Delighted to have been invited to visit colleagues at the Global Sustainability Institute of Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. Over my week-long visit (24th – 28th February 2020), I’ll be catching up with old and new colleagues working on social science sustainability research and hosting a methodology research seminar exploring practice-based approaches to researching past consumption practices. During my stay we’ll also be holding a methodology focused reading group on practice theory, method and intervention.
The methodology-focused seminar, entitled Can People Talk About Their Past Practices?, will focus on exploring the value of biographic-narrative inquiry as a methodological medium for practice-theoretical investigations of everyday consumption practices. While it has been argued that people can talk about routine practice individually (cf. Hitchings, 2011) or in groups (cf. Browne, 2016), as of yet there has been little consideration of whether people can retrospectively talk about their past practices, over timescales of several decades, such as that of the biographic lifecourse. This seminar will begin to address this gap. In doing so, the seminar will discuss the particular challenges and opportunities of using retrospective biographic talk-elicitation methods for researching past action and informing interventions for improved sustainability.
Are you a talented and ambitious post-doc researcher who is interested in advancing understanding of how policy and governing contexts shape the practices of circular food system actors? If so, this post may be for you!
This project entitled ‘Governance and Practices of Circular food Systems’ will seek to advance circular food systems scholarship in theoretical and empirical terms. A comparative perspective will be advanced to explore the governance and practices of circular food systems in a cross-cultural investigation.
Multi-level policy configurations, from local to international, shape experiences and practices of actors involved in local circular food system initiatives. The question is how?
This project takes a multi-level policy approach, combining insight from governance and social practice theories, to understand the relationship between different policy configurations and the social practices of producers and consumers. An international comparative approach will be used to compare urban(ising) contexts around the world. The results from this project will contribute to an understanding of divergent and shared governing contexts, challenges and experiences for accelerating transitions towards circular food systems.
You will be responsible for theorizing and doing research on these themes, with a considerable degree of liberty to develop your own line of research. The successful candidate will become part of a larger social science research program on circular food systems, see the full details here. For more information email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on the project and application process can be found here. The deadline for applications is January 20th 2020.
We ask for a candidate who:
has a PhD in the field of Public Administration, Political Sciences, Environmental Governance, Human Geography, Sociology or another relevant field;
has excellent understanding of public policy and, preferably, social practice theories;
has affinity with food and agricultural policy;
is able to perform tasks independently, has good organization skills, and has affinity with working in inter-disciplinary and multi-cultural consortia;
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.
KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES, include:
• 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.
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.
Call for papers, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, 28-30 August 2019, London
Methods for engagingcommunities 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 methodsof 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
● Living labs
● Design activism
● 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 (email@example.com) and Dr Mary Greene (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Tuesday 12 February 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
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 (email@example.com) and Paul O’ Donnell (firstname.lastname@example.org) and by February 1st 2019.
References 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.