How sustainable is the city of Brighton? What are the different sustainability initiatives that can be undertaken at a local level? How do these local initiatives network and collaborate with each other? What are the barriers and opportunities in such collaborative efforts and in individual projects? These are some of the questions addressed in a stakeholder workshop organised by SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit) as part of the research programme on “Accelerating and re-scaling Transitions to Sustainability” (ARTS).
Through participation of around 25 stakeholders working on different local sustainability projects, the workshop turned out to be a great platform for sharing ideas and experiences, buildings networks and contacts, understanding the stakeholder viewpoints and perceptions on problems and potential in “accelerating change towards sustainability”. The research team introduced three mechanisms that they conceptualised to be instrumental in accelerating change: by growing or up-scaling, by multiplying or replicating and by coupling or forming alliances.
Responding to this theoretical framing, the participants in the workshop emphasised on ‘collective social impact’ as an instrumental process and desired outcome of scaling up. In order to ensure such impact, it is not only political will and funding that are pitched to be enablers but also more importantly the enthusiasm and active engagement of people of Brighton. The biggest realisation from spending the day with these people is that the time, energy and dedication put in by these people is a great motivation for researchers and practitioners to contribute in leading the world towards a sustainable future To know more about other interesting discussions and outcomes from this inspiring day you can read the full blog here.
Bipashyee Ghosh is a doctoral researcher in Science and Technology Policy at SPRU. She worked in the WOTRO research on sustainability experiments in Asia for 2 years during her masters in Eindhoven and produced her master thesis analysing results from the sustainability appraisal workshops held in India and Thailand. Her current research interests include social sustainability and transitions in urban mobility innovations in India – focusing on contextual characteristics and inclusive innovation.
Bipashyee has also written a previous blog post on ‘Experiments in Climate Governance – Reflections on a workshop‘ following the Innovations in Climate Governance’ (INOGOV) workshop in March 2015.
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