Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Dissemination



Conference-debate series and YouTube-channel “Understanding and Acting”

Following a dynamics of exponential growth in a finite world, humanity today faces a number of unprece- dented and tightly interlinked challenges. With a growing number of environmental limits being largely and irreversibly exceeded (GHG concentrations in the atmosphere, biodiversity loss, soil erosion, freshwater shortages...), social, economic, geopolitical, humanitarian (etc.) consequences are becoming more urgent than ever to address, while the threat of an uncontrolled global collapse is now more than a prospect. It is urgent to initiate deep, structural, socioeconomic changes on virtually all aspects of our increasingly global societies (economics, industrial and agricultural production, consumption, education, all requiring major new local and global policies).

In view of these facts, the STEEP research team has initiated in 2016 a series of conferences-debates entitled “Understanding & Acting” (Comprendre et Agir) that examines these issues in order to help researchers and citizens to increase their awareness of the various issues at stake in order to initiate relevant individual and collective actions. From now on, the scientific community at large must realize that its duty also lies in helping citizens to better understand these issues. If the fraction of people in society whose privilege is to be paid to think about society’s problems do not seize this opportunity in the critical times we face, who will? Researchers must become more involved in the search of socioeconomic alternatives and help citizens to implement them. The interactions between researchers and citizens must also to be reinvented.

The presentations of this series of conferences typically last between 30 to 45 minutes; they are followed by a 45 minute public debate with the audience. The presentations are captured on video and then made directly accessible on the YouTube Channel “Comprendre et Agir”. At the end of 2019 the YouTube channel has about 5,400 subscribers and reached a total of about 425,000 viewings.

The conference-debates of 2019:

Link to the web page of the series (program, abstracts, dates, complements etc.):

Link to the YouTube channel:


Guillaume Mandil participated in the preparation of an exposition at Cité des Sciences (Paris).

Team members gave the following general audience talks: