The STEPS Centre Collaboration
Dr. Hallie Eakin, ASU
Dr. David Manual-Navarrete, ASU
Lakshmi Charli-Joseph, UNAM
Dr. J. Mario Siqueiros-Garcia, UNAM
Learn about the Pathways Approach: https://learning.steps-centre.org/
The STEPS Centre (Social, Technological, and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) is an organization invested in interdisciplinary global research and the transformation of research into action, solutions, and policy change. Thematically, they focus on the link between environmental sustainability and livelihoods and the application of science and technology as a tool to increase social equality and reduce poverty.
In 2016, the STEPS Centre launched a new project, ‘Transformative Pathways to Sustainability’ to construct a collaborative global network of researchers working at the interface of environmental integrity and social justice. Currently, there are six research hubs (Kenya, the UK, Argentina, US/Mexico, India, and China) and Dr. Hallie Eakin is leading the North American hub as a collaboration between ASU and UNAM.
Each of these hubs is working to facilitate a ‘Transformation lab’ (T-lab) within their country in a community faced with one of the following issues; sustainable agriculture and healthy livelihoods, low carbon energy transitions for poverty stricken regions, and waste and water for sustainable cities. The T-lab is an effort to facilitate creative conversation across a diverse group of stakeholders within the affected community. T-labs are motivated by the idea that sharing perspectives within a diverse group of stakeholders can transform the way that stakeholders, as a community, collectively perceive or address an issue.
Both the hub in India and the hub led by Dr. Eakin are addressing an issue within the project realm of “waste and water for sustainable cities.” The first T-Lab for the North American hub will be conducted in Xochimilco, a wetland outside of Mexico City. The wetland has been increasingly degraded by rapid urbanization and, as a result, the livelihoods of the Xochimilco community (fishing and farming) are under threat. The T-lab will take place in March 201y.