Nexuses of the Urban workshop | Interactions between Water, Energy and Food Provision for Sustainable Cities

BIG-NexusUrbanWorkshop

A Nexus workshop, titled ‘Nexuses of the Urban: Interactions between Water, Energy and Food Provision for Sustainable Cities’, will take place at the University of Sussex from 12 to 13 May 2016.

 

Workshop participants will take stock of what kind of plural understandings of ‘urban nexuses’ are emerging, produced by (partnerships between) activists, communities, think tanks, corporations, and multilateral organizations, natural scientists, humanities scholars and social scientists.

 

The workshop will particularly reflect on the contribution that different social science perspectives might make in understanding urban nexuses, and how social scientists might effectively participate in inter- and trans-disciplinary initiatives. Another aspect that will be considered is what kind of policy mechanisms and events might support the pursuit of the partnerships for developing new understandings.

 

The programme will be structured around the following orienting questions

  • What divergent framings and understandings of ‘urban nexuses’ are emerging and why are they important, in what ways and to whom?
  • What are the implications of these understandings and their foci for governance of nexus interactions by public, private and hybrid arrangements?
  • What implications do these understandings hold for political-economic action by, and for alliances between, civil society organizations, businesses and social movements striving for sustainability and justice?
  • What kind of relations (inter- and trans-disciplinary alliances, engagements with the material world) underpin the making of the emerging understandings of ‘urban nexuses’?
  • What new inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches (and concepts) do we need to further understand interactions at ‘urban nexuses’, including the interdependent vulnerabilities associated with access to food, water and energy in cities?

 

Led by Dr Saurabh Arora from Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, this event is supported by the core team of Nexus Network.

 

The Nexus Network

 

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nexus Network is a three-year initiative to foster debate, innovative research and practical collaborations across the linked ‘nexus’ domains of food, energy, water and the environment. It brings together researchers, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to develop collaborative projects and improve decision making in these areas.

 

The Network’s aims are to:

  • Encourage debate, fund innovative research and improve decision making across the linked ‘nexus challenges’.
  • Support interdisciplinary, cross-sector collaborations
  • Enable researchers and stakeholders to develop and share new methodologies, data, conceptual frameworks, skills and practices directed towards nexus challenges.

 

Its partner organisations are:

  • Faculty of Social Sciences | University of Sheffield
  • Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) | University of Sussex
  • College of Social Sciences and International Studies | University of Exeter
  • Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) | University of Sussex
  • Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) | University of Exeter and University of East Anglia (UEA)
  • Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership | University of Cambridge

 

Note: This post mainly consists of extracts from the conference page on the Nexus Network’s website. The logos in the graphic are from respective websites.

 

 

More…

 

Conference web page on the Nexus Network website http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/events/nexuses-of-the-urban-interactions-between-water-energy-and-food-provision-for-sustainable-cities/

 

The Nexus Network http://thenexusnetwork.org | @uk_nexus

 

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ | @esrc

 

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/faculty/social-sciences | @SheffSocScience

 

Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/ | @SPRU

 

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS), University of Sussex http://steps-centre.org/ | @stepscentre

 

The Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) http://www.cserge.ac.uk/

 

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership http://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/ | @cisl_cambridge

 

College of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of Exeter http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/ | @UofESSIS

 

 

#AlienLETTER series | Sustainability education through storytelling-driven letter writing

 

#AlienLETTER 1 | Paris climate change deal costs Earth a galactic award, reveals an alien letter to the UN https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/paris-climate-change-deal-costs-earth-galactic-award-un-jayawardena

 

#AlienLETTER 2 | Earth could learn from Milky Way’s Galactic Convention on Successful Life https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/earth-could-learn-from-milky-ways-galactic-convention-jayawardena

 

#AlienLETTER 3 | Mother Nature is in charge but humanity can take control of her https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mother-nature-charge-humanity-can-take-control-her-3-jayawardena

 

 

From The Sustainable University News website

 

Complexity, Interdisciplinarity and Sustainable Prosperity shine at Food-Energy-Water-Environment Nexus Conference 2015 https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/complexity-interdisciplinarity-and-sustainable-prosperity-shine-at-food-energy-water-environment-nexus-conference-2015/

 

Researching the way for a Sustainable Prosperity | Surrey-led CUSP Centre begins journey https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/researching-the-way-for-a-sustainable-prosperity-surrey-led-cusp-centre-begins-journey/

 

Sustainable Lifestyles conference | Good life of the good person is only possible in a good society, says Prof Jackson https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/sustainable-lifestyles-conference-good-life-of-the-good-person-is-only-possible-in-a-good-society-says-prof-jackson/

