Friday, 10 October 2014

STEPS wins ISSC Transformations to Sustainability grant

The ESRC STEPS Centre is delighted to have won an International Social Science Council (ISSC) seed grant under the new Transformations to Sustainability Programme. The ISSC programme aims to build the knowledge partnerships needed for longer-term research on the fundamental innovative processes of social transformations towards sustainable and equitable futures.

Led by Director Professor Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre researchers are working with partners in Argentina, India, China, Kenya, Sweden and the USA to create a Constructing Pathways to Sustainability Network. The network will pioneer new approaches to engender the far-reaching global transformations urgently needed in a world of entrenched poverty, rapid urbanisation and unprecedented environmental change.

The Constructing Pathways to Sustainability Network will be centred on interdisciplinary integration, inclusive design, co-production and joint dissemination, and will provide the evidence base for a step-change in how innovative social science applications are used to respond to real-world challenges.

The Network will focus on understanding and constructing pathways to sustainability across three areas:
  1. water and waste in sustainable cities
  2. low carbon energy transitions for the poor
  3. sustainable agricultural and food systems for healthy livelihoods
It will draw on cutting-edge social science from Africa, Latin America, East and South Asia, Europe and North America, bringing together researchers and knowledge partners from across each region to build a global consortium with the potential for lasting impact.

The ISSC awarded 38 seed grants from 500 applicants. The grants are designed to help researchers prepare for the main call for Transformative Knowledge Networks. The Transformations to Sustainability Programme will promote research on the fundamental and innovative processes of social transformations needed to secure effective, equitable and durable solutions to some of today's most urgent challenges of global change and sustainability. They include, for example, climate change, biodiversity loss, water and food security, energy production and consumption, rapid urbanisation and their complex interactions with persistent poverty, growing inequalities, and social discontent and are more urgent in developing countries.