Overview of the STRINGS Project Workshop 2022

‘Perspectives and Policies to steer Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals’

In times of unprecedented uncertainty, there is an increasing need for open dialogue on how to direct research and innovation investments towards sustainable and inclusive solutions. The STRINGS project has been tackling this complex challenge, investigating how to better understand the ways in which science, technology and innovation (STI) impacts upon efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On Monday 28 February and Tuesday 1 March 2022, STRINGS hosted an online workshop – including presentations by the STRINGS research team on their project findings and guest speaker talks – to facilitate constructive discussions around the challenge of steering STI to address the SDGs.

Below, we provide an overview and recording of each session. We advise you to watch the recordings on desktop to view the presenters’ slides, which are unavailable on mobile view.

Session 1: Can current science, technology and innovation (STI) pathways lead to sustainable development?

Raquel Duran's live illustration of session 1

Chair: Andrew Stirling (Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex)

Opening remarks by speakers from the United Nations Development Programme (Pedro Conceição, Director of the

By |2022-05-04T14:44:55+01:00April 29th, 2022|News|0 Comments

Andy Stirling presents at the SDG Conference Bergen 2022

On 11 February at the fifth SDG Conference Bergen 2022, Professor Andy Stirling gave a presentation on ‘Ways of Knowing Sustainability: diversity, plurality & politics of liberatory action.’ Andy’s lecture opened Session 4 which considered how higher education and research should meet sustainability challenges. Watch Andy’s full talk below, beginning at 02:38.

Andy’s talk focused on the challenge of “acknowledging different ways of knowing, not just how to implement sustainability, but what sustainability means in itself.” In particular, Andy emphasised that “sustainability is an inherently political notion”, exampling how different discourses and knowledges of sustainability are influenced by factors like power.

For example, he reinforced the need for diverse, plural perspectives on sustainability in order to better understand and tackle the reality of its multifaceted challenges – “towards recognising that difference is a way of knowing.” This differs to dominant, politicized narratives that suggest ‘the‘ singular pathways towards sustainability – an issue also addressed in the forthcoming STRINGS report.

Key findings from the new UNESCO report on universities and the 2030 Agenda were also referred to. The 2022 report discusses the role of higher education institutions in contributing to the sustainability 2030 Agenda, and Andy

By |2022-03-14T12:00:36+00:00March 14th, 2022|News|0 Comments

COVID-19 and Sustainability

– John Robinson

Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and the School of the Environment, at the University of Toronto.

15 April 2020

The plethora of articles about the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis makes me think of the Danish saying, (sometimes attributed to Niels Bohr) “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. Many articles provide a mixture of highly plausible projections, mixed in with some wishful thinking. However, I think it is fair to say that such lists consist almost entirely of what might be called first-order predictions: expectations about the immediate consequences of COVID-19. Another saying I like is that the only law of sociology is the law of unanticipated consequences, and I think there will be lots of second and third-order effects that may take us in entirely different directions, even if many of the first order prognostications turn out to be correct. My own personal view is that the second order consequences of any major socio-technical system change are often in the opposite direction of the first order consequences, and bigger. Think of projections of IT leading to the paperless office or of highway building leading to less congestion. The

By |2020-11-26T17:14:49+00:00April 15th, 2020|Blogs|0 Comments
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