The Symbiotic Food System of Dar es Salaam – new publication

Just published in a Special Issue of Agriculture: ‘The Symbiotic Food System: An ‘Alternative’ Agri-Food System Already Working at Scale

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Woman Maize Traders in Dar es Salaam, source Marc Wegerif

In this new article Marc Wegerif and Paul Hebinck show how small-scale and interdependent actors produce food and get it to urban eaters at a city feeding scale without large vertically- or horizontally-integrated corporate structures. The research from Dar es Salaam, a city of over 4.5 million people, reveals a ‘symbiotic food system‘ that is an existing alternative to the globally dominant agri-business model. Importantly, it can and does deliver at scale and in a way that better responds to the needs of people in poverty; both food eaters and food producers. Neither is the symbiotic food system static, it is growing in response to the needs of the city, but it does not grow through the popular notion of ‘scaling-up’, rather it grows through a much more equitable process of replication. The article gives particular attention to the functioning of market places and how new actors enter into the food system. These reveal that more important to the system than competition are various forms of collaboration based around symbiosis as a core ordering principle. Moreover, the paper shows that the symbiotic food system connects in many, often unexpected, ways the urban and rural spaces in Tanzania. There is much to learn from such a system which develops without significant support from the state or other agencies.

Also published in this Special Issue: Theorizing Agri-Food Economies by Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, discussing how agri-food economies evolve over time. A central thesis of the paper is that different theoretical representations not only reflect the differences in agro-economies and their developmental tendencies, but are also important drivers that actively shape the trajectories that they describe.

Interdisciplinary Postdoc position – “Food system transformability to ecologically intensive production and sustainable value chains”

Food Governance

We are hiring a Postdoc for a neat project in Chile and Uruguay. Deadline for applications is September 19th

Based in Wageningen with frequent travel.

More information here:

Function
The development of sustainable food systems depends on
  • resilience and adaptability of socio-ecological systems to respond to short term variation in drivers, and
  •  system transformability to reach new equilibria under drivers that change over longer periods of time.

The different food system components, their interactions and feedbacks, and the different time scales on which they operate give rise to complex systems in which interventions may have diverse and unexpected outcomes. Systemic learning and co-innovation have been advocated as key elements for analysis and decision making in complex (food) systems.
The Postdoc will develop and implement a systemic learning approach on ecologically intensive production and value chains.

The main research question will be “How can stakeholders stimulate transformation towards…

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Innovation and Its Enemies: Discussion on future research agendas

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The Opening of the Academic Year is fast approaching. Register now for an opportunity to discuss the future of innovation research with this year’s Keynote Speaker, Professor Calestous Juma (Harvard University) and  Cees Leeuwis,Professor of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (Wageningen University).

Date: Sunday September 4 2014
Time: 16:00-18:00
Location: Impulse (building number 115)

Agenda

16:00 Welcome and Introduction by Dr Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen
16: 10 Presentation by Prof Calestous Juma
16:30 Reflections by Prof Cees Leeuwis
16:40 Discussion moderator  Dr Jessica Duncan
17:10 Closing remarks by Dr Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen
17:15 -18:00 Drinks, snacks and meet and greet

 

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Professor Calestous Juma- Keynote Speaker for Opening of the Academic Year 2016-2017

International conference on the Value of Life, June 2017

This is a first announcement for the June 2017 international conference organised by the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. The full call for papers and organised sessions will be available in September 2016.

The Value of Life: Measurement, Stakes, Implications

International Conference

Wageningen, The Netherlands

28-30 June 2017

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‘Change agents facilitating ecologically intensive production and value chains’

Exciting PhD opportunity with Rural Sociology Group and Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group.

Food Governance

We are looking for two PhD candidates with knowledge and experience working in Chile to contribute to the project ‘Horticultural food systems based on ecologically intensive production and socio-economically sustainable value chains in the transition economies Chile and Uruguay’ (HortEco).  These are  4-year research positions at Wageningen University, with scholarships.

1) PhD position in sociology of innovation and transitions ‘Change agents facilitating ecologically intensive production and value chains’

Transitioning towards ecologically and socio-economically sustainable production and marketing require combined ecological, technological, social and institutional change. Current innovation systems in Latin American countries, including Chile and Uruguay, are oriented towards high external input agriculture, and see innovation as science-driven technological change.

Co-innovation, while successful at a small scale, requires work beyond the farm level. Public and private actors throughout the food system need to fulfil key change agency roles in the transition to ecologically intensive production and value chains providing knowledge and mobilizing…

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Differing ideas about healthy diets

In the last period of this academic year I gave the course Eating, Customs and Health, mandatory for first-year students Health and Society. As part of this course students were to execute a small research, in order to practice their interviewing skills. I asked the students to study the importance of a particular part of a diet (such as meat, dessert, or breakfast) for two groups of people (such as students following different study programs, or students with different nationalities) and to study the health effects of that part of the diet in the eyes of the respondents. They were also asked to compare the two groups.

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PhD course: Gender & Diversity in Sustainable Development

An exciting new PhD course, co-taught by two RSO faculty members: Bettina Bock and Jessica Duncan.

Food Governance

 

Come join us in The Netherlands for this exciting course! Space is limited so apply soon! More information: http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/activity/Gender-Diversity-in-Sustainable-Development.htm 

Gender and Diversity Poster

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Vacancy for a Lecturer and Education Coordinator Sociology and Anthropology of Development

The section Sociology and Anthropology of Development (SADE) – composed of the Sociology of Development and Change (SDC) and Rural Sociology (RSO) Groups – is looking for a highly motivated person to teach (and coordinate) courses, to supervise BSc and MSc and internships and to plan and coordinate educational activities within SADE, with a view to promote high-quality educational processes. In terms of time allocation it will be a 50/50 division between lecturer and education coordinator.

As lecturer you will co-develop and teach courses in the Bachelor and Master programme in International Development Studies. These courses focus on the sociology of agrarian and rural development, food sociology and sociology of development . The lecturer will give lectures to smaller as well as bigger audiences, lead discussion lectures, and tutor group work. The lecturer should be able to teach in both English and Dutch. Furthermore the lecturer will supervise BSc and MSc thesis students and internship students, which may also include students from other programmes than International Development Studies.

The role of coordinator is a diverse one, in between operational and strategic levels. The preferred candidate will be able to quickly switch between working with the secretariat on executing a range of practical tasks and with the education managers and chairs of SADE as well as broader Wageningen University bodies such as the Educational Institute (OWI) and the programme committees to provide input on strategic and policy levels. A sense of the importance of the smooth functioning of educational processes is expected as well as the ability to set up communication activities (information, public relations, marketing) around educational and other SADE activities. More specifically, the role of education coordinator includes the following main tasks: Continue reading

ESRS 2016 Postgraduate Autumn School, October 3-7, Wales: ‘Researching Globalization in a Rural Context’

This year’s ESRS Autumn School will explore the theory and practice of researching globalization in rural context with a programme led by Michael Woods and the research team from the European Research Council GLOBAL-RURAL project at Aberystwyth University. The theme will examine key aspects of globalization as experienced in rural localities in both the global north and the global south, including agri-food globalization, global economic restructuring, international migration, transnational tourism, cultural globalization and responses to global environmental change, as well as how rural communities and individuals respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by these processes. The Autumn School is aimed at PhD students working on relevant issues in social science disciