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University of Cambridge Decarbonisation Network


Message from Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute:

Sustainability & society: what policymakers and researchers need to change

  • Wed, 24 May 2023 18:30 - 19:30 BST.
  • Register for live stream here | Register for in-person attendance here.

People must be at the heart of sustainability initiatives for them to succeed, but there are big, unanswered questions about how this should practically be done. Regardless, it is clear that – following decades of failure and underwhelming progress – there needs to be fundamental change in how researchers, policymakers and funders approach sustainability and society. This lecture will include reflections on: how researchers can, do and should work together; the relationships needed for good social science research to feed into sustainability policymaking; the expectations for delivering and learning from truly cutting-edge initiatives; plus, how ideas of responsibility, inclusiveness and diversity should be accounted for. Prof. Foulds will, in particular, draw on his experiences of coordinating numerous large-scale, international low-carbon energy/sustainability projects, where he has worked with a range of stakeholders to better understand the roles of (and implications for) society in the drive for sustainability.

Chris Foulds is Professor of Sustainability & Society, based at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute, in Cambridge (UK). He is an interdisciplinary Environmental Social Scientist, who explores policy and governance interventions for sustainability. Chris is co-leading the €3m Horizon Europe Centre of Excellence for Social Sciences and Humanities research on climate, energy and mobility (SSH CENTRE 2022-2025), as well as co-led its two Horizon2020 predecessors, €1m Energy-SHIFTS (2019-2021) and €2m SHAPE ENERGY (2017-2019). A common focus of these projects is to be the gateway for the European Commission policy officers on research evidence/input relating to sustainability (often low-carbon energy) and society. He is also currently co-leading the €5m SHARED GREEN DEAL project (2022-2027), which involves developing and delivering 24 Green Deal-related ‘social experiments’ across Europe. This exciting project involves 22 partners (plus a further 24 sub-contractors) spanning all of Europe, and thus is helping to expose the challenges and opportunities for truly cutting-edge approaches to involving people in sustainability initiatives.

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