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Innovating in the Wake of Disaster: Some Notes from Fukushima’s Nuclear Exclusion Zone

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Social Innovation: Filling a void?

Work on a big new EU project being led by the James Hutton Institute called ‘SIMRA’ got me thinking about where social innovation comes from. To me, a ‘social innovation’ involves a change to the roles of social actors, along with the rules that govern how risks and benefits are distributed. But where does it come from, and what directs it?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Can Ecosystem Services & Natural Capital save the planet?

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Before life as a research assistant in SEGS I had 15-year career in construction, when during the credit crunch a boss once said to me “you’re more interested in saving the planet than making a few quid”. The comment was partly made in jest after I had spent a ‘few quid’ on some bird feeders for the site I managed. This made me think about how the industry supports the environment via voluntary environmental measures. These measures look good on “sustainability assessments”, but when profit margins are thin or non-existent, companies can ill-afford to think about the bigger picture and make decisions voluntarily to reduce their environmental impact.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Shaping Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA)

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As the Coordinator of the project "Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas" (SIMRA), I would like to share the latest news from a stakeholder workshop in Bratislava, 26-28 October, and to bring you up to date on our progress since we launched SIMRA in April.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Is co-creation more than participation?

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Co-creation, and related terms like co-design, co-production, co-construction and co-innovation, are becoming increasingly popular. Upon closer scrutiny they share many characteristics with participatory processes. Is there a difference between the two – co-creation and participation – and if yes, what is it?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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“Quantitative Story Telling”: new method, same challenges for nexus policy studies

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In September I participated in a session entitled, “Be constructive! Situating sustainability research at the nexus of positivism and reflective positionality” during the RGS-IBG 2016 conference on ‘Nexus Thinking’. I told a story about telling a story. My story was about how quantitative methods and data are used in processes of understanding and making sense of our world, about the role of stories and numbers in the processes of knowledge production (and reproduction).

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Introducing a stochastic decision support tool for anaerobic digestion projects

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Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a process by which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen, leading to the production of biogas and bio-fertilisers. AD technologies convert the methane in biogas into (renewable) electricity and heat energy with a low carbon footprint.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Informing rural policy in Scotland

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This blog was written jointly with Jane Atterton from the Rural Policy Centre of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). We reflect on current goals in rural development and the implications for how these may be tackled and researched.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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A critical reflection of ‘Octasynthesis’ as a tool for transdisciplinary thinking

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Globally, societies face challenging and interconnected human and environmental problems. Many of these problems are mired in immense complexity, and involve bewildering networks of different drivers, all interacting with each other in diverse ways. Furthermore, these difficulties are compounded by inherent, future uncertainties. It is simply impossible to accurately predict how complex problems will evolve. Yet failure to act promptly and effectively will likely have severe, negative impacts for future generations.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Can pollution source apportionment tools help deliver integrated catchment management?

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‘Source Apportionment Methods’ (SAMs) are a way of estimating sources of water pollution and so inform efforts to improve water quality. This year the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is launching a source apportionment method called SAGIS for rivers in Scotland. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Affordable housing versus rural tourism: The case of St Ives

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Tourism is important for many rural economies.  Despite the fragility of visitor demand, often low paid seasonal employment, and potential adverse environmental effects, it brings income into areas which have limited alternative development opportunities.  However tourism can over-dominate an economy.  A good example of this is in St Ives, a well-known tourist destination in West Cornwall, where the demand for holiday accommodation and second homes has grown to such an extent that they now account for 25% of local housing stock. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Printed from /blog?page=2 on 24/10/19 05:31:14 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.