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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

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WEBINAR: A conceptual review of the narrative on sustainability from the perspective of the capability approach

March 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm UTC+1

March 21st, 13:00-14:00 CET

Speaker: Philippa Shepherd 

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 845 2726 1300
Passcode: 509395

Many scholars have explored, critiqued, and developed upon the integration of the notion of sustainability within capability theory. Being human-centred, the capability approach emphasises human flourishing, dignity, equity, and justice issues with regard to sustainability, bringing to the fore the human in sustainable human development. However, scholars have highlighted theoretical discord between the two development paradigms, drawing attention to the underlying individualism of the capability approach and the understated role of the environment and nature in generating and safeguarding people’s capabilities. The sustainability-capability narrative has thus resulted in expansions of capability theory making explicit the environmental dimension and the notion of collective capability. In this presentation, Philippa will explore some seminal papers illustrating the conceptual compatibility (or not) between sustainable development and the capability approach. Philippa invites you to bring your own learnings and interpretations on how the capability approach has shaped, and been shaped, by the sustainable development discourse.

Speaker: Philippa Shepherd
Philippa, a doctoral student at Université Grenoble Alpes, France, is doing research on the vulnerability and resilience of work capability in the French Alps amidst the challenges of climate change. With a background in environmental communication, sciences, and management, she recently re-entered academia to pursue her second master's degree, this time in international development and sustainability. This academic experience served as a catalyst for her current PhD research, which is rooted in the capability approach. Philippa's primary interest is exploring the complex issues arising from the multiple ecological crises, such as climate change, that pose a threat to human development. Philippa is a joint coordinator of the HDCA European Regional Network.Bottom of Form

Chair: Dr Caroline Sarojini Hart
Caroline is a social and behavioural scientist with a longstanding interest in the capability approach in relation to education, health and human flourishing.  Following a successful  international teaching career, Caroline before moved into academia, holding academic positions at the University of Cambridge, University of Bradford, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield. More recently, Caroline’s professional work and scholarship have centred on applying a capability approach to health coaching and person-centred care with a particular focus on personalised care policy and the design and delivery of educational programmes for NHS staff in the UK.  Caroline is a Fellow of the HDCA and a joint coordinator of the HDCA European Regional Network.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 845 2726 1300
Passcode: 509395


March 21
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm UTC+1
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