The three recipients of the first MSSI SSH-Ideas Fund have been announced. This new fund was developed to support bold projects and novel ideas in sustainability research drawn specifically from the social sciences and humanities.
The projects are lead by researchers in economics, education and geography and cover topics of collaborative learning, clean energy systems for poverty reduction and alternative food systems in small cities of the Global South. More information on MSSI funding is available here.
This year's SSH-Ideas projects:
Aquaponics powered by clean energy to reduce poverty: A pilot study in Kenya
Matthieu Chemin (Department of Economics), Joackim Mitambo (CEO of Hydro Power Initiative) & Simon Newman (MA student)
For the past 3 years, Prof. Chemin has been collaborating with a Kenyan NGO called Hydro Power Initiative and a rural community in Kenya to undertake an impact evaluation of a community-based micro-hydro project in rural Kenya. The next idea is to find an electrical appliance that can be powered by this project and reduce poverty. This project will explore the promise of aquaponics in doing so, as well as develop a working prototype.
Learning for the Future: Understanding the impacts of collaborative learning among future teachers, future environmental scientists and youth as they engage issues of sustainability
Allison Gonsalves (Department of Integrated Studies in Education), Blane Harvey (Department of Integrated Studies in Education) & Emily Sprowls (PhD student)
This research addresses concerns youth have about sustainability by partnering them with future teachers and environmental scientists to solve sustainability problems through inquiry learning. Outcomes of this study will inform pedagogical innovation and curricular reform in sustainability education both in and out of school, and may lead to a model for future school-university partnerships.
‘I don’t trust supermarket food’: Supporting Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Asia
Sarah Turner (Department of Geography), Hien Pham (Département d'études urbaines et touristiques, UQAM), Melody Lynch (PhD candidate)
Increasing food production in cities and practicing environmental-friendly food production can substantially reduce the ecological and carbon footprints of cities, working towards global sustainability. Cities import food and produce waste that is seldom recycled or reused, and while 55% of people live in cities, cities create 60% of global carbon emissions. This project explores the attempts of local residents in Vietnam and Indonesia to build alternative food provisioning approaches in small cities through urban agriculture. The focus is on small cities as they are set to become the dominant urban form in the Global South in the near future.