 

UCL Grand Challenges celebration | How does Civilisation get to 22nd century without collapse? asks Professor Price https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/ucl-grand-challenges-celebration-how-does-civilisation-get-to-22nd-century-without-collapse-asks-professor-price/

 

Newcastle professor says, MicroGrids can light the way for UK’s low carbon transition https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/newcastle-professor-says-microgrids-can-light-the-way-for-uks-low-carbon-transition/

 

UCL Conference: Denaturalising nature, just sustainabilities and an ‘Environment Domain’ https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/ucl-conference-denaturalising-nature-just-sustainabilities-and-an-environment-domain/

 

 

From The Sustainable University Library

 

A game of plates at ‘Growth vs. Earth’ Café | Who depends on whom? https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/a-game-of-plates-at-growth-vs-earth-cafe-who-depends-on-whom/

 

Can’t fit 7 billion into a six-bed (space) hotel? But we live as if we could….! https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/cant-fit-7-billion-into-a-six-bed-space-hotel-but-we-live-as-if-we-could/

 

Three BIG business leaders, one BIG concern | Can they all be wrong? https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/three-big-business-leaders-one-big-concern-can-they-all-be-wrong/

 

Sustainability-oriented poetry | Ten unforgettable pieces from Byron to Tennyson https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-oriented-poetry-ten-unforgettable-pieces-from-byron-to-tennyson/

 

Sustainability-oriented quotes and sayings | Twenty gems from Native Americans to Einstein https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-oriented-quotes-and-sayings-twenty-gems-from-native-americans-to-einstein/

 

Exeter’s ESI | World-class answers to environmental questions https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/exeters-esi-world-class-answers-to-environmental-questions/

 

Surrey-coordinated SLRG | Nurturing sustainable living through research https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/surrey-coordinated-slrg-nurturing-sustainable-living-through-research/

 

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The Sustainable University (SU) One-stop Shop | http://www.sustainableuni.kk5.org/

 

SU News https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/

SU Library https://librarysu.wordpress.com

LinkedIn Group | SUSTAINABILITY | Education, Research & Engagement https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8102240/profile

Twitter | https://twitter.com/sustainableuni1 | #AlienLETTER | #GreenSTARS | #SUnews | #LibrarySU | #SUquotes

Asitha on LinkedIn | http://uk.linkedin.com/in/asithaj/

Complexity, Interdisciplinarity and Sustainable Prosperity shine at Food-Energy-Water-Environment Nexus Conference 2015

BIG-NexusCont-PostEvent-NEWThe Nexus Network’s second annual conference, titled ‘Scales, Levels and Spaces of the Nexus’, was held on 19 November 2015 in London.

The Nexus Network fosters debate, innovative research and practical collaborations across the linked ‘nexus’ domains of food, energy, water and the environment, bringing together researchers, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to develop collaborative projects and improve decision making in these areas. This network, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is a collaboration between the University of Sussex, the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

The conference, framed around the themes of scales, levels and spaces, comprised:
• Plenary 1: Introduction (Chair Professor James Wilsdon)
• Keynote: Flourishing within Limits – towards a social science for sustainable prosperity (Professor Tim Jackson)
• Knowledge sessions (parallel sessions)
• Workshop sessions (parallel sessions)
• Plenary 2: Nexus2020 – selecting the most important questions for business (Dr Bhaskar Vira)
• Plenary 3. Keynote: Systems approaches to managing the nexus: can we really do it? (Professor Tim Benton)

 

Nexus research | Interdisciplinarity, innovation and politics

BIG-Plenary1In Plenary 1 on Introduction, Chair Professor James Wilsdon (Director, The Nexus Network/ University of Sussex) emphasised the need for cross cutting research that transcends traditional disciplinary research and also announced the Partnership Grants call worth £300,000 (deadline 31 January 2016).

His introduction was followed by brief talks by the four panel members, stimulating the participants into thinking about various aspects of the nexus.

Professor Alice Bows-Larkin (EPSRC-funded Stepping Up project/ University of Manchester) talked about her work on the Stepping Up project, which aims to understand what makes innovations have low-impact at the Water-Energy-Food nexus and then, based on this understanding, amplifying and multiplying good practice.

Andy Gibbs (Head of Economic Performance and Environment, ESRC) spoke about the development of the Nexus Network from a concept to a funded activity. He highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary research as the way forward for nexus research. He said that, in nexus research, one should be innovative and entrepreneurial and should look for opportunities not for disciplinary badges.

