SPRG Finale Event: Sustainability | Social Practices | PolicySPRG Finale Event

An exhibition of ideas and panel discussion

Sustainability | Social Practices | Policy brought together the SPRG's leading social scientists in the field of sustainable consumption with an invited audience of over a hundred policy makers, academics, business people and NGOs.

The event was the culmination of a major engagement on the part of SPRG researchers to make the programme greater than the sum of its parts, integrate key insights from the projects into a coherent whole and to communicate the SPRG's distinctive position to a broad audience. As well as the Exhibition, the outputs of this work include the brief introduction and overview of the SPRG, and project summaries, presented in the delegates' pack and the 'Interventions in Practice' report, launched at the finale event (see Resources, below).

The SPRG Exhibition showcased individual project research findings and integrated programme insights through poster displays, a short film, video presentation, audio installation and interactive exhibits. SPRG researchers were on hand to discuss their projects with delegates.

Part of the exhibition space at Mary Ward House, Tavistock PlacePart of the exhibition space at Mary Ward House, Tavistock Place


Click here for photos of the exhibition.

The exhibition space at Mary Ward House was soon filled after doors opened at 2pm and a busy afternoon ensued as delegates viewed the posters, participated in activities and discussed research findings with SPRG researchers.

At 5pm the panel session was opened by chair David North, the Executive Director of the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester. SPRG Director Professor Dale Southerton opened the panel by presenting a brief overview of the programme's distinctive social practice approach to sustainability policy. Dale was followed by Lord Gus O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary (2005-2011), who reflected on the SPRG's contribution and his broad ranging experience with governance, policy, behaviour change and sustainability. Panellists David Nussbaum (Chief Executive of WWF-UK), Mike Barry (Head of Sustainable Business at Marks and Spencer) and Ute Collier (the Committee on Climate Change) each presented their own responses to the SPRG exhibition and Dale's overview of the SPRG's work, as well as distinctive insights on the challenge of sustainable consumption. Questions from the floor afforded a wide ranging debate.

Click here to watch a video of the panel presentations and debate.

The panel session was followed by a drinks reception in the exhibition area, where discussions contined for over an hour. Feedback from delegates to SPRG researchers on the day was extremely positive about the exhibition and event as a whole. While the SPRG will be collating more structured feedback from delegates in coming days, researchers reported an engaged afternoon of discussion about their research with delegates and numerous positive responses from across the constituencies attending the event.

Resources from the Exhibition and Panel Discussion 

A video of the panel discussion will be available from this website in due course, along with an online version of the exhibition. The introductory and concluding posters of the exhibition are available for download from the bottom of this page.

An overview of the work of the SPRG programme, presented in the event delegate pack, is available for download here.

'Interventions in Practice' - an SPRG report launched at the event - is available here.

To request further information please contact sprg@manchester.ac.uk

About the SPRG

The SPRG’s research both challenges and complements current approaches to behaviour change, through its distinctive focus on social practices. We consume resource-intensive goods and services in the performance of everyday practices—such as doing the laundry or cooking a meal. Crucially, practices are shaped and organised at a societal level—by institutions and infrastructures, cultural conventions and shared understandings. The SPRG argues it is through intervening in these organising elements of practice that policy can shift everyday lives in more sustainable directions.

The three year programme is funded by the ESRC, DEFRA and the Scottish Government.

Event Information

Date: 11 September 2013Location: Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SNTime: 2pm-7pm Plenary 5-6pm

Site by iQ media