crop…

Sustainable business in India: challenges for Rio+20

By Ian Scoones India has seen unprecedented economic growth in recent years; yet with this comes a growing demand for resources and increased pressure on the environment. But how can we combine business success and broad-based economic growth with environmental sustainability? This is a major challenge for fast-growing emerging economies such as India. As the…

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…