Professor Ian Bateman (Nexus Network Co-Investigator from the University of Exeter) highlighted that, because food, water and energy draw upon the natural capital base, trade-offs would be unavoidable. He observed that, today, big research contributions in response to global challenges cannot not discipline-bounded. He also talked about links between nexus researchers and policy makers.

Professor Lyla Mehta (Nexus Network Co-Investigator from the Institute of Development Studies) talked on the politics of working on the nexus at different scales, especially in the global South. She revealed that, although knowledge silos are prevalent at global, regional and national levels, at a village level, people have always known that food, water and energy are interconnected.

 

Sustainable prosperity as an art of living well within planetary limits | Can we live better with less stuff? – Prof Jackson

BIG-ProfTJ-FullProfessor Tim Jackson (Lead of the ESRC Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity/ University of Surrey) delivered his keynote titled ‘Flourishing within Limits – towards a social science for sustainable prosperity’.

He asked a couple of thought-provoking questions: Are there any limits to growth? Does nature impose limits to growth? Or has human innovation got the capacity to overcome such limits?

He observed that, although modern society’s heroic vision proclaims that there are no limits to growth, the food-water-energy-environment nexus indicates some kind of limit to growth. There is a deficit in our understanding of the concept of limits, he said.

Can we do better, live better and have more fun with less stuff? he asked, highlighting that, although the basic need for subsistence is met through materials, prosperity transcends material concerns. He emphasised the need for redefining the direction of development and the essence of human prosperity and framed sustainable prosperity as an art of living well – within the limits of a finite planet. Slow living, he said, is a way forward for sustainable prosperity.

He also talked about the ESRC-funded Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). Its guiding vision for sustainable prosperity is one in which people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological and resource constraints of a finite planet and its aim is to explore the dimensions of sustainable prosperity and to develop clear, pragmatic steps that could be taken in pursuit of it.

 

Nexus Network knowledge sessions

For knowledge sessions, the conference split into five parallel sessions, structured as interactive thematic discussions.

Nexus Interactions at the household level.
Matt Watson and Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield) and Alison Browne (University of Manchester) | Chair: Saurabh Arora
The session explored the interdependencies of the nexus at the household level. The speakers from the Domestic Nexus team emphasised the importance of understanding the dynamics of household practices and their relations to provision of water, energy and food to an holistic understanding of the nexus.

Nexus shocks: informing decision making in response to shocks.
Candice Howarth (Anglia Ruskin University) and Geoff Darch (Atkins) | Chair: Ian Bateman.
In this session the Nexus Shocks Network focused on Nexus Shocks – i.e. low probability, high impact events that span energy, water and food systems. They affect multiple stakeholders, scales and disciplines, making them complex to understand and uncertain to address. The session outlined findings from five workshops held earlier in 2015 to explore strategies for effective decision-making on Nexus Shocks.

Levels of decision-making and their mismatches.
David Demeritt (King’s College London) and Frieda Metternich (Green Alliance) | Chair: Ruth Welters.
This session explored the following question: How do policy decisions on nexus issues currently work, and how can the capacity for policy deliberation, at different levels, on complex environmental and social interdependencies of the nexus be improved?

International development, innovation and scale.
Euan Phimister (University of Aberdeen) and Peter Cruddas (Cranfield University) | Chair: Gemma Cranston.
The session asked what the synergies are between the Nexus agenda in developed and developing contexts and more broadly how developed and developing countries can work together through the nexus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nexus struggles: agricultural scales, policy spaces and nexus interactions.
Steffen Böhm and Zareen Bharucha (University of Essex), Tom Wakeford (Coventry University) and Antonio Ioris (University of Edinburgh) | Chair: Cian O’Donovan.
The speakers pointed to the limits, insufficiencies and shortcomings of the current dominant understanding of the nexus as a hegemonic concern for security, resources and technologies. Instead, they problematized the nexus as a historical struggle between corporate, state and social movement actors, illustrating this concept by engaging with the struggles in the global and UK food system.

 

Nexus Network workshop sessions

For the workshop sessions as well, the conference split into five parallel sessions, offering facilitated spaces to discuss current issues and opportunities.

Focal scales, knowing spaces and methods of the nexus.
Facilitator: Saurabh Arora.
This session explored how the choice of focal scale at which nexus interactions are examined affects choices of methodology and examined the implications of these choices. It continued discussions started at a previous Nexus workshop on transdisciplinary methods.

The funding landscape for nexus research.
Facilitators: Hannah Collins and James Wilsdon.
In this uncertain period for research funding, cross-disciplinary, challenge-focused research such as Nexus research is likely to increase in significance and emphasis. This session scanned the funding horizons and explored some shifts that might occur over the next five years.

