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Socio-Environmental Dynamics Research Group (SONYA)

SONYA is a research center connecting different perspectives and disciplines for the study of links between society and environment

What we do
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Socio-Environmental Dynamics Research Group (SONYA)

Our work is contributing to empirical and fundamental research about socio-environmental dynamics, in order to participate of a transformation to a sustainable society, through teaching and participation to societal debates.

What we do

SONYA's News

Time as a social imaginary: deconstructing temporalities

May 21, 2024

The second session of SONYA’s Inspiration Talks tackled time as a social imaginary and inspired researchers to deconstruct temporalities through speculative fabulation exercises.

Comment créer des ponts entre chercheur.euses afin d’encourager la collaboration interdisciplinaire ?

May 7, 2024

Séminaire ouvert à tous et toutes, sans inscription. Jeudi 23 mai, de 12h15 à 14h Lieu : USquare (coin du boulevard Général Jacques et de l’avenue de la Couronne), local A.0.05

Publication Sonya/CSTB sur le mouvement de justice climatique

May 7, 2024

Bringing the future back to the present: The role of prefiguration in European climate justice activism

SONYA attended the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit

February 19, 2024

Aurore Fransolet, post-doctoral researcher at SONYA, discussed the social justice issues associated with building renovation at the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit organized as part of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

A Critical Review of the Work of the High Committee for a Just Transition in Belgium

February 8, 2024

A Critical Review of the Work of the High Committee for a Just Transition in Belgium Aurore Fransolet, Researcher SONYA February 20, 11 am-12:30 am. Room S.DC6.121, ULB, Campus Solbosch

Rethinking the water conflict / cooperation duality in the Syr Darya basin (Central Asia)

February 8, 2024

Rethinking the water conflict / cooperation duality in the Syr Darya basin (Central Asia) Eugénie Stoclet, Researcher SONYA January 23, 11 am-12:30 am. Room S.DC6.121, ULB, Campus Solbosch, Free entrance

Women play a key role for building resilience in the Amazon

January 10, 2024

Women’s practices offer crucial insights into resisting forest degradation and creating more sustainable pathways, finds a new study led by SONYA´S Ph.D. candidate by Taís Sonetti-González and co-authored by the Professor María Mancilla García.

Understanding the policy controversy on the low emission zone in Ghent through discursive networks and strategies

November 21, 2023

Understanding the policy controversy on the low emission zone in Ghent through discursive networks and strategies Kim Vandenhole, Researcher, SONYA December 12, 11 am-12 am. Room S.DC6.121, ULB, Campus Solbosch, Free entrance

Towards healthy and sustainable food systems

November 6, 2023

Towards healthy and sustainable food systems Celia Burgaz, Claire Dénos, Researchers, SONYA Sonya Seminar, Chair Prof E. Zaccai, November 14, 11 am-13 pm. Room S.DC6.121, ULB, Campus Solbosch, Free entrance

Julien Vastenaekels defended his PhD thesis: "Degrowth and Capital: Assembling a Power-Centred Theory of Change"

September 21, 2023

On September 6, Julien Vastenaekels successfully defended his PhD thesis in Sciences.

Abe Hendriks was our guest at SONYA’s first Inspiration Talks

September 18, 2023

SONYA’ first session of Inspiration Talks welcomed Abe Hendriks (Utrecht University) for a lecture on Governing sustainability: exploring the influence of time.

Kimberley Vandenhole wins the Best Paper Award at the 14th International Sustainability Transitions Conference!

September 4, 2023

Kimberley Vandenhole, PhD student at SONYA, and her co-authors Kristjian Garic et Philip Leifeld (Essex University) have won the Best Paper Award at the 14th International Sustainability Transitions Conference in Utrecht.

New publication on food system policies by Celia Burgaz

August 18, 2023

Are you curious about which policies or interventions governments can implement to achieve healthy and sustainable food systems? In this publication, our colleagues Celia and Wouter (and other scientists from Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, Senegal, Kenya and Australia), conducted a scoping review to analyse the effect and effectiveness of different policies within food systems, from farm to fork.

SONYA’s first Research Day!

June 27, 2023

With the idea of exchanging knowledge and aiming at greater integration of researchers, the Research Group organised a day of presentations and dialogues among researchers.

Place-based solutions for global social-ecological dilemmas: An analysis of locally grounded, diversified, and cross-scalar initiatives in the Amazon

June 27, 2023

This article was published in Global Environmental Change Journal, co-authored by Taís González, SONYA´S Ph.D. candidate highlighting that initiatives led by grassroots actors achieve better social-ecological outcomes. Multi-specialization of activities promotes positive sustainability transformations. Initiatives with cross-sectoral and -scalar partnerships are more successful. Place-based initiatives promote sustainable pathways and transformative change. Finally, grassroots empowerment is vital for external actors seeking to promote sustainability.

Place-based solutions for global social-ecological dilemmas: An analysis of locally grounded, diversified, and cross-scalar initiatives in the Amazon

June 27, 2023

This article was published in Global Environmental Change Journal, co-authored by Taís González, SONYA´S Ph.D. candidate highlighting that initiatives led by grassroots actors achieve better social-ecological outcomes. Multi-specialization of activities promotes positive sustainability transformations. Initiatives with cross-sectoral and -scalar partnerships are more successful. Place-based initiatives promote sustainable pathways and transformative change. Finally, grassroots empowerment is vital for external actors seeking to promote sustainability.

