Mojo workshop for researchers


Fancy learning film making skills to aid your teaching and research in higher education? Don’t miss this upcoming mojo workshop,  taking place in the Discipline of Geography, NUI Galway, July 31st 2019. Details are outlined below:


Would you like to learn practical skills for using your mobile phone to produce short films to aid your teaching and research?

In our contemporary media saturated age, the visual medium of film is an important platform through which we can capture and promote our research as well as engage students in creative teaching methods.  In this context, the creative potential of utilising film for research (as a research method, documentation or promotional tool) and teaching (as a form tool for teaching, student engagement and assessment) has received increasing attention.


This upcoming Mojo (mobile journalism) workshop will explore the potential of use of mobile journalism/film as a research and teaching tool. 

The day long practical workshop, led by Camara Ireland and TechSpace,  will explore conceptual and practical skills for capturing and editing field data and producing short, good quality films of our field work (teaching or research related).  

The workshop will take place on Wednesday 31st July in Room 113, Discipline of Geography, 10 am – 5 pm.


• Consider how to bring digital creativity and innovation into research and learning

• Understand the principles of photography, filmmaking and audio production for mobile journalism

• How to use free and low cost mojo apps for photography, filmmaking, storytelling in teaching and research

• How to use mojo equipment (tablets, smartphones, microphones, rigs, lighting, etc.) to record, edit, and publish short film projects

• How to design and plan a mojo project to run with students/research participants

• Learn how to set up a TechSpace and join the TechSpace Network

I am organising this workshop as part of an ERASMUS+ project focused on Innovative Pedagogy for Higher Education. There are 12 fully funded places on the course. I would like to open the invitation for any interested staff and postgraduate students to take part.

If you are interested yourself or have any postgraduate (masters or doctoral) students who might be interested in this please contact me at Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. FILM MAKING WORKSHOP FOR RESEARCHERS

Burren Beo Learning Landscape Symposium

 BurrenBeo Learning Landscape Symposium is taking this weekend in Kinvara! This event is being organised by BurrenBeo Trust, an innovative place-based learning organisation focused on engaging community on themes of environment, conservation and positive solutions for addressing contemporary sustainability challenges. Here’s a snapshot of workshop leaders who are coming together to explore multiple dimensions of community, grassroots and activist routes to change.



I’m delighted to have the opportunity to run a workshop that will be exploring design activism and asset mapping as tools for community engagement in sustainability transitions. My past MA Environment, Society and Development student Claire Mackenzie will be assisting me to delivey this workshop.

For more information on the BurrenBeo Trust Symposium can be found here.




More info at #place #landscape #environment#education #burrenbeo #activism

cfp RGS-IBG 2019: Methods for engaging communities on creating sustainable futures

Call for papers, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, 28-30 August 2019, London


Methods for engaging communities on creating sustainable futures


It is increasingly recognised that addressing complex sustainability challenges requires collaboration with a diverse range of social actors. In the context ofgrowing emphasis on research impact and social engagement (Morris et al., 2017), social sciences and the humanities are paying increasing attention to community-based research and practical applications thereof. Simultaneously, academics are facing mounting pressures associated with neoliberalisation ofeducation and research institutions.


Geographers, other social scientists and humanities based researchers are therefore increasingly concerned with activist and engaged scholarship (Torres, 2018; Thorpe, 2012; Manzini, 2015). Subsequently, they provide a geography of hope that has the potential to bring about positive change through citizen engagement and in response to continually dominant neoliberal economic and political paradigms.


Innovative methods and approaches to engage citizens on themes ofsustainability transitions have proliferated in recent years. Examples include speculative design (Hunt, 2011; Broms, Wangel and Andersson, 2017), living labs (Jaskiewicz, Keyson and Doolaard, 2016) and envisioning futures (Davies, Doyle and Pape, 2012). These are contributing to cross-cutting, human-geographical debates regarding civic engagement and critical consideration of practice in relation to  ethics, politics and knowledge production (Jazeel and Farlane, 2010, Askins, 2018). Here, efforts to move beyond traditional extractive modes of knowledge production are drivingmethods that enable research for as well as with and by citizens andcommunities (Smith, 2011; 2016).


The session seeks to explore experiences and methods of community engagement in research addressing complex sustainability challenges. It is open to submissions from a wide variety of thematic and geographic contexts as well as disciplinary backgrounds. We invite practitioners, researchers and activists to share experiences and critical perspectives on working with citizens and communities on sustainability challenges.


Submissions may explore but are not limited to the following themes:

●           Participatory and co-design methods

●           Methods for envisioning futures

●           Storytelling

●           Living labs

●           Design activism

●           Artivism

●           Participatory action

●           Transition towns

●           Asset based approaches

●           Interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral work

●           Issues of power and positionality

●           Social innovation methods

●           Design anthropology



Instructions for Authors:

Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent by email to the session convenors Dr Anne Schiffer ( and Dr Mary Greene ( by Tuesday 12 February 2019.

Call for papers: ‘Beyond the Ivory Tower’ at the 7th EUGEO Congress on the Geography of Europe

eu geo 2019


The EUGEO Conference will take place from May 15 – 18 2019 at the National University of Ireland, Galway with the theme ‘Re-imagining Europe’s Future Society and Landscapes. This is a call for papers that focuses on socially engaged sustainability research. You can find more information about the conference here.