Policy engagement on the nexus.
Facilitator: Anna Krzywoszynska
This session jointly examined the challenges to effective academia-policy engagement while extending the discussion beyond impact to knowledge exchange and knowledge co-creation. It asked if focussing on nexus areas could improve the responsibilities for attending to the long-term while remaining agile in responding to immediate events.

The politics of ‘scaling up’ (technologies, discourses, policies, etc).
Facilitator: Lyla Mehta
Among the issues this session addressed is that a global focus on nexus security risk obscures local political inequalities or complexities. The session also explored the politics of considering nexus questions at different scales. This session will contribute to the agenda of the forthcoming Nexus workshop on resource conflicts.

Building a research career in interdisciplinarity.
Facilitator: Cian O’Donovan
This session explored the challenges of inter- and transdisciplinary work faced by early career researchers and policy experts working specifically on nexus-related areas. It discussed how these might be overcome through training, support and other mechanisms.

 

Dr Vira on Nexus2020 | What are the key questions for research to improve business management of the nexus?

BIG-DrV-Prestn-FullIn Plenary 2 Dr Bhaskar Vira (CISL/ Cambridge University) introduced the results of the Nexus2020 project. Focusing on the idea that businesses should prepare to address nexus issues without undermining other users and corporate goals, this projects asks the question: Can this be better achieved by bringing in the research community?

Framing Nexus2020 as a two-way dialogue between research and business, he stated that the aim of this project is to determine the top questions for business around the food-energy-water-environment nexus with a view of making business practice more sustainable.

He outlined the work so far to find these top questions that research should answer in order to improve business management of the nexus. In response to an open call for questions from March to July 2015, over 230 participants from business, policy, academia and civil society submitted in excess of 700 questions. Then, at a two-day workshop at Cambridge University, a select group of senior business practitioners and researchers identified the top 40 questions, which are to be revealed in a forthcoming journal article.

He hoped that, in the future, multi-disciplinary panels of researchers and business practitioners will devise projects to deliver the solutions to these pressing nexus issues.

 

Food for thought from Prof Tim Benton | Embrace complexity, adopt systems thinking and work together

BIG-ProfB-Prestn-FullIn Plenary 3, Professor Tim Benton (UK Champion for Global Food Security/ University of Leeds) delivered his keynote titled ‘Systems approaches to managing the nexus: can we really do it?’

He described how nexus issues are not just an abstract academic concept, but are at the heart of the current conflicts across the world.

Observing that thinking about food itself is a nexus problem, he outlined the huge impact of the agri-food sector on climate change. Food is crucial in confronting global challenges, he said, emphasising that changing diet is more important than changing car use when it comes to climate change mitigation. He also reminded that, when we import food, we are importing embedded water and energy as well.

He proposed that, when it comes to food, instead of always focusing on increasing the supply, we should also focus on addressing the demand issues in order to ensure a sustainable supply as well as health and wellbeing. Intervention in demand side will be difficult but not impossible, he said.

He also emphasised the need for systems thinking and continued collaboration between initiatives.

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The event came to a close with closing remarks by Professor Wilsdon. An informal networking session driven by a drinks reception followed.

Note: Photographs by Asitha Jayawardena; logos in the graphics are from respective websites; other graphics are from the title pages of the keynote speakers’ presentations and the Nexus2020 brochure.

 

More….

The Nexus Conference 2015 | Scales, Levels & Spaces of the Nexus of Food, Energy, Water & the Environment https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/the-nexus-conference-2015-scales-levels-spaces-of-the-nexus-of-food-energy-water-the-environment/

Scales, levels and spaces of the nexus. Conference 19 Nov 2015 in London http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/events/scales-levels-and-spaces-of-the-nexus-conference-19-nov-2015-in-london/

Nexus Network partnership grants – £300,000 available http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/nexus-network-partnership-grants-300000-available/

PDFs of Keynotes:
• Professor Tim Jackson | Flourishing within Limits: towards a social science for sustainable prosperity http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/CUSP-Nexus-conference-Nov-2015_TimJackson.pdf
• Professor Tim Benton | Systems approaches towards managing the nexus: can we really do it? http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Nexus_London_Nov_2015_TimBenton.pdf

The Nexus Network http://thenexusnetwork.org | @uk_nexus

Nexus2020:
• Nexus Network website http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/projects/nexus2020-the-most-important-questions-for-business/
• CISL website http://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/business-action/natural-resource-security/natural-capital-leaders-platform/projects/nexus-network/nexus2020

