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Pathways to Sustainability in a Changing China ---- Report of an International Workshop
release time:2015-04-22

 Pathways to Sustainability in a Changing China ---- Report of an International Workshop


In April 2015, Beijing Normal University in partnership with the ESRC STEPS Centre hosted a workshop on ‘Pathways to Sustainability in a Changing China’. Funded by the ESRC and the Newton UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund, the workshop launched the China sustainability hub of the ‘Pathways to Sustainability’ global consortium and explored emerging areas for future collaborative research and engagement.

The workshop was proceeded by a STEPS Centre ‘masterclass’ on 19th April, in which students from around Beijing received lectures on innovation for sustainability, the pathways approach, STEPS methods – broadening out and opening up, and South-South cooperation.

The two day workshop was held on 20th-21st April. Individuals from a range of UK and Chinese universities and research institutes were in attendance, alongside civil society and private sector representatives from China and members of the STEPS consortium hubs in Latin America and Africa. Keynotes, given by ZHANG Xiulan (Beijing Normal University School of Social Development and Public Policy) and Melissa LEACH (Institute of Development Studies) investigated the role of social science in addressing diverse challenges of China’s development, and the lessons that China’s experience might offer other parts of the world. The discussions enabled a mutual exchange of theoretical and practical perspectives, providing a foundation for future collaboration around the challenges of welfare, social development and environmental sustainability.

Eight parallel sessions followed, in which groups of experts and practitioners drew from ongoing empirical research in China and overseas to provide insights for policy and discuss links with the future agenda of the China sustainability hub. This led to the production of concept notes that could be built upon in fund-raising and research activities across the areas of:

- Institutional innovation and health reform in China

- Social innovation in agriculture and natural resources

- Antimicrobial resistance

- Low Carbon Energy Transitions that Serve the Needs of the Poor

- Future directions for seeds and agricultural development

- Poverty Reduction and Social Finance

- Sustainable and equitable urban transformation

- Environment, health and food safety

As a result of these discussions, a number of proposals were submitted (to the Newton programme and other funding sources), with successful grants enabling continuing work by the STEPS Centre and its international partners. The workshop also led to the production of two working papers (both translated into Chinese), mapping out overarching agendas for future research in and around the China sustainability hub:

Husain, L. (2015) Logics of Government Innovation and Reform Management in China, STEPS Working Paper 85, Brighton: STEPS Centre

Geall, S. and Ely, A. (2015) Innovation for Sustainability in a Changing China: Exploring Narratives and Pathways, STEPS Working Paper 86, Brighton: STEPS Centre

The sustainability hub’s activities continued after the workshop itself, with a seminar series and several events linked to the four key research areas of the STEPS Centre: agriculture, energy, health and water in which international/ national stakeholder organisations discussed contemporary research and practices in these domains that will affect world development and poverty alleviation.

Copyright 2015 Beijing Normal University School of social development and public policy of Beijing ICP No. 10031106
Address: Beijing city Haidian District Xinjiekou Avenue No. 19 after building 20 Tel: 010-58801826 Fax: 86-10-58800366