Collective writing by the Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance (FaDa), in which Sonya’s doctoral candidate, Taís González, is part of, in the first issue of Degrow Journal

June 13, 2023

We are excited to share the awesome news: SONYA's PhD candidate Taís González at the open-access and inaugural volume of Degrowth Journal.

SONYA was present at the International Congress of Ecological Humanities in Madrid

June 13, 2023

Taís González, SONYA's PhD candidate, presented her research on how bottom-up collaborative processes can contribute to the transformation towards regenerative sustainability and support transdisciplinary research.

Environment and climate: the roots of inaction

June 7, 2023

In an paper published by the CEPULB, Professor Edwin Zaccai attempts to summarize the evolution of the main climatic and environmental threats. He recalls that the alarms have been repeated for almost a century, and identifies several blocking factors towards needed action. Article accessible for non-specialists.

An article in Critical Innovation Studies

June 2, 2023

Just published in Novation, journal of critical innovation studies. A collaboration between Bonno Pel and Tom Bauler (SONYA), Julia Wittmayer (DRIFT Rotterdam/NL) and Flor Avelino (Utrecht/NL).

PhD student of our department selected for the FAO/WFF Young Scientist Group

June 2, 2023

Celia Burgaz, PhD student on Environmental sciences at SONYA, has been selected as one of the 16 young scientist by the World Food Forum (WFF). The group is responsible for creating a biannual WFF Young Scientists report on specific policy issues that concern youth related to the transformation of agri-food systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘How dare you!’: a conceptualization of the eco-shaming discourse in Belgium - New Research Article

April 28, 2023

Within the context of a PhD research on eco-shaming and environmental discourse, a first peer-reviewed paper by Kimberley Vandenhole, Tom Bauler and Thomas Block was published in Critical Policy Studies.

New Book Just Published – The Normative Foundations of International Climate Adaptation Finance

February 13, 2023

The new book of our colleague Romain Weikmans is available in open access until the 22nd of February 2023!

Dossier Spécial COP27 : Le chercheur de SONYA, Samuel Lietaer, a présenté aux Grandes Conférences Namuroises comment le dérèglement climatique fait bouger…des personnes impactées, des finances, et des citoyens engagés

November 23, 2022

Alors que la COP27 vient de s’achever ce dimanche 20 novembre, nous proposons de revenir, à travers une série d’articles, sur les différentes activités menées par les chercheuses et chercheurs de SONYA durant les deux semaines du sommet climatique. Le troisième article de ce dossier spécial répond à trois questions concernant le dérèglement climatique, à savoir comment celui-ci « fait bouger » : 1. des personnes impactées par celui-ci ; 2. l’argent (« le financement climatique ») et 3. Des citoyens (engagés) ?

Dossier spécial COP27 : enjeux, discours, et un journalisme à la hauteur de l’urgence climatique.

November 22, 2022

Alors que la COP27 vient de s’achever ce dimanche 20 novembre, nous proposons de revenir, à travers une série d’articles, sur les différentes activités menées par les chercheuses et chercheurs de SONYA durant les deux semaines du sommet climatique. Le deuxième article de ce dossier spécial nous raconte les enjeux et discours de la COP27 avant de répondre à la question : pourquoi les journalistes spécialisés sont-ils taxés de militantisme ?

Dossier spécial COP27 : SONYA a participé à la COP à Charm el-Cheikh aux côtés de l’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

November 21, 2022

Alors que la COP27 vient de s’achever ce dimanche 20 novembre, nous proposons de revenir, à travers une série d’articles, sur les différentes activités menées par les chercheuses et chercheurs de SONYA durant les deux semaines du sommet climatique. Le premier article de ce dossier spécial relate l’intervention d’Aurore Fransolet lors d’une table ronde d’enseignants-chercheurs sur le rôle de la recherche dans la mise en œuvre d’actions climatiques organisée par l’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) à la COP.

SONYA’s PhD candidate, Celia Burgaz, presented her research at the International Congress on Obesity in Australia.

November 15, 2022

Celia Burgaz, PhD candidate at SONYA, presented her research on sustainable food systems at the International Congress on Obesity (#ICO2022) that took place in Melbourne from the 18th to the 22nd of October. Here we share with you some details of her interventions.

Une chercheuse de SONYA remporte le Prix de thèses en prospective de la Francophonie internationale

November 8, 2022

Aurore Fransolet, chercheuse postdoctorale au sein du laboratoire SONYA, a reçu le “Prix de thèses francophones de prospective" le jeudi 27 octobre 2022 au Caire (Égypte) à l’occasion de la Semaine mondiale de la Francophonie scientifique.

Notre collègue Edgar Towa Kouokam a obtenu un mandat de Chargé de Recherche F.R.S.-FNRS

November 8, 2022

Edgar fait partie des heureux bénéficiaires du prestigieux mandat de Chargé de Recherche F.R.S.-FNRS. À partir du 1er octobre 2022, il travaillera sur la thématique des "effets rebonds" induits par les politiques et stratégies environnementales.

New publication by Romain Weikmans

October 21, 2022

The unequal geographies of climate finance: Climate injustice and dependency in the world system. Our SONYA colleague, Romain Weikmans published a new article on "Political Geography".