New videos: Transformations to Sustainability – A Research Programme and Growing Knowledge Network


Earlier this year, researchers from the Transformations to Sustainability community presented the research programme and some of its networks and projects at the International Conference of the European Network of Political Ecology (ENTITLE) – ‘Undisciplined Environments’, held between the 20th and 24th of March 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.

In a session dedicated to the Transformations to Sustainability programme, researchers highlighted the transformative potential of the research being undertaken through the Transformative Knowledge Networks and the seed grant projects funded through the programme.

Watch the full session here:

Speakers include Leah Temper, speaking on the ACKnowl-EJ network –  academic-activist co-produced knowledge for environmental justice; David Kronlid, speaking on the T-LEARNING network –  transgressive social learning for social-ecological sustainability in times of climate change; and Marco Armiero, Justainability (Towards ‘just sustainability’) speaking on grassroots initiatives to merge social and environmental justice. The panel finished with questions and comments moderated by Sarah Moore, Transformations to Sustainability Programme Coordinator.

This panel was organized by the International Social Science Council Programme Transformations towards Sustainability, with support from the Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences (SSEESS) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Leah Temper, Autonomous University of Barcelona: Acknowl-EJ – Academic–activist co-produced knowledge for environmental justice

Leah Temper presents the Acknowl-EJ project, which is studying the transformative potential of community responses to extractive activities. Leah begins with the example of Berta Cáceres, a Honduran indigenous environmental activist assassinated in March 2016, whose death has sparked a convergence of environmentalist struggles and calls for environmental justice at the global level. The Acknowl-EJ project is developing an atlas of environmental conflicts that will also serve as a tool for activism and learning. The project is identifying and understanding the narratives emerging from environmentalist struggles that can provide alternatives to the prevailing regimes and turn into forces for transformation.

David Kronlid, Uppsala University: T-Learning – Transgressive social learning for social-ecological sustainability in times of climate change

David Kronlid presents the T-LEARNING network, which focusses on transgressive learning and transformative climate change adaptation. He identifies the greatest challenge for transformations to sustainability as an enormous need to understand social transformations as a transgressive learning process. In the face of uncertainty and epistemological ambivalence we need to fight our urge to run to safe and familiar places and see the challenges of environmental change and social transformation as learning processes – which can be complex and difficult. David highlights the challenges of working with different constituencies and knowledge partners, of putting in place the enabling conditions for transdisciplinary work and interaction, and of encouraging unorthodox practices.

Marco Armiero, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm: Justainability – Towards ‘just sustainability’ – Grassroots initiatives to merge social and environmental justice

Marco Armiero presents Justainability – a consortium that won a seed grant from the Transformations to Sustainability programme to develop a project around the intersection of social and environmental justice. Interrogating the concept of sustainability, he argues that it has largely served to maintain the rule of ‘experts’ and capitalist regimes, and become depoliticized in the process – it is therefore critical to challenge the idea of sustainability and transform the prevailing socio-economic system. He encourages the T2S Programme secretariat to help build a network that challenges neo-liberal models and structures in research, including by changing the way research proposals and outputs are evaluated. He suggests fostering excellent research in a cooperative rather than a competitive spirit.