Accelerating Social Transitions
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Accelerating Social Change

In the Accelerating Social Change Theme we expressly focus on the importance of people, organisations, lifestyles and consumption in addressing the climate crisis.

We explore how transformative change has occurred in the past, continues in the present, and how it can be enabled and accelerated. We also explore ways to limit change in counter-productive directions in the context of both mitigation and adaptation. Our research will continue to advocate for transformative social change to address the climate crisis, with a view to reducing emissions in high-emitting countries and groups, and adapting to climate change for vulnerable places and people.


Researchers in this theme explore change at a societal, policy, organisational, community, household and individual level. We examine social change across a range of topics including energy, mobility, water, food and diet, material consumption and waste, as well as looking to understand the role of over-arching cultural change


We aim to be policy-relevant while also being willing to critically examine and challenge assumptions about current approaches to climate action, through research on more radical and far-reaching solutions (e.g., activism and alternative economic models). Using a variety of methods (qualitative and quantitative), we aim to understand what everyday life could look like in decarbonised futures, recognising the variety of different ways of living within society today. We investigate what is needed to transition from high to low-carbon lifestyles, and how to popularise and embed low-carbon ways of living. We interrogate prevailing social discourses to understand people’s perspectives on the climate crisis and to anticipate ways in which ideas and narratives both hinder and enable climate action.

Current Projects

Intelligent Community Energy

Photo: INTERREG VA France (Channel) England A partnership between UEA and eight research and business support organisations in...

Change Points

Change Points

The Change Points Toolkit supports users in developing interventions that unlock unsustainable practices so that alternative, less intensive patterns...

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Past Highlights
Some Key Publications