The COVID-19 coronavirus crisis is affecting all members of the Transformations to Sustainability community and posing new questions about how we understand social transformations.
Responses to the virus have exposed divisions and fault-lines in our societies and economies, but they have also generated new forms of solidarity and inventiveness, forcing us to rethink how we move around, how we interact with the human and non-human species around us, and more broadly how we live and consume. In the effort to achieve social justice and environmental sustainability the importance of these capacities cannot be underestimated.
This page, which is being regularly updated, lists blogposts, interviews, news articles and other commentary produced by the broad Transformations to Sustainability community. It is not meant to be an exhaustive debate on COVID-19 issues, but rather it aims to promote discussion on transformations to sustainability in times of a global pandemic. It is too early to say what the longer-term impact of the current crisis will be, but we feel sure that diverse and visionary perspectives on social transformation, of the kinds being developed through the Transformations to Sustainability programme, have never been more urgent.
Blogs and opinion
Thinking out of the box: MISTY fieldwork plans during COVID-19
Dominique Jolivet (MISTY project)
What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for Latin America?
Fabio de Castro (AGENTS project)
Collective responses to Covid-19 in the Amazon estuary: From mask-production to opportunities of income diversification.
Maria Claudia dos Santos Bahia & Matheus Monteiro (AGENTS project)
Global Problems, Local Solutions: The COVID pandemic highlights the importance of local action
Alayna Kasuri, intern with the ISC, brings together the cross-cutting themes from the community’s responses, to suggest new learnings for the post-pandemic world.
A ‘natural disaster’ on top of a pandemic – preparedness in the face of cascading uncertainties
Shilpi Srivastava, Lyla Mehta and Shibaji Bose (TAPESTRY project)
Were we all trapped? Reflections on immobility during a global pandemic
Caroline Zickgraf (MISTY project)
Unpacking the innovation landscape for crisis-critical products, services and technologies in the Covid-19 pandemic
Max Elsen, Frank Tietze (IPACST project), Leonidas Aristodemou, Alexander Moerchel
A black swan and some white swans: Pitfalls and opportunities for climate action in times of pandemic
François Gemenne (MISTY project)
COVID-19, Climate Change and Migration: Constructing Crises, Reinforcing Borders
François Gemenne and Caroline Zickgraf (MISTY project) and other partners, via The Environmental Migration Portal as part of the IOM Series on The COVID-19 Pandemic, Migration and the Environment.
Schützt uns die “Deutsche Angst” in Krisenzeiten? [Does “German angst” protect us in times of crisis?] Interview with Silke Beck (GoST project) via the German Federal Ministry of Education and Reserch (BMBF).
Improving Africa’s knowledge systems: Six lessons from COVID-19
By Joanes Atela and Nora Ndege via the STEPS centre.
Coronavirus, crisis and the real Argentine economy: Post-pandemic challenges
By Anabel Marin via the STEPS Centre. This article was originally published in Spanish in the newspaper Pagina12 as Los desafíos para la post pandemia.
A pandemic of blindness: uneven experiences of rural communities under COVID-19 lockdown in India
By Enid Still, Sandeep Kumar, Irene Leonardelli and Arianna Tozzi via Undisciplined Environments
COVID-19 Stimulus Measures Must Save Lives, Protect Livelihoods, and Safeguard Nature to Reduce the Risk of Future Pandemics
By Josef Settele, Sandra Díaz and Eduardo Brondizio, and Peter Daszak via IPBES
We will survive the coronavirus. We need to make sure we survive ourselves.
By Ashish Kothari (ACKnowl-EJ project), via thewire.in
Sustainability and the migrant experience in the COVID-19 crisis
By Neil Adger, Emily Boyd, Ed Carr, Sonja Fransen, Dominique Jolivet, Anita Fabos, Maria Franco Gavonel and Caroline Zickgraf (MISTY project)
Let’s avoid that IP gets in the way of fighting the Coronavirus / Covid19 pandemic!
By Frank Tietze (IPACST project)
Covid-19 reveals and further increases inequalities in water and sanitation
By Lyla Mehta (TAPESTRY project) and Claudia Ringler
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining and the ‘corona-djadiste’
By the GOLD MATTERS project team
Close the tap! COVID-19 and the need for Convivial Conservation
By Robert Fletcher, Bram Büscher & Kate Massarella (CON-VIVA project)
Modernity without its clothes: The pandemic crisis shines a light on on futilities of control
Andy Stirling (GoST project), via the STEPS Centre blog
Science, uncertainty and the COVID-19 response
Ian Scoones, via the STEPS Centre blog
Post-normal pandemics: Why COVID-19 requires a new approach to science
David Waltner-Toews, Annibale Biggeri, Bruna De Marchi, Silvio Funtowicz, Mario Giampietro, Martin O’Connor, Jerome R. Ravetz, Andrea Saltelli and Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, via the STEPS Centre blog
Webinars and videos
Transformations in and beyond COVID-19 in India and Bangladesh
This webinar, organized by the TAPESTRY project, took place on 16 July 2020.