Forthcoming Nexus events:
• The nexus, resource conflicts and social justice workshop | 29 February 2016 http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/events/the-nexus-resource-conflicts-and-social-justice-workshop/
• Nexuses of the urban: interactions between water, energy and food provision for sustainable cities | 12–13 May 2016 http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/events/nexuses-of-the-urban-interactions-between-water-energy-and-food-provision-for-sustainable-cities/

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ | @esrc

Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/ | @SPRU

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS), University of Sussex http://steps-centre.org/ | @stepscentre

The Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) http://www.cserge.ac.uk/

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership http://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/ | @cisl_cambridge

Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) http://www.cusp.ac.uk/ | @CUSP_uk

Global Food Security programme http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/ | @FoodSecurityUK

 

From The Sustainable University Library

Surrey-coordinated SLRG | Nurturing sustainable living through research
https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/surrey-coordinated-slrg-nurturing-sustainable-living-through-research/

Making sense of sustainability (or sustainable development) | A look at seven definitions https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/making-sense-of-sustainability-or-sustainable-development-a-look-at-seven-definitions/

Sustainability | A balancing act? Four of them? https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-a-balancing-act-four-of-them/

Can’t fit 7 billion into a six-bed (space) hotel? But we live as if we could….! https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/cant-fit-7-billion-into-a-six-bed-space-hotel-but-we-live-as-if-we-could/

A game of plates at ‘Growth vs. Earth’ Café | Who depends on whom?
https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/a-game-of-plates-at-growth-vs-earth-cafe-who-depends-on-whom/

Three BIG business leaders, one BIG concern | Can they all be wrong?
https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/three-big-business-leaders-one-big-concern-can-they-all-be-wrong/

‘A cylinder of oxygen, please!’ | Why we should be worrying about natural resources https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/a-cylinder-of-oxygen-please-why-we-should-be-worrying-about-natural-resources/

Sustainability-oriented poetry | Ten unforgettable pieces from Byron to Tennyson https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-oriented-poetry-ten-unforgettable-pieces-from-byron-to-tennyson/

Sustainability-oriented quotes and sayings | Twenty gems from Native Americans to Einstein https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-oriented-quotes-and-sayings-twenty-gems-from-native-americans-to-einstein/

 

From The Sustainable University News website

Sustainable Lifestyles conference | Good life of the good person is only possible in a good society, says Prof Jackson https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/sustainable-lifestyles-conference-good-life-of-the-good-person-is-only-possible-in-a-good-society-says-prof-jackson/

UCL Grand Challenges celebration | How does Civilisation get to 22nd century without collapse? asks Professor Price https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/ucl-grand-challenges-celebration-how-does-civilisation-get-to-22nd-century-without-collapse-asks-professor-price/

Newcastle professor says, MicroGrids can light the way for UK’s low carbon transition https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/newcastle-professor-says-microgrids-can-light-the-way-for-uks-low-carbon-transition/

UCL Conference: Denaturalising nature, just sustainabilities and an ‘Environment Domain’ https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/ucl-conference-denaturalising-nature-just-sustainabilities-and-an-environment-domain/

 

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Asitha on LinkedIn | http://uk.linkedin.com/in/asithaj/

The Nexus Conference 2015 | Scales, Levels & Spaces of the Nexus of Food, Energy, Water & the Environment | #uk_nexus

BIG-NexusConf

The 2015 Nexus Network annual conference, titled ‘Scales, Levels and Spaces of the Nexus’, will take place in London (Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, Westminster SW1P 3RB) on 19 November 2015 (10am–5.30pm).

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nexus Network is a collaboration between the University of Sussex, the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

What is the Nexus?

In the past five years, the idea of the ‘nexus’ has developed a surge of interest as a way of thinking about the interdependencies, tensions and trade-offs between food, water and energy security, in the wider context of environmental change. Because these different systems are inextricably linked, efforts to improve sustainability in one domain without considering wider connections often prove inadequate. This necessitates more integrated approaches that move beyond sectoral, policy and disciplinary silos.

Questions of scale are crucial in addressing the linked nexus challenges of food, energy, water and the environment. The nexus is often framed as a global security problem, but this can obscure alternative understandings of interactions and trade-offs at local, regional and national levels.

The 2015 Nexus Network Conference

Structured around a number of keynote talks and interactive discussions, the 2015 Nexus Network conference will bring together researchers, policymakers, businesses and others interested in the sustainability of food, energy, water and the environment, providing them with an opportunity to identify and strengthen connections between different projects and initiatives in this area.

The event will feature two keynote speakers: Professor Tim Jackson (lead of the ESRC-funded Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity CUSP) and Professor Tim Benton (Champion for the UK Global Food Security programme).

