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Transformative Pathways to Sustainability: learning across disciplines, contexts and cultures (PATHWAYS)

Funded by  ISSC (International Social Science Council)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set broad aims for transforming towards sustainability, but putting these aims into practice will require constructing concrete pathways of change. This means combining social, technological and institutional change in ways that bridge global demands and local realities and challenge dominant knowledge, practices and power relations, at the same time respecting planetary boundaries and promoting social justice.

PATHWAYS focuses on three themes: sustainable urban water and waste; low carbon energy transitions for the poor; and sustainable agricultural and food systems for healthy livelihoods.

The Pathways Network builds on strong prior international collaborations and an established track record of producing both evidence and practice with partners in Argentina, China, Kenya, India, Sweden, USA and the UK. Transformative pathways call for new social science approaches that directly address global environmental and social imperatives, requiring context-sensitive critical engagement and practical responses.

The project will contribute not just to understanding, but also to the construction of transformative pathways to sustainability. We will explore responses to the challenges of sustainable cities, energy and food by using transdisciplinary approaches to understand and catalyse change in diverse historical, political and cultural contexts and to communicate lessons learnt to wider research and user communities.


The project started in 2016 and will run for three years.

Project websitehttp://www.worldsocialscience.org/activities/transformations/pathways/