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Sustainability Horizons: what’s coming into view?

Sustainability Horizons is CISL’s monthly scan of issues and evidence coming into view, but which may not yet feature in the mainstream sustainability debate. This is not a prediction of the future, but a way of helping practitioners and policymakers to get early notice of new ideas, trends or evidence, to inform their own view of what might or should happen as a result.

Find out more about our own work in developing new ideas and approaches that have the potential to deliver transformational change and rewire the economy.


Latest review

Recycling plastic waste

December 2019: Developments in steam cracking and pressure technology now enable the production of ‘virgin’ quality plastics from recycled plastic waste. This could allow for plastic manufacturing sites to transition to plastic collection and refineries within the framework of their existing infrastructures.

Recycling plastic waste - Read More…

Smart yarn

December 2019: Flexible, electrochemically, and electromechanically active yarns could allow for the scalable production of textile-based devices. Such smart garments have a wide range of applications from public health to military defence and could produce clothing that responds to outside conditions while retaining wearability

Smart yarn - Read More…

Interactive map shows nature’s benefits

December 2019: A new high-resolution and interactive map models nature’s contribution to people’s lives around the globe. It highlights nature’s declining ability to provide food security, high water quality, and protection for infrastructure. The map could serve as a platform for policy-makers to develop high-impact investment strategies for high-value ecosystems.

Interactive map shows nature’s benefits - Read More…

Artificial Intelligence and the Feeling Economy

December 2019: AI is projected to perform the majority of problem-solving tasks and analytical thinking in future work scenarios. These shifts emphasise the need for education systems and Human Resource Management (HRM) strategies to adapt and support the development of people’s feeling and empathetic skills in the workplace.

Artificial Intelligence and the Feeling Economy - Read More…

Food and land use

November 2019: Recent reports identify that benefits from redirecting agricultural subsidies to transform food systems outweigh the cost of inaction. It further argues that the cost of damage caused by currently incentivised agricultural methods is greater than the value of the food they produce.

Food and land use - Read More…

IPCC special report on the ocean and cryosphere

November 2019: special report on oceans and the cryosphere emphasises calls to accelerate a transition to a zero carbon economy and place at least 30% of the world’s oceans under protection. Rising temperatures, acidification, and lower oxygen levels in the oceans are severely impacting human and marine life.

IPCC special report on the ocean and cryosphere - Read More…

Tidal barrages

November 2019: Designs for a mooted tidal energy barrage on the Mersey Estuary include social and economic opportunities beyond energy generation. However, concerns about high initial capital costs and adverse impacts on local wildlife habitats remain and challenge the project’s realisation.

Tidal barrages - Read More…

Urban agriculture

November 2019: Community gardens and urban farms under the umbrella of urban agriculture can contribute to combatting inner city ‘food deserts’, improve air quality, provide green spaces, and reduce CO2 emissions. A new paper calls for holistic and strategic interventions to expand such networks and adopt urban planning mechanisms.

Urban agriculture - Read More…

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Pomeroy Academy Scholarship launched for Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment

Feb 26, 2020

February 2020 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Professor Jason Pomeroy are delighted to announce the launch of a new scholarship for prospective Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) Master's students.

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Adele Wiliams

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The views expressed in these external research papers are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL, the University of Cambridge, or any of its individual business partners or clients.