The day’s programme is as follows:

09.30 Registration and coffee
10.00 Plenary 1: Introduction:
• Chair: Prof James Wilsdon (Director, The Nexus Network/ University of Sussex)
• Panel: Prof Alice Bows-Larkin (University of Manchester), Andy Gibbs (ESRC), Prof Ian Bateman (University of Exeter) and Prof Lyla Mehta (Institute of Development Studies)
10.50 Keynote: Flourishing within Limits – towards a social science for sustainable prosperity.
Prof Tim Jackson (Lead of the ESRC Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity/ University of Surrey)
11.30 Refreshment break
12.00 Nexus Network knowledge sessions (parallel sessions):
• A1. Nexus Interactions at the household level.
• A2. Nexus shocks: informing decision making in response to shocks.
• A3. Levels of decision-making and their mismatches.
• A4. International development and innovation.
• A5. Nexus struggles: agricultural scales, policy spaces and nexus interactions.
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Nexus Network workshop sessions (parallel sessions):
• B1. Focal scales, knowing spaces and methods of the nexus.
• B2. The funding landscape for nexus research.
• B3. Policy engagement on the nexus.
• B4. Nexus politics at different focal scales (technologies, discourses, policies).
• B5. Building a career in interdisciplinarity.
15.00 Plenary 2. Nexus2020 – selecting the most important questions for business.
Dr Bhaskar Vira (CISL/ Cambridge University)
15.45 Refreshment break
16.15 Plenary 3. Systems approaches to managing the nexus: can we really do it?
Keynote: Prof. Tim Benton (UK Champion for Global Food Security/ University of Leeds)
17.00 Closing remarks
17.15 Drinks reception and close

The Nexus Network

The Nexus Network is an ESRC funded, three-year initiative to foster debate, innovative research and practical collaborations across the linked ‘nexus’ domains of food, energy, water and the environment. It brings together researchers, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to develop collaborative projects and improve decision making in these areas.

The Network’s aims are to:
• Encourage debate, fund innovative research and improve decision making across the linked ‘nexus challenges’.
• Support interdisciplinary, cross-sector collaborations
• Enable researchers and stakeholders to develop and share new methodologies, data, conceptual frameworks, skills and practices directed towards nexus challenges.

To achieve these aims, the network funds research; provides opportunities for dialogue and debate; develops a suite of methods, tools and briefing papers; and acts as a UK hub for nexus-related news and discussion.

The Nexus Network consists of four partner organisations:
• Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU)
• Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS)
• Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)
• Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex is an interdisciplinary research centre in science and technology policy and management. Its research addresses pressing global policy agendas, including inclusive economic growth, energy policy and pathways to a more sustainable future.

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre, based at the Institute of Development Studies and SPRU, is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement centre uniting development studies with science and technology studies. Its cross-cutting work covers agriculture & food; energy & climate change; health & disease and water & sanitation.

Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), based at the University of East Anglia (UEA), is a leading interdisciplinary research centre in the field of sustainable development and decision making. It consists of a number of collaborating disciplines including economics, political science, social and group sciences and the natural sciences.

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is an institution within the University of Cambridge with a mission to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges. Bringing together business, government and academia, it challenges, informs and supports leaders from business and policy to deliver change towards sustainability.

In the UK, the ESRC is spearheading efforts to support interdisciplinary research and cross-sector collaborations designed to tackle nexus challenges. Further investments are planned over the next three years in order to realise its vision for the Nexus Network, i.e. building a community of researchers and stakeholders that is better placed to tackle nexus interdependencies, trade-offs and decision-making processes.

Note: Logos in the graphic are from respective websites.

More…

News post on the event on the Nexus Network website http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/events/scales-levels-and-spaces-of-the-nexus-conference-19-nov-2015-in-london/

News post on the ESRC website http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-events-and-publications/events/the-nexus-network-annual-conference-scales-levels-and-spaces-of-the-nexus/

The Nexus Network http://thenexusnetwork.org | @uk_nexus

Profiles of keynote speakers:
• Professor Tim Jackson (University of Surrey) http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ces/people/tim_jackson/ | @ProfTimJackson
• Professor Tim Benton (University of Leeds) http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/staff/profile.php?tag=Benton_T | @timgbenton

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ | @esrc

Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/ | @SPRU

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS), University of Sussex
http://steps-centre.org/ | @stepscentre

The Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) http://www.cserge.ac.uk/

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership http://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/ | @cisl_cambridge

Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) http://www.cusp.ac.uk/ | @CUSP_uk

Global Food Security programme http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/ | @FoodSecurityUK