Beyond the Ivory Tower:  Bringing researchers, activists and civil society together in addressing complex sustainability challenges

Session Conveners: Dr Mary Greene, NUI Galway; Paul O’Donnell, An Mheitheal Rothar

Session Format: Interactive, participatory workshop


Addressing complex sustainability challenges necessitates input from a diverse range of social actors, including researchers, governance and community development stakeholders. In the context of increasing emphasis on socially engaged research (Morris et al., 2017), geographers and other social scientists are paying more attention to community-engaged research and the impact of their work in applied contexts. This is framed by a broader context in which research bodies and funders are placing more significance to participation, co-production and social impact during the research process, yet at the same time academics are facing increasing pressures associated with neoliberalisation of education and research institutions. Geographers have been leading in driving forward activist -research and challenging traditional binaries between expert and lay positions in knowledge production and governance approaches.  A broad range of cross-cutting, human-geographical debates are considering critically socially engaged and activist research practice (Torres, 2018) and broader questions of responsibility associated with ethics, politics and application in the knowledge production process (Jazeel and Farlane, 2010, Askins, 2018). Challenging traditional knowledge-production processes, to advance research with, by and for, not on, communities is central to collaborative and participatory research approaches. These intersecting considerations and developments have led to increasing partnerships, interactions and bidirectional knowledge exchanges between geographers, activists, community development practitioners and other governance actors in the context of theorising, researching and addressing complex socio-environmental and sustainability challenges.


The aim of this participatory workshop is to provide a collaborative space in which researchers, activists , local development practitioners and governance actors can discuss and debate opportunities and challenges for collaboration in knowledge production and governance processes for sustainable development. The emphasis is placed on sharing knowledge, experiences and insights to build partnerships around engaged research and sustainable development governance initiatives.


The workshop will take an interactive format, commencing with Pecha Kucha style contributions forms geographers, activists and community development practitioners engaged in work addressing societal sustainability challenges. This will be followed by a breakout world-cafe style group discussions and feedback session. Finally, the workshop will close with a panel discussion where invited speakers reflect on learning from the workshop. The workshop will be recorded by a graphic scribe, providing a visible and tangible capturing of the conversations which will be used for social media promotions throughout the event and to provide directions for future events.


The workshop will be convened and co-facilitated by Dr. Mary Greene, a sustainability researcher and human geographer based at NUI Galway, and Paul O’ Donnell, a qualified community worker focused on Sustainable Enterprise models for development.


We invite contributions for short Kecha Pucha style papers (5 to 7 mins) from geographers, activists and community development practitioners, that illustrate experiences, reflections and insights into the challenges and opportunities of collaborative, participatory and engaged partnerships between researchers, activists and governance actors working to achieve sustainable development.


Please send your abstracts (maximum 250 words) to Mary Greene ( and Paul O’ Donnell ( and by February 1st 2019.


ASKINS, K. 2018. Feminist geographies and participatory action research: co-producing narratives with people and place. Gender, Place & Culture, 1-18.

JAZEEL, T. & MCFARLANE, C. 2010. The limits of responsibility: a postcolonial politics of academic knowledge production. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35, 109-124.

MORRIS, K., BOWMAN, S. & ADSHEAD, M. 2017. Engaged Research: Society and Higher Education Addressing Grand Societal Challenges Together. Campus Engage National Network, Irish Universities Association, Irish Research Coucil.

TORRES, R. M. 2018. Everyday Encounters with Activist Scholarship. The Professional Geographer, 1-6.




Decoding the Disciplines

Teaching is  one of the most crucial levers we have as academics to disseminate our research as well as engage with and enlighten emerging researchers, scholars and citizens. In the context of addressing key social and environmental challenges, the importance of developing innovative teaching approaches that enable and facilitate students to apply their learning to real world issues has never been greater.

Given the importance of pedagogy to my academic career, I am very excited to be participating as NUI Galway’s co-coordinator and pedagogic expert on the ERASMUS PLUS Decoding the Disciplines project. Running from 2016 to 2019 the aim of this project is to progress pedagogical innovations, international and transdisciplinary learning at higher education. The cross-European project seeks to foster interdisciplinary learning and collaboration in developing and sharing pedagogic experiences and innovations in teaching complex social problems at university level. Interdisciplinary learning is occurring between participating partners in Vilnius University (Lithuania)(PI), NUI Galway, College VIVES (Belgium), Roma Tre University (Italy), and Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania). My role on the project focuses on coordinating and leading in the application of the Decoding the Disciplines Methodology to develop a set of innovative teaching tools that will help academics to foster student-centred, field-based and problem-centred pedagogical approaches to teaching critical environmental social science. The Decoding methodology involves applying a number of decoding steps to identify and address bottlenecks or troublesome areas in students’ learning. It involves devising student-centred pedagogical strategies to enable students to overcome conceptual and practical blocks to enhance and deepen students’ pedagogical experience and grasping of material. More information on the Decoding pedagogical methodology can be found here.

In early December this year, the transnational team met at Roma Tre University for an interdisciplinary learning and sharing workshop. During this meeting, participating partners presented on their application of the Decoding methodology to their area of pedagogic expertise. A wide variety of applications were evident across disciplines ranging from Human Geography to Art and Drama and Physics.



Group pic

Decoding the Disciplines Transnational Erasmus+ team meeting at Rome Tre University, December 2018

Over the coming year, the transnational team will continue to work together to continue to share their pedagogical learning and innovations. This will culminate in a report that will collate case studies and experiences of implementing Decoding in diverse disciplines. This will be published publicly to facilitate learning and sharing across disciplines. A final conference will be held in Belgium in June and some key peer reviewed publications will be produced in collaboration.