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.

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

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

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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”

Policy reports delivered to project partners from Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project

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Four Reports are now online, following delivery to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Food Standards Agency; and Waterwise. These were the main deliverables from the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project.

Sustainability in turbulent times, Westminster conference

Represented the project team at this engaging conference

Change Points

Just over the Thames from Parliament, the project was featured at Sustainability in Turbulent Times. This major event, attended by around 350 and featuring a range of high profile speakers, was the culmination of the work of the ESRC funded Nexus Network. In a wide ranging programme, we covered issues around the challenges and opportunities of pursuing change towards sustainability in light of contemporary political and economic changes and what they represent.

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The evidence-policy gap | seminar contribution | London

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Change Points

The challenges of getting evidence and ideas from research into policy was the focus of a workshop at the Friends Meeting House in London today. Matt Watson presented on some of the basis of the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project as a contribution to a rich afternoon’s discussion, which went well beyond the usual prescriptions of how to engage policy audiences. The Evidence-Policy Gap was the final event in a series of 9 funded by the ESRC on Behaviour Change, and organised by Fiona Spotswood from the University of West England.

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Can practice theory help to effect social change?

new-pub-imageI had a great time at the New Practices for New Publics workshop in Sheffield today. I shared the speaker list with David Evans and with Margit Keller, and was first in neat run of three talks taking different approaches to reflecting on practice theory and its capacity to inform processes of governing to effect positive social change. The three talks were followed by a lively discussion, with the three of us fielding some testing and at time trenchant questioning in productive ways. The workshop was the fourth in an ESRC funded series of events designed to bring together cutting edge thinking in social science with the experiences of civil society organisations, especially those in the community and voluntary sector.

There’s a video of my presentation here and my slides are available here