A festival of ideas to launch the SCI’s research agenda

A festival of ideas at the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute is set to lay down a marker for sustainability research in the next decade.

The event on 5 December will draw together findings from the Institute’s research over the past 10 years, and launch their new agenda for the coming decade. The event is open to policy makers, business leaders, researchers, and activists, as well as the general public.

It will feature guest speakers from all aspects of the sustainable consumption conversation. In addition to SCI academics, speakers include Corin Bell, the Founder and Director of the social enterprise Open Kitchen MCR which takes food that would otherwise go to waste and uses it to cater at conferences and events. Corin is also the Lead for the Plastic Free Greater Manchester Campaign for Mayor Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Also speaking are Nissa Shahid, an urban planner at the London-based Future Cities Catapult, and Martine Postma, a Dutch environmentalist and former journalist who pioneered the concept of Repair Cafés, where people come together to learn how to repair the objects they would otherwise throw away.

The event will take place in the new lecture theatre of the AMBS, and the programme offers several opportunities to discuss ideas as well as to network. The reception is being catered by Open Kitchen MCR and attendees will have a chance to sample products from sustainable local businesses including Beer Nouveau, Stitched Up doing upcycled products, Sodada doing kombucha, as well the opportunity to participate in a raffle for a bag of organic and locally-sourced vegetables from Veg Box People.

The event is led by Dr Sherilyn MacGregor, Reader in Environmental Politics at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, who pointed out that the research agenda is driven by the twin challenges of growing social inequalities and a rapidly worsening climate crisis: “There are significant socio-economic barriers to the uptake of sustainable practices, products and services, and our research aims to tackle these barriers head on, alongside issues such as urban transport, meat consumption, and plastics.” she said.

Today, the SCI is a key contributor to the University of Manchester’s aim to excel in research that combines the insight of different academic disciplines such as sociology, human geography and urban studies, business and management studies, environmental politics, social movement and innovation studies as a basis for research that illuminates the ways in which consumption practices play a key role in shaping societal responses to questions of sustainable development.

To book please go to the Eventbrite booking page.