From The Sustainable University Library

Posts on The Sustainable University Library, tagged:
• Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) https://librarysu.wordpress.com/education-for-sd-esd/
• Exemplars of ESD and Sustainability in higher education https://librarysu.wordpress.com/exemplars-in-she-esd/

A game of plates at ‘Growth vs. Earth’ Café | Who depends on whom?
https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/a-game-of-plates-at-growth-vs-earth-cafe-who-depends-on-whom/

Can’t fit 7 billion into a six-bed (space) hotel? But we live as if we could….! https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/cant-fit-7-billion-into-a-six-bed-space-hotel-but-we-live-as-if-we-could/

Three BIG business leaders, one BIG concern | Can they all be wrong?
https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/three-big-business-leaders-one-big-concern-can-they-all-be-wrong/

‘A cylinder of oxygen, please!’ | Why we should be worrying about natural resources https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/a-cylinder-of-oxygen-please-why-we-should-be-worrying-about-natural-resources/

Sustainability-oriented poetry | Ten unforgettable pieces from Byron to Tennyson https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-oriented-poetry-ten-unforgettable-pieces-from-byron-to-tennyson/

Sustainability-oriented quotes and sayings | Twenty gems from Native Americans to Einstein https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-oriented-quotes-and-sayings-twenty-gems-from-native-americans-to-einstein/

Making sense of sustainability (or sustainable development) | A look at seven definitions https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/making-sense-of-sustainability-or-sustainable-development-a-look-at-seven-definitions/

Sustainability | A balancing act? Four of them? https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/sustainability-a-balancing-act-four-of-them/

My Top Ten posts in 2014… on Sustainability in Higher Education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/my-top-ten-posts-in-2014-on-sustainability-in-higher-education-and-education-for-sustainable-development-esd/

Surrey-coordinated SLRG | Nurturing sustainable living through research
https://librarysu.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/surrey-coordinated-slrg-nurturing-sustainable-living-through-research/

From The Sustainable University News website

Sustainable Lifestyles conference | Good life of the good person is only possible in a good society, says Prof Jackson https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/sustainable-lifestyles-conference-good-life-of-the-good-person-is-only-possible-in-a-good-society-says-prof-jackson/

UCL Grand Challenges celebration | How does Civilisation get to 22nd century without collapse? asks Professor Price https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/ucl-grand-challenges-celebration-how-does-civilisation-get-to-22nd-century-without-collapse-asks-professor-price/

Newcastle professor says, MicroGrids can light the way for UK’s low carbon transition https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/newcastle-professor-says-microgrids-can-light-the-way-for-uks-low-carbon-transition/

UCL Conference: Denaturalising nature, just sustainabilities and an ‘Environment Domain’ https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/ucl-conference-denaturalising-nature-just-sustainabilities-and-an-environment-domain/

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The Sustainable University (SU) One-stop Shop | http://www.sustainableuni.kk5.org/

SU News & Info http://www.sunewsinfo.wordpress.com
SU Library https://librarysu.wordpress.com
ESD Group on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Sustainability-Education-Engagement-ESD-Planetshire-8102240
Asitha on LinkedIn | http://uk.linkedin.com/in/asithaj/

Tyndall Climate Change Conference: Radical Emission Reduction

SML-tyndall-radicalconfA Climate Change conference on Radical Emission Reduction will take place at the Royal Society in London on 10-11 December 2013.

In response to the question ‘Why radical mitigation (i.e. emission reductions)?’ the conference webpage declares,Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future. We either continue with rising emissions and reap the radical repercussions of severe climate change, or we acknowledge that we have a choice and pursue radical emission reductions: No longer is there a non-radical option.’

Organised by The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, this international conference aims to provide an evidence-base for developing radical-mitigation strategies against climate change.  Fostering an up-beat and can-do mentality, it will consider how to deliver reductions in energy consumption of at least 8% per year (~60% across a decade). Although academic in format, this forum will bring together practitioners and decision-makers in public and business sectors and civil society as well as academics, researchers and students, inviting all – participants and others – to share their ideas on this 8% reduction, using Twitter hash-tag #RadicalPlan

On Day 1, Naomi Klein, the author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, will deliver the keynote address via weblink. The day will see six sessions:

  • The rationale and framing for the conference
  • Framing and barriers to radical mitigation
  • Understanding the policy context
  • Policy options for radical mitigation
  • Behaviours and political and social norms
  • Behaviours and engaging publics

It will end with a poster session with a reception.

