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I research, write and teach in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield.
My research is concerned with understanding social change in relation to sustainability, through a focus on everyday life and the socio-technical systems that shape it. I engage with geographical and sociological theories of practice, materiality and everyday life, as well as with science and technology studies.

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Change Points presentation to inaugural meeting of the Behavioural Science and the Natural Environment group

Change Points

Sam Outhwaite and Matt Watson represented the Change Points team, which was invited to present the approach to the inaugural meeting of the Behavioural Science and the Natural Environment group.


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Talking power in practice theory for the first Practice Theory Podcast

Good to dig out that chapter on power and practice and remember what I wrote, and all I didn’t get round to writing. That was in getting ready for the delight of being guest for the very first Practice Theory Podcast. A friendly but critical conversation with Elizabeth Shove and Stan Blue. It was a bit like a PhD viva, with two scholars reading what I wrote and asking questions, some of them testingly tough. But with nothing riding on it (apart from the judgement of anyone that listens to the podcast…) it was a lot more fun.

Redefining Single Use Plastics – new project

I’m part of the very interdisciplinary team on a new £1m project announced today. Together we’re going to be Redefining Single Use Plastics to help tackle the scourge of plastic waste. I’ll be working on understanding the social changes that got us where we are, and that need to happen to get us somewhere better.

Garbage865

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/plastic-waste-solutions-how-to-recycle-reduce-use-plastics-sheffield-1.822170

The Change Points Toolkit is online

Great to see the Change Points toolkit online. Thanks to Claire Hoolohan for all the work developing this, working together with Alison Browne who led the Impact Accelerator project that enabled it. The toolkit has developed from ideas and insights produced in the Nexus at Home projects, and represents collaboration with an impressive range of partners in government, regulation, civil society and industry.

Change Points

toolkit front page - click for pdf

The Change Points Toolkit in online now. It supports users in developing interventions that unlock unsustainable practices so that alternative, less intensive patterns of consumption can emerge. It is not like any existing behaviour change toolkit. Rather than focusing on the individual – ‘the customer’, ‘the user’, ‘the consumer’ – this toolkit aids users to explore possibilities for ambitious, innovative forms of intervention that engage in the social and material fabric of everyday life.

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The water–energy–food nexus at home: New opportunities for policy interventions in household sustainability

Online open access at: https://doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12257 

A new output from the nexus project work, lead authored by Mike Foden with the rest of the project team, published in The Geographical Journal. This paper contributes to the nascent transdisciplinary research agenda of translating home practices research into wider conceptualisations of “intervention”, with a specific orientation towards academic and non-academic stakeholders who are interested in influencing systems of sustainable consumption and production within, and across, the WEF sectors. Continue reading “The water–energy–food nexus at home: New opportunities for policy interventions in household sustainability”

Discussant at public defence of PhD at Stockholm Business School

doors

The heavy doors of the old surgery clinic did not reduce the weight of responsibility as we went through them. I’ve done a few jobs as discussant at public PhD thesis defences in Denmark and in Finland, but this was my first in Sweden. Continue reading “Discussant at public defence of PhD at Stockholm Business School”