Dr Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs attends workshop in Sheffield

How to use practice theory for social change? Dr Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs attended a workshop in Sheffield as part of the New Practices for New Publics ESRC seminar series ( This event brought together post-graduates, academics and practitioners to explore the challenges of putting practice theory into action. Presentations from Drs Matt Watson, David Evans and Margit Keller on their experiences of practice theory in relation to efforts and programmes to bring about social change highlighted the ISM Tool and the UK’s Love Food Hate Waste as infiltration of these theories into wider political discourses.

Practice-based approaches aim to help effect positive social change and to provide a more encompassing and grounded conceptualisation of change processes than a focus on attitudes, values and behaviours. To what extent does practice theory help understand how and why practices recruit people, how new practices emerge, thrive and travel and why others fail to ‘catch on’? These are questions Drs Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs and Louise Reid are working on in an upcoming paper and presentation at the Energy Research and Social Science Conference in April.