Day 2 will comprise six sessions:

  • Governance for radical mitigation
  • Delivering radical mitigation 1
  • Delivering radical mitigation 2
  • Mobilising action amongst non-government actors
  • Lifestyles and emissions
  • Pathways for radical mitigation

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research is a partnership between a selection of researchers from eight UK universities, namely Cardiff, Newcastle, Cambridge, East Anglia (headquarters),  Manchester, Oxford, Southampton and  Sussex. Together with contributions from Fudan University in China, the Centre forms the Tyndall Consortium.

Driven by its vision, ‘To be an internationally recognised source of high quality and integrated climate-change research, and to exert a seminal influence on the design and achievability of the long-term strategic objectives of national and international climate policy,’ The Centre aims ‘to research, assess and communicate from a distinct trans-disciplinary perspective, the options to mitigate, and the necessities to adapt to, climate change, and to integrate these into the global, UK and local contexts of sustainable development.’ It works not only within the research community, but also with business leaders, policy advisors, the media and the public in general.

Image developed using the Tyndall Centre logo on the conference webpage

 

More…

Conference webpage http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/radical-emission-reduction-conference-10-11-december-2013

Conference programme (PDF) http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/sites/default/files/radicalplanprogramme.pdf

Abstracts of conference papers (PDF) http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/sites/default/files/radicalplanabstracts_0.pdf

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research http://www.tyndall.ac.uk @TyndallCentre

 

Related posts on the satellite websites of the Sustainable University One-stop Shop

News

Climate change adaptation is an investment for the future, says Lord Krebs https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/climate-change-adaptation-is-an-investment-for-the-future-says-lord-krebs/

‘Climate Change: what sorts of knowledge for what sort of politics?’ https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/climate-change-what-sorts-of-knowledge-for-what-sort-of-politics/

NEW BOOK: Searching for Resilience in Sustainable Development: Learning Journeys in Conservation https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/new-book-searching-for-resilience-in-sustainable-development-learning-journeys-in-conservation/

Blog/ reflective diary

Higher Education’s role in building a sustainable world http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013_05_01_archive.html

The starting point of our sustainability crisis? http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-starting-point-of-our-sustainability-crisis/

Who depends on whom? A game of plates http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/who-depends-on-whom-a-game-of-plates/

 

The suite of Sustainable University websites: Sustainable University One-stop Shop | News and Information | Research | Good Practice | Quotes | Blog | Diary | Micro-blog (@sustainableuni1 on Twitter)

‘Sharing for a Sustainable World’ #SSW on http://twitter.com/sustainableuni1 & http://uk.linkedin.com/in/asithaj/

Rethinking the Engineer: Cambridge Engineering ESD Conference

SML-Cambridge-EESD-websiteRethinking the Engineer, the Cambridge Engineering ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) Conference, will be held at the University of Cambridge from 22 to 25 September 2013. This is the sixth conference in a series of international conferences which began at TU Delft in the Netherlands in 2002.

Conceiving engineering as a broad term that extends beyond the technical realm, the conference will explore how to develop the new skills that engineers need in order to deal with messy problems in an increasingly complex and constrained world. Bringing together students, academics, graduates and practitioners, it will drive rethinking of the professional engineer’s role and responsibilities in modern society.

Professor John Rallison (Pro Vice Chancellor for Education, University of Cambridge) will deliver the opening address. The Keynote Speakers are:

  • Lord Browne of Madingley
  • Professor Paul Jowitt (Heriot-Watt University/ Former President of the Institution of Civil Engineers ICE)
  • Professor Ellen Williams (BP Chief Scientist/ University of Maryland)
  • Professor John Robinson (Associate Provost Sustainability, University of British Columbia)
  • Professor Dato’ Seri IR. Dr Zaini Bin Ujang (Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia UTM)

The conference will comprise parallel sessions on a number of topics, including:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Curriculum Development
  • Learning Outcomes and Competencies
  • Problem Based Learning
  • Alternative Pedagogies
  • Professional Development of Engineers and Other Groups
  • Sustainable Engineering Graduates in Industry
  • Social Justice in EESD
  • Student Involvement

A special ‘Leo Jansen session’ will celebrate the work of the late Leo Jansen, focusing on how to teach long term thinking, interrelation between culture/ structure/ technology and participatory democracy to engineering students.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Education and Training Unit will lead a session on topics relating to the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES).

A selection of accepted papers will be considered for publication in The Journal of Cleaner Production, The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, and Engineering Sustainability (part of the proceedings of the ICE).

Image adapted from the conference website

Conference website

Follow Conference on twitter @EESD13

The suite of Sustainable University websites: Sustainable University One-stop Shop, News and Information, Research, Good Practice, Quotes and Facts, Blog and Micro-blog (@sustainableuni1 on Twitter)