The ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre carries out interdisciplinary global research that unites development studies with science and technology studies.
The Centre’s mission is to highlight, reveal and contribute to just and democratic pathways to sustainability that include the needs, knowledge and perspectives of poor and marginalised people. The STEPS Pathways Approach links theory, research methods and practice to highlight and open up the politics of sustainability.
The STEPS Centre’s work highlights different responses to complex challenges like climate change, food systems, urbanisation and technology in which society and ecologies are entangled. STEPS research explores how poor and marginalised people can be involved in identifying and diagnosing problems, as well as deciding what to do. This often involves challenging power and assumptions, and exploring many different values, perspectives and possible futures through diverse methodologies.
The STEPS Centre is hosted in the UK by the Institute of Development Studies and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. Its main funding is from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
STEPS works as part of a Global Consortium with hubs in Africa, China, Europe, Latin America, North America and South Asia. Our research projects, in many countries, engage with local problems and link them to wider concerns.
From 2018-2021 the STEPS Centre and Global Consortium are focusing on four annual themes.
Faced with a series of social and environmental stresses and shocks, there are urgent calls for radical, systemic change. But, as past and present experience show, this can take many forms. What does it take to make sustainability transformations emancipatory (caring), rather than repressive (controlling)?
Uncertainties can make it hard to plan ahead. But recognising them can help to reveal new questions and choices. What kinds of uncertainty are there, why do they matter for sustainability, and what ideas, approaches and methods can help us to respond to them?
Find out more
- Website: www.steps-centre.org
- Our people
- Our research
- Our publications
- Follow us on Twitter: @stepscentre
- Blog: Read our blog
- Video: STEPS Centre YouTube Channel
Nathan Oxley, Communications & Impact Manager, STEPS Centre E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)1273 915826 M: +44 (0)7702 884039