Dialogue on Alternatives in the Time of Global Crises
A webinar series organized by the Global Tapestry of Alternatives
The GoST project’s Indian partner Environment Support Group (ESG) has initiated a ‘Global Web Talk’ series on ‘Imaginaries For A Resilient And Inclusive New World‘, in which thought leaders discuss their ideas for new ways forward in a world after the COVID-19 pandemic. Talks in the series include:
- Imaginaries for a Resilient and Inclusive New World
Sheila Jasanoff (GoST project) ESG Global Web Talk
- Modernity Without Its Clothes: The Pandemic Crisis Shines A Light On Futilities Of Control
Andrew Stirling (GoST project) ESG Global Web Talk
See the full playlist here.
Journal articles and reports
Robert J. Pijpers and Sabine Luning. 2021. ‘We have so many challenges’: Small‐scale mining, Covid‐19 and constant interruptions in West Africa‘. Anthropology Today, Vol. 37:2.
Anjula Gurtoo and Rahul Patil, Realigning sustainability in the post-pandemic world. TerraGreen, July 2020, Vol. 13, Iss. 04, pp. 12-19.
A. Stirling and I. Scoones, COVID-19 and the Futility of Control in the Modern World, Issues in Science and Technology, Vol. XXXVI, No. 4, Summer 2020.
This article explores themes from the new STEPS book The Politics of Uncertainty: Challenges for Transformation, especially around the flaws of modern myths of ‘control’ and the implications of this for transformative action in pursuit of sustainability.
F. de Castro, Russo Lopes, G., Sonnewend Brondizio, E. (AGENTS project), The Brazilian Amazon in Times of COVID-19: from crisis to transformation? [A Amazônia Brasileira em Tempos de COVID-19: Da Crise à Transformação?], Ambiente & Sociedade, http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1809-4422asoc20200123vu2020l3id
The other face of globalization: COVID 19, Arbitrary Return of Bangladeshi Migrants and their Unpaid Dues, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) policy brief, via MISTY project colleagues at RMMRU
F. Tietze (IPACST project), P. Vimalnath (IPACST project), L. Aristodemou and J. Molloy, Crisis-Critical Intellectual Property: Findings From the COVID-19 Pandemic, in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, doi: 10.1109/TEM.2020.2996982.
Protection of Migrants during COVID-19 Pandemic Situation
Tasneem Siddiqui (MISTY project) and colleagues at RMMRU, via RMMRU.
Seema Kulkarni, Rural Women Locked in a Crisis, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 55, Issue No. 23, 06 Jun, 2020
Anjula Gurtoo, part of the IPACST project team at the Indian Institute of Science: Bangalore has initiated a publication series on a range of policy issues related to sustainability and the Covid-19 crisis. Articles in this series are (1) Realigning Sustainability in the Post-pandemic World” by Anjula Gurtoo & Rahul Patil; (2) Effective public health data sharing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic by Anjula Gurtoo & Inder S. Gopal.
In the press
Research led by GoST project Principal Investigator Sheila Jasanoff is highlighted in the New York Times article ‘Pre-existing weaknesses’ hindered the U.S. pandemic response, researchers find‘, published 12 January 2021.
When a Covid-19 vaccine is discovered, will it be freely available and be affordable to all?
Anjula Gurtoo and Rahul Patil (IPACST project). The Scroll, 15 July 2020
Will the COVID-19 pandemic change the IP domain for the better?
Anjula Gurtoo and Rahul Patil (IPACST project). The Wire, 21 May 2020
Make an emergency fund for migrant workers: rights body asks government
A Daily Star [Bangladesh] report relating to the press conference organized by MISTY partner in Dhaka, Tasneem Sidiqqui, and her team at RMMRU, on 4 April 2020 on the situational analysis report Protection of Migrants during COVID-19 [see above]. This event was extensively covered in the press.
Enquête. Le vécu de la pandémie et du confinement dans la vallée du Drâa [Investigation: Life in the Draa Valley during the pandemic and lockdown]
Lisa Bossenbroek & Hind Ftouhi (T2SGS project), Medias 24, 10 June 2020
Science Will Not Come on a White Horse With a Solution
Sheila Jasanoff (GoST project), Interview for the Nation, 6 April 2020
Frank Tietze, part of the IPACST project, is one of the initiators of the OpenCovidPledge together with colleagues at the University of Cambridge, Stanford University, and Berkeley University.
Viola Prifti, part of the IPACST project, gave a guest talk on “Post-Covid 19 – Looking at Smart Farming for a More Sustainable Future” for the “Law, Emerging Tech & Science” Lab, School of Law & Criminology at the University of Greenwich. The talk will be followed by a short written piece with her former colleague, Argyro Karanasiou, director of the LETS Lab.
GoST (Governance of Sociotechnical Transformations) project
Situations of crisis and turmoil play a contral role in GoST analyses, which is why the global developments associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are also a subject of reflection and investigation for the GoST project. To this end, the GoST team is conducting international comparisons to determine how the coronavirus crisis affects the understanding of sustainability transformations and to what extent this upheaval opens up opportunities to initiate sustainability transformations.
Photo: Maxim Mogilevskiy via Flickr.