Challenges and opportunities for re-framing resource use policy with social practice theories: The Change Points approach

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.

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Transforming innovation for decarbonisation? Insights from combining complex systems and social practice perspectives

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 Science65, p.101452.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101452

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Infrastructures in practice

This book explores how infrastructures and the dynamics of everyday life shape each other, with a focus on a consequences of the processes involved for the making of demand for energy.

I co-authored, with Elizabeth Shove and Frank Trentmann, the introduction and the conclusion to the volume, providing the framing for a wide range of fascinating contributions and turning, in that final chapter, to consider what the implications are for possible futures.

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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”

Interdisciplinarity in Transdisciplinary Projects: Circulating Knowledges, Practices and Effects

A new article in DiSPThe Planning Review I co-authored with Helen Holmes and the rest of the Solar Futures team argues that the emphasis on solving substantive “real-world” problems through interdisciplinary research collaboration can neglect the wider value created by such collaborations.


DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2018.1487646

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Opening Up the Participation Laboratory – new article in Science, Technology and Human Values

Online here: doi.org/10.1177/0162243917752865

Pre-press version here

This article, lead authored by Anna Krzywoszynska with me along with the rest of the Solar Futures team, engages debates on public participation in ‘upstream’ techno-scientific developments. It draws on the our projects long term participatory process with residents of a small town to envisage energy futures. It is published online today in the journal Science, Technology and Human Values.

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Lessons from a local history of domestic heating in the UK

Open access available here

Published online today by Energy Research and Social Science

This article, which I co-authored with Dr Lenneke Kuijer, uses detailed analysis of historical change across infrastructures and practices reveals processes underpinning increasing demand for heat in UK homes. It draws on archive work, oral histories and focus groups as part of our work with the DEMAND research centre. Highlighting how phenomena including spatial differentiation within the home, processes of automation and the emergence of novel practice fuelled demand for heat, it demonstrates how a focus on patterns of practice reveals new insights into energy demand, including new insights for contemporary energy policy.

Open access available here

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