Published today in Global Environmental Change and available open access here
Can practice theory make a difference to policy? In this article, we contribute to a vexed debate on that question.
We draw on our learning from a series of projects working in collaboration with key policy partners to bring evidence from practice research to inform policy on reducing resource consumption in the home, and development and application of a workshop methodology for rethinking policy challenge, the Change Points approach.
We argue that, with close engagement with policy professionals and their collective practices, it is possible to provide a partial and pragmatic but nevertheless effective translation of key distinctive insights from practice theories and related research, to reframe policy problems and hence to identify spaces for effecting change for sustainability.Continue reading “Challenges and opportunities for re-framing resource use policy with social practice theories: The Change Points approach”
Co-authored with an international crowd, led by Nicola Labanca and Ângela Guimarães Pereira, of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, this article explores the tensions and potential common ground between practice theory and complex systems approaches, in relation to innovations for decarbonisation.
Labanca, N., Pereira, Â.G., Watson, M., Krieger, K., Padovan, D., Watts, L., Moezzi, M., Wallenborn, G., Wright, R., Laes, E. and Fath, B.D., 2020. Transforming innovation for decarbonisation? Insights from combining complex systems and social practice perspectives. Energy Research & Social Science, 65, p.101452.Continue reading “Transforming innovation for decarbonisation? Insights from combining complex systems and social practice perspectives”
The Reducing Academic Flight workshop surpassed expectations by a long way. We knew we had a good bunch of speakers, but the range of talks was broader, and more apposite than could be anticipated. They ranged from hitting hard with the fundamental ethical trouble of flight – as banal evil (Johan Gardebo), indirect but real violence (Joseph Nevins) and key to making the climate emergency (Kim Nicholas) – through theoretically informed and deeply reflective understandings of the embeddedness of flying to academic practice (James Faulconbridge, Andrew Glover), the difference that Geography makes to the costs of cutting flying (Debbie Hopkins) and inescapable value of direct interpersonal engagement (Monica Buscher) to findings from surveys into climate scientists flight (Stuart Capstick), details of experiments in doing academia differently (Renee Timmers) and of institutional efforts to make a difference (Sion Pickering ). Contrasts were strong but they worked together to effectively unpick the vexed issue of academic flight and the challenges and opportunities facing measures to radically reduce air travel dependence in academia.Continue reading “Reducing Academic Flight Symposium”
Thanks to being part of the Redefining Single Use Plastics project (I guess), I was one of two UK social scientists identified by the French Government’s Ministry for Higher Education and Research to be invited, via UK’s Government Office for Science, to a scientific workshop feeding directly into a G7 policy round table on microplastic pollution.Continue reading “Advising the G7 on microplastic pollution”
Where should Geographical research be going with practice theory? And how? Thinking on that was the challenge I set myself for an invited keynote talk in Halle yesterday.
The Summer School was organised by the Practice Theory and Space Group, funded by Germany’s national research council and led by Jonathan Everts, professor of Anthropogeography at Martin Luther University, Halle-Salle.Continue reading “Keynote at Practices and Space conference, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany”
It’s the second time I’ve taken the train to Germany rather than fly. The first time it was for an invited talk at a meeting at the Cultural Politics of Sustainable Mobility international network – the irony of flying for that was too great, after a few years of building guilt as hopped on planes around Europe to examine PhD or evaluate grant proposals on themes of sustainability. Finding then that Germany by train is a pleasure, and increasingly motivated to contest the flight dependence of academia, it was easy to say I’d only take on this invitation if I could get the train. So, an enjoyable journey to Halle-Salle and back to deliver a keynote talk at the Practice and Space summer school.Continue reading “Enjoying saving quarter a ton of CO2e – train to Germany for a keynote”
It was a surprise to be invited to speak at a knowledge exchange event on communication and behaviour change to reduce energy use. My work and that of others, not least in the DEMAND centre on which I was co-investigator, challenges the emphasis on communication, and behaviour change as conventionally framed, to effect change in what people do. But the event was part of a follow on project from the excellent Material Cultures of Energy project led by Frank Trentmann at Birkbeck, and seemed an opportunity to deliver the same messages again to a diverse audience of academics and policy professionals at the Science Museum.Continue reading “What role for communication initiatives in reducing energy demand? Talk at knowledge exchange event at the Science Museum”