Sustainability

Our interdisciplinary research explores how pathways to sustainability, green transformations and equitable access to resources such as land, water and food can be achieved and help us meet the environmental as well as human development-related goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Our work builds on a long tradition of critical social science engagement with environmental issues and resource politics in collaboration with partners globally. It explores how pathways to sustainability are shaped by political-economic and social processes, and understands how they are driven by technology, markets, states and citizens.  Our research sheds new light on how we can achieve green transformations that move us from fossil fuel to renewable energy, from throw-away to circular economies. It addresses the politics of sustainability, and understands how transformations occur at local levels as well as global, in both rural and urban settings, and be led by citizens as well as national governments. In doing so, it shines a light on how sustainable resource use, consumption and production is shaped by issues such as gender, livelihoods and politics.

Programmes and centres

Programme

Future Agricultures Consortium

Future Agricultures is a network of researchers on agriculture and food policy in Africa, formed of more than 100 people working in 12 countries across Africa and in Europe.

Projects

Project

CDC Longitudinal Development Impact Study

The CDC Group plc is a Development Finance Institution (DFI) wholly owned by the UK government. Its mission is to support the growth of businesses and infrastructure development throughout Africa and South Asia in order to create jobs and make a difference to people’s lives in some of the...

Recent work

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News

Learning from rapid change in a warming world

A new initiative to gather stories of rapid change is launched on 3 December, at the start of COP24, the UN’s annual global conference on climate change. The Rapid Transition Alliance (RTA) explores the lessons from changes – over a scale of five to ten years – that represent...

3 December 2018

Book

The Circular Economy and the Global South

The circular economy is a policy approach and business strategy that aims to improve resource productivity, promote sustainable consumption and production and reduce environmental impacts. This book (which is published on the 4 April 2019) examines the relevance of the circular economy in the...

30 November 2018

News

Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development: Book launches in Japan

As part of book launches of the Japanese edition of Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development, STEPS Centre Director Ian Scoones will be giving two talks in Japan. The talks explore the linkages between livelihoods and agrarian political economy and the links between a politically-informed...

23 November 2018

Past Event

Picturing change: Oil development in rural northern Kenya

This photographic exhibition tells the story of changing lives and livelihoods in Lokichar, a small town in Turkana County, and surrounding villages that are at the centre of northern Kenya’s oil frontier. This exhibition will be opened by the Labour MP for Kemptown and member of the...

9 November 2018

News

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – Synergies and Tensions

Three years into the global commitment to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and ‘leave no one behind’, it’s time to take stock. What progress has been made? What are the synergies or trade-offs between them? Do they still make sense? What will it take to achieve the...

30 October 2018

News

New guide to Transformation Labs published

The STEPS Centre and its partners have published a new guide to T-Labs (Transformation Labs). The 40-page guide draws on lessons from the Pathways Network, a project investigating new approaches for transformations to sustainability. Since 2016, the Pathways Network has convened T-Labs to...

5 October 2018