Transformations to Sustainability is a Belmont Forum-NORFACE Joint Research Programme


2019: A year of transformation?

Our final newsletter of 2019 gives a round-up of latest news from many of the projects involved in the Transformations to Sustainability programme, as well as new blogs, videos and the first podcast from the CONVIVA project.

One of the highlights of this year was the Transformations 2019 conference, which took place in Santiago, Chile, in mid-October, just as massive social unrest and protests against social inequalities and injustices were erupting. In a blog following the conference, Susi Moser reflects on the limits of what humans and nature can endure, and how, from the imminent and painful collapse of unsustainable ways of being and doing, positive transformations can emerge.

From all in the T2S Secretariat team, we wish you all the best for the holiday season and for the new year ahead.

A participatory approach to initiating transformative actions from the bottom-up

The TAPESTRY project team recently ran an ‘ideation workshop’ with the community in Versova Koliwada, a fishing village in the city of Mumbai, where the community face an uncertain future as a result of climate change and possible loss of livelihoods.
The participatory workshop aimed to elicit knowledge, emotions and questions, and to explore possible solutions to the problems faced.
Find out more.

The case for convivial conservation

In the face of the sixth extinction, severe threats to biodiversity around the globe and rising wildlife crime, a new approach to environmental conservation is needed. With this in mind, the CONVIVA project has launched a new-look website, as well as a video that explains 'convivial conservation' - an approach that tackles the roots of the conservation crisis, challenges market-based and colonial approaches, and focuses on justice for people and nature. The latest addition to the website is the first episode of the convivial conservation podcast with Bram Büscher - listen in now!

Participatory research methodologies to examine land-use change and the transformation of territories

The TRUEPATH project team have been active in organizing several workshops using methods such as participatory mapping and photo-based discussions to reflect on participants' worldviews on issues related to sustainable development. Elsewhere, project partners have facilitated a two-week pilot course on Participatory research methodologies for and from the transformation of territories in Nicaragua.
Find out more

Transformation from science to decision-making

A policy brief produced by the conveners of the Transformations 2019 conference to feed into the COP25 discussions explains what transformation is, why it is needed, and what people can do at different levels to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Transformation from science to decision-making is also available for download in Spanish: Transformación desde la ciencia a la toma de decisiones.

AGENTS project visits Acre and Santarém in the Brazilian Amazon

Researchers from the AGENTS project recently visited different regions of Brazil to meet potential partners for the project's co-production process in the state of Acre, and to conduct a dialogue workshop and fieldwork in the state of Pará. A highlight of the visit to Acre was witnessing diverse agroforestry systems which support both local livelihoods and ecological restoration.
Read more

Imagining transformations to sustainability in energy, agriculture and cities

This October, the GoST (Governance of Sociotechnical Transfromations) project met in Nairobi, Kenya, for a policy stakeholder workshop organized by project partners the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU). At this early stage in the work of the project, the purpose was to stimulate critical discussion among a group of experts representing diverse perspectives on the different sectors addressed by the project (energy, agriculture, urban digital infrastructures).

For some reflections on the workshop, see the blogs by GoST Principal Investigator Andy Stirling:

What drives transformations to sustainability? Some reflections from recent discussions in Nairobi

Alternative imaginings of transformation: opening emancipatory spaces for sustainability politics

Sustainability, transformation and power: rebalancing expertise with democratic struggle

More blogs and opinion from the T2S community:

Figure 2.3

Citizen-generated data for flood resilience in Brazil

We find out more about how the Waterproofing Data project is tapping into local knowledge to get a better picture of flood resilience in different communities in Brazil.
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Transformations 2019: Coda

In October 2019, many transformations researchers from all over the world gathered in Santiago, Chile, for the fourth international 'Transformations' conference. Ending just as unrest exploded in the city, the conference helped to crystallize the need to be courageous in confronting power and to actively engage in a transforming world, says Susi Moser in a blog reflecting on the conference.
Read more

Microfinance “business as usual” is not the urgent action on climate change that we need

Johan Bastiaensen (TRUEPATH) reflects on the need for the microfinance industry to make a more ambitious and transformative contribution for structural change in the face of climate emergency.

Read more

Resources round-up: latest publications from the T2S community

Articles, book chapters, media coverage and more from the T2S programme projects and related research...
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Reading recommendations from our network

Ghosh, P. and Arora, S. (2019), Smart as Democratically Transformative? An Analysis of 'Smart City' Sociotechnical Imaginary in India, STEPS Working Paper 109, Brighton: STEPS Centre.

Just Transitions: Social Justice in the Shift Towards a Low-Carbon World (eds. E. Morena, D. Krause and D. Stevis), Pluto Press, London.

Sustainability transformations: sense-making across societies, Victoria Wibeck and Björn-Ola Linnér, SDG Transformations Forum blog.

Funding calls and other opportunities:

Enabling Societal Transformation in the Face of Climate Change (SOLSTICE) – call for joint transnational funding proposals

SOLSTICE is launched by the Joint Programming Initiative "Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe" (JPI Climate), a pan-European intergovernmental initiative to jointly coordinate climate research and fund new transnational research initiatives that provide useful climate knowledge and services for post-COP21 climate action.

The call invites interdisciplinary contributions from consortia, which should consist of scientists from at least three participating countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The call addresses three themes:
  • Social justice and participation
  • Sense making, cultural meaning and risk perceptions
  • Transformative finance and economy
The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is 9 January 2020; the full application must be submitted by 3 February 2020.

Find out more.

Intellectual Property Strategies and Sustainable Business Models for Sustainability Transitions: call for submissions

Partners from the Intellectual Property Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions (IPACST) project will edit a special issue of Sustainability on ‘Intellectual Property Strategies and Sustainable Business Models for Sustainability Transitions’. A call for the submission of manuscripts by 31 March 2020 is now open.

Find out more.

STEPS Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability

The ninth and final STEPS Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability will take place on 11-22 May 2020 in Brighton, UK. A call for applications from PhD or post-doc candidates is now available. The deadline for applications is 26 January. Some bursaries are available for candidates from non-OECD countries of origin.

Find out more.

Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership

Applications are now being accepted for the Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership, which is designed to develop the next generation of leaders in sustainability and transformation research. The Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership is an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and a joint project of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the four academic centres Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) in Rotterdam. It provides an intensive training for postdocs and also offers seed funding to small groups of participants. A call for applications is open until 16 February 2020.

Find out more.

Connect with the T2S Community

7th Online Climate Change Conference CLIMATE2020
23-30 March 2020

CLIMATE2020 focuses on “Integrating Mitigation & Adaptation Initiatives for a Better Management of Climate Change and its Impacts”, with the aim of conveying recent research results and providing early career researchers from all over the world with the opportunity to present their findings at a global level.

Sustainability Research & Innovation 2020
14-17 June 2020
Brisbane, Australia

Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration
24-26 June 2020
Brighton, United Kingdom

Water, megacities and global change
1-4 December 2020
Paris, France

A call for abstracts has been released - deadline for submission 31 January 2020.

See our website for all forthcoming events.
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