SE2017: Marketplace session 3

Marketplace session 3

15:00 - 16:30, Friday 30 June

Water for Africa: Leveraging local innovations through Organisation Networks (Water-LION)

Dr Andrew Fox, Plymouth University

Additional presenters: Dr Askwar Hilonga (Senior Lecturer in the department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nelson Mandela - African Institute of Science and Technology, Tanzania), Dr Veronica M. Kiluva (Senior Lecturer in water resources management at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya) and Eng. Prof Sibilike Makhanu (University Project Manager at Oshwal College in Nairobi, Kenya). 

Designing indigenous engineering solutions to address developmental problems across Sub-Saharan Africa is just the first step and many innovations fail to achieve an impact due to their inability to expand beyond their local environment. This research focusses on one engineering product, a domestic water filtration system that has been developed and successfully deployed in Tanzania, the Nanofilter®. The Nanofilter® incorporates a highly sophisticated water filtration and treatment system and its distribution and management requires an ecosystem of advanced knowledge and skills, which has hindered its wider distribution beyond the Tanzanian border. Any distribution partner needs to have water quality testing capability, business entrepreneurship skills as well as a capacity to conduct community engagement and education programmes.

This paper assesses the viability of using a University-centred network as a means to distribute the Nanofilter® across Sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis includes a pilot study, involving two academic institutions in Kenya; the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), in Kakamega and Oshwal College (OC) in Nairobi. The two Universities in Kenya, will work to establish a network of Nonfilter® “Water Stations” involving local entrepreneurs. The water stations will then facilitate the wider distribution of water filters to community households. The project includes quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data that will enable the assessment of the University-centred system. Lessons learned about leveraging indigenous African innovations through University-centred organisation networks will be disseminated via a workshop event, held at the end of the research programme.

Senior tourism Impacts and Destination Sustainability in China

Mr Tao Xu, Plymouth University

Sustainable tourism, with its definitions varied with different researchers, generally refers to a form of tourism development that requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders and a strong leadership in policy making to guarantee the social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being of the destination and the host community. Among them, destination capacity and the livelihood of local residents are two key issues to address. Ageing population in China is an becoming apparent phenomenon. Despite the increasing popularity of domestic leisure travels by senior tourists in China, there is little information about the impacts of senior tourism activities on destinations. However, recent apparent sustainable problems and conflicts emerged with this type of tourism activities in China call urgent actions to address negative impacts.

This research, therefore, aims to investigate sustainable-related issues of senior tourism within Chinese destinations. More specifically, it examines the impacts of tourism activities on destination capacity and the livelihood of local residents. It assesses the negative impacts of tourism activities on destination reputation, which is an important aspect for destination sustainability. It examines the role played by various destination stakeholders in destination governance.

The research adopted a case study approach to examine sustainable-related issues within three Chinese travel destinations (Lijiang, Bama and Sanya). It used content analysis of Chinese newspapers in relation to the issue in question. The conclusion focused on the impacts of the tourism activities in Chinese destinations and an urgent need to use an integrated destination stakeholder approach to better deal with sustainable-related issues.

From Dorset to Kenya, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in early years practice

Ms Zoe Lavin-Miles, OMEP UK (World Organisation of Early Childhood Education)

Additional presenters: Dr Paulette Luff, Anglia Ruskin University, and Dr Zoi Nikiforidou, Liverpool Hope University.

If global challenges are to be faced, now and towards sustainable futures, the educational response has to begin from the early years. As an international NGO that defends and promotes the rights of the child to high quality education and care, OMEP (World Organization for Early Childhood) has worked on education for sustainable development (ESD) since 2010. This work has been taken up by OMEP UK and we aim to raise awareness of ESD in the early childhood education community, in England and beyond. Our main focus is upon sharing thinking and practice in early years ESD, promoting research and practice to inspire educators, children and families. In this session we will present a round table that showcases some project work done in early years settings and raises discussion questions.

The featured projects are topics undertaken by children to promote environmental, cultural and economic perspectives on sustainability and include: ‘Caring about the earth’, where Cranborne pre-school in Dorset, UK and Mount Kenya Academy, Kenya are raising awareness of environmental impact including the importance of recycling. Mount Kenya Academy have developed ‘Recycling Rangers’ with their children and both pre-schools are capturing the children’s perspectives on these issues via arts and crafts. At a third pre-school, Sunbeams in Dorset, UK, children are taken out into Forest School on a regular basis - this enables the children to sense and experience the wind and see its effects through trees and sound. They will be extending this through making and playing with kites.

Brazil Globalization in a rural context: addressing contemporary rural paradigm in Brazil

Felipe da Silva Machado, Plymouth University

Multidimensional and multidirectional perspectives have indicated that rural space has become more embedded within a globalized rural world. Therefore, researchers have displayed an interest in understanding the dynamics of rural areas in developing regions of the world which are also affected by global processes in different ways and the sum result is great global spatial diversity (Marsden, 2003; Wilson and Rigg, 2003; Rigg, 2006; Wilson, 2007; Woods, 2007; Bryant et al., 2008; Van der Ploeg et al., 2010). Recognition of the global inter-connection and inter-dependency of rural places points to a dismantling of the separation between rural research on the Global North and rural research on the Global South, and the promotion of more transnational research.

 Additionally, new directions in rural studies have called for research that examines the impact of globalization on everyday life (Woods, 2007). Methods in rural studies in the era of globalization have provided wider theoretical frameworks and insights into the rural domain through in-depth studies, bottom-up models and multidimensional approaches. This study argues that the complexity of rural areas in developing countries such as Brazil and their spatial diversity contribute to better understandings of the multidirectional and multidimensional paths in globalization, going beyond the view of economic space as only subject to external interferences that demand resources. It attempts to develop a connection between rural change, rural community resilience in developing countries (evidence from Brazil) and broader rural studies in the context of globalization.

Realising the value of Plymouth's natural space for wildlife, commuity wellbeing and sustainable growth

Chris Avent, Plymouth City Council - Natural Infrastructure team

Additional presenters: Zoe Sydenham, Jeremy Sabel and Kaja Curry.

Plymouth has a wealth of natural space for an urban area in the UK, but how much is this values by the people who live in the city? Nature Plymouth is a partnership of organisations led by Plymouth City Council's Natural Infrastructure team working with communities to improve the city's natural spaces for biodiversity and providing community value to these spaces. Projects such as Stepping Stones to Nature, Grow Wild, Urban Buzz, Active Neighbourhoods and now delivery of Derriford Community Park are providing improvements to biodiversity and engaging the community in this process. This is just the starting point and this presentation is designed to further conversations about how the environmental sector can further engage people in valuing the natural environment of the city through a spectrum of means.

The Impact of Big Data Development to Sustainability Research and Practice

Dr Irina Neaga, Postgraduate School of Management, Plymouth University

There is a significant emerging interest to reveal the impact of big data concept, the intelligent exploration, and analysis through mining, knowledge discovery and predictive analytics for supporting a wide range of applications in business, management and engineering. This advancement is driven by several technology development and adoption of mobile devices, and increased usage of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging and YouTube. 

Big data analytics, systems and applications are at an early stage of development, but rapid advances of platforms and related cloud computing services can accelerate their maturing and deployment processes. Currently there is a gap between the rapid advancement of big data systems and the development of an environmental sustainability integrated approach, strategy and circular economy business modelling. The emergence of the ‘circular economy’ is supporting environmental sustainability as it entails a shift from the traditional business model, which has involved a product’s creation, using, and discarding to waste. Big data could have an instrumental role in conjunction with the increasing digital revolution underway, and the uptake of these new circular economy modelling approaches. 

This research aims to identify and evaluate the impact and the contribution of big data analytics to the environmental sustainability efforts leading to the definition of an integrated framework embedding resilience. Therefore the following aspects will have to be dealt with: (1) Evaluation of the big data approaches and analysis tools particularly associated with sustainability and resilience management. (2) Advancing knowledge, in depth understanding and innovation of resilient sustainable complex infrastructure (i.e. smart cities) based on the insights that big data analysis could provide. (3) Applying the big data cloud based services for supporting the sustainability and resilience. (4) Providing a big data driven circular economy business modelling approach.

Simple Sustainable Living

Justyna Urbanczyk, University of Central Lancashire

Despite being widely perceived as a complex and demanding ‘lifestyle’, sustainable living, quite simply, advocates human well-being achieved through simple solutions. Similarly, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for innovative practices with both immediate and long-term socio-economic and environmental effects. The SDGs aim to improve well-being and quality of life, accelerate social development and environmental protection while promoting equality, equity, justice and global collaboration. Similar to SDGs, sustainable living is concerned with small changes resulting in vast effects; it is a way of living contentedly at present with positive effects in the future.

In the domain of SDGs, sustainable living is a simple solution to current sociocultural, economic and environmental conditions. Living sustainably does not entail radical changes to values and behaviours - it involves making smart everyday choices with a range of sustainable alternatives that benefit society, economy and the environment. Such choices are influenced by several factors but are guided by an ultimate goal: happiness. Self-interests are a guiding force of decisions for all humans regardless of background, values and attitudes. Living a sustainable life is determined by simple, sustainable alternatives available at the time of making such choices. This presentation will demonstrate and explain how self-interests encourage sustainable living, as part of SDGs, and provide further opportunities for sustainable development. This contribution will also explore a holistic approach to sustainable (everyday) living by examining a range of practices with immediate benefits to society, economy, and the environment.

Opportunities for BIPV in new construction

Chris Coonick, BRE National Solar Centre

Full integration of multifunctional building elements demand early engagement from the construction supply chain to ensure successful cost effective delivery. BIPV is one such element that has provided a number of challenges to construction management and build programmes, which has seen architects reluctant to specify and clients nervous to invest. This research looks at options for integration, considerations of site suitability, building use & design, and service provisions of currently available products. The research highlights opportunities in project delivery critical to achieving systems that are optimised for both architectural and electrical performance, which can be easily maintained and function as a part of the building envelope long term.

Exploring opportunities for a circular economy in Plymouth and the South West

Dr Lynda Rodwell, Plymouth University

Additional presenters: Stephen Childe, Plymouth University

Additional contributor: Jasmine Tribe

As countries and economies rapidly transform and develop, there is potential for emerging markets to bypass the current linear system of extraction to waste and instead intentionally contribute to building a circular, restorative and sustainable economy. The development and implementation of a circular system requires an enthusiastic embedding of sustainability thinking and practices into all areas of society, particularly education, politics, business, product design and advertising. The terms ‘waste’, ‘success’ and ‘quality’ can be redefined to prioritise impacts on people and planet, as well as profit. A thoughtful and considered transition from the linear, waste-fuelled economy to a closed-loop, circular economy has genuine potential to reshape the planet and our relationship with its natural resources. In this session we will explore the opportunities for the transition towards a more circular economy in Plymouth and the South West by considering current status of waste management, examples of circular economy activities, attitudes towards a zero-waste approach, the barriers to its full implementation, the potential tools that can help overcome existing obstacles and how these ideas may be scaled up to existing and emerging markets elsewhere. We hope to engage others working in this area by developing a collaborative platform for circular economy research and business opportunities.

Waste Not, Want Not – How the threat of increasing food poverty is challenging the UK’s approach to food waste

Ms Jackie Young, Devon & Cornwall Food Action

Additional presenters: Steve Whiteway (DCW and Chair DCFA), Gary Jones (Langage AD Plant), and Penny Tarrant (Plymouth Food Waste Partnership).

Apparently the NHS statistics identifying the number of Plymouth children in food-poverty contribute to ‘mischief-making’. As if Plymouth’s 11,125 children ‘at risk’ aren’t enough, it appears that actually doing something about it creates more than a moral dilemma for some. But why should this be? It’s an emotive subject but has popular media coverage become so critical of ‘benefit recipients’ that the impact of austerity is lost? Is the ‘blame game’ news a matter of conscience or political embarrassment? Or is the inability to provide for your family a matter of pride – a ‘weakness’ that no-one is willing to admit to? Either way, opinions matter – especially if there are sustainable solutions to apply.

An increasingly popular option is to intercept supplies of surplus food that would otherwise be sent for disposal and to distribute it amongst vulnerable communities but, even this often charitable and far more sustainable approach, is not without question despite significant support and international recognition. For example, who pays and should this activity rely on ‘volunteers’ when formerly funded services are withdrawn?

This presentation will call on up to date evidence from the Govt Inquiry on food waste and DCFA’s day to day activities in the city to investigate the psychology of charitable intervention in a time of austerity.

The Use of Behavioural Economics and Psychology to Introduce Higher Energy Tax – possible solution to Climate Change?

Miss Aneta Nastaj, London School of Economics and Political Science

After Brexit, new UK policies will be needed to reduce emissions where policies previously agreed through the EU no longer apply or are weakened. It has been argued that implementing carbon tax, and gradually increasing it, is more cost effective than having to cut emissions drastically in the future. Research demonstrates that punishing behaviour is more effective and appropriate than rewarding people for using less energy or using renewable energy e.g. buying an electric car. Another argument for carbon tax is that it would add revenue whereas awarding for doing ‘the right thing’ puts extra burden on the treasury.

Behavioural science has well documented the phenomenon of loss-aversion and it could be used to encourage sustainable behaviour. However, politicians are not partial to the idea of increasing taxes because of perceived public’s disagreement. The government’s nudge unit highlights the need for public consultation. So, what do people really think about carbon tax and would their opinion change depending on what the revenue would be spent on? This online study measured participants’ opinions on carbon tax and compared the results from five conditions. In each condition participants were provided with information about carbon tax followed by what the revenue would be spent on (a) Fuel poverty alleviation, (b) Renewable energy, (c) Research & Development, (d) Decrease of other taxes, (e) General use. Then they were asked about their opinion. It is anticipated that there will be differences in support between conditions and political parties people identify themselves with.