This final event of the ESRC STEPS Centre brings together friends, collaborators and networks from around the world. We will explore the major challenges for sustainability in the present moment, reflect on lessons from the past fifteen years, and discuss future possibilities, plans and initiatives.
Since 2006, the STEPS Centre has focused on multiple challenges around social justice and environmental sustainability, building on long-standing struggles. From epidemics and pandemics to water, energy, food and other resources, and the politics of innovation and technologies, multiple ‘pathways to sustainability’ are always influenced by different kinds of knowledge and forms of power.
As a research centre, we understand that knowledge is not neutral. It not only ‘speaks’ to – but is also partly shaped by – politics and power. Powerful interests not only sideline ‘inconvenient truths’, they also condition what is taken to be true. Through our research programmes and our Pathways Approach, the STEPS Centre has aimed to highlight this shaping of knowledge by power. We have sought to help establish practical ways to properly address the perspectives of marginalised people. We have helped develop diverse methods, options and understandings to underpin action to ‘open up’ the politics of sustainability.