This junior fellowship program aims to support research and advocacy work of young scholars who have demonstrated exceptional competence and motivation in tackling key social, political and environmental challenges of the 21st century, in line with the priorities of the IPE annual programmatic work. The research priorities of a 2018 fellow will fit the IPE operations and research activities in 2018. The primary output of a fellow’s research should be a draft policy paper of publishing standard or a draft academic article (possibly in co-authorship with senior researchers associated with IPE) related to the priorities described below.

The fellowships are open to all academic disciplines, but research proposals should be related to the Institute’s programmatic priorities in 2018:

SUPER DONUT: Sustainability on the periphery – distilling numbers for tomorrow

The conventional metrics assumes uncontested perceptions and representations of sustainability challenges, which is criticized by the degrowth thinkers. “Crunching numbers” first, in a way of re-evaluating old metrics and exploring new metrics, is a mode of achieving novel perceptions and representations of sustainability issues (Giampietro, Mayumi, Sorman, 2012).The aim of our project is to improve the understanding of “the social context” in which environmental degradation occurs through combining various indicators in the web of societal-biophysical analysis from which the socio-ecological transition posed by the degrowth goals could be measured. Empirically, we connect different aspects of the material flow, comparative developmental attainments and prevalent social attitudes.

There is currently a lack of coherent and innovative localised strategies to address the challenges of rapid and thoroughgoing socio-economic transformation imposed by biophysical and social constraints of this century. This is particularly true of macroeconomic scenarios and associated data-based narratives. Unlike the recent industrial and socio-metabolic changes, this one is likely to occur in the context of low growth or secular stagnation. The related intellectual and empirical challenge is to evaluate resilience and transformation potential of societies and communities using the assessment metrics that better reflect the bio- and sociohistorical context upon which their resilience is built and from which transformation is expected.

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