International collaborations

Our staff and students aim to develop collaborations that address international challenges and adopt comparative perspectives.

For more information about international collaboration opportunities, please contact Mat Paterson.

Contested Futures of Sustainability (IMAGINE)

Dan Welch is collaborating with colleagues at Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), Oslo Metropolitan University on the project ‘IMAGINE - Contested Futures of Sustainability’ (PI Nina Heidenstrøm), funded by the Research Council of Norway.

IMAGINE is an interdisciplinary research project across humanities, social sciences, design, and arts, bringing together researchers from Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK, that investigates the power of cultural imaginaries of sustainability to influence societal change, and guide and legitimize actions taken by different societal actors to establish possible futures.

The project in part builds on Dan’s ESRC-funded ‘Imagined Futures of Consumption’.

Dan will be involved as a Work Package Co-Lead over the project duration (01/12/21–31/11/24).

Dan’s role will include organising project workshops and input to the development of a PhD course in sustainability for design and art students at Oslo Met University, as well as collaborating on international conference presentations and journal articles.

Project partners include Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA), and the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at Oslo Met.

University of Manchester-University of Melbourne Global Doctoral Research Network (GOLDEN) PhD project

The SCI has recently been successful in securing one of ten joint University of Manchester-University of Melbourne Global Doctoral Research Network (GOLDEN) PhD projects.

The 3.5-year PhD studentship will critically address the question: Are digital platforms a threat or a complement to urban sustainability strategies?  

The research contributes to the SCI’s developing programme on urban platforms.

It is situated at the interface of urban studies and innovation studies and synthesises two debates: first, debates around visions of future sustainable cities and how these are incorporated in to urban strategies and policy; and second, the emergence of digital platforms as a new business model and their intervention into systems of provision at urban scale.

The PhD will develop a rich contextual understanding of how digital platforms contribute to rethinking what is meant by urban sustainability.

It will undertake comparative research on this issue across two urban contexts (Greater Manchester and Greater Melbourne).

This will be done via in-depth case studies, reliant on qualitative data, including that drawn from documentary analysis and key informant interviews.

The successful candidate, Danial Naqvi, will be based both in Manchester and Melbourne and will be supervised by Professor Mike Hodson and Professor Andrew McMeekin at The University of Manchester and Professor Brendan Gleeson at the University of Melbourne.

Environmental Sustainability in Immigrant Households

Sherilyn MacGregor, Catherine Walker & Tally Katz-Gerro, University of Haifa, have been awarded a research grant (£331,000) from the Leverhulme Trust for their project ‘Environmental Sustainability in Immigrant Households’.

The funding is for 39 months and will fund a full-time post for Catherine as well as PhD student, Zarina Ahmad.

This project will investigate how Global South-to-North migration and the drive for urban sustainability intersect at the household level.

The location is Manchester, where increasing immigration and ethnic diversity combine with an agenda to become a leading green city in Europe.

Through mixed-methods, co-produced research, we will examine how immigrants from Pakistan and Somalia, two of the largest and fastest-growing groups in Manchester, perceive the green agenda and engage in 'environmentally significant' practices in daily life.

We will also investigate how immigrants’ engagement in sustainability practices can contribute to building social cohesion and community resilience.

The use of visioning and agent-based modelling

Profs Igor Nikolic and Jaco Quist will visit from TU Delft in the Netherlands to present the use of visioning and agent-based modelling.

They will discuss how these interesting new research methods, both individually and together, can offer entirely new ways to explore sustainability transitions, policies for socio-technical change, and stakeholder engagement.

Energy flexibility, energy demand modelling and local-scale renewable integration

Dr Andrew Bollinger will visit from the Urban Energy Systems Laboratory (UESL) at Empa in Switzerland to present about his work on energy flexibility, energy demand modelling, and local-scale renewable integration.

He will discuss how the technical and economic dimensions that he usually focuses on need to be elaborated with social, psychological, ethical, and legal dimensions to address the increasingly urgent problems arising as digital technologies reshape urban and energy systems.

The multi-level and multi-actor governance of climate Change and sustainability

Paul Tobin is leading, along with Mat Paterson and Andreas Duit at Stockholm, this collaborative initiative between colleagues at Manchester and at Stockholm University.

The project seeks to develop future larger-scale collaborations between a range of scholars at both institutions around themes of mutual interest around climate policy and politics, notably in comparative political analysis and analysis of global climate governance.