Tool Catalogue of Tools

Pathways to sustainability - methods

Uploaded by RRI Tools on October 26, 2021

STEPS centre, a global research and policy engagement centre funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), bringing together development studies and science & technology studies. Based at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK.

A collection of methods that can be used to explore different pathways to sustainability. The methods selected are those that help to ‘open up’ perspectives on a problem, and ‘broaden out’ the possible options or outcomes.

The methods listed are ways to explore different pathways to sustainability in ways that take account of marginalised people and diverse perspectives.

Many different methods can be used to think about sustainability challenges and decide what to do about them.

Some methods do this by exploring different views of the problem in question, and producing responses that give options, rather than one single way forward. This can be useful for problems where a change of approach is needed, where there is disagreement about values or evidence, or there is no one self-evident solution. This applies to many challenges in sustainability.

For each method included in the collection, a "vignette" is provided (description of the method, including background, description of how it works, pros & cons, references & links for further reading)



(*) STEPS centre is keen to feature methods that others have used to help open up pathways to sustainability. If you have one you’d like to share, please get in touch


Additional resources

METHODS CASE STUDIES - a collection of cases showing how STEPS Centre projects have used methods and methodologies in particular settings.

THE PATHWAYS APPROACH - In today’s complex, dynamic world, how might pathways to sustainability be built, which link environmental integrity and social justice? The STEPS Centre has developed a ‘pathways approach’ as a guide to thinking and action around emerging sustainability challenges associated with climate change, energy, pandemic disease, water scarcity, hunger, poverty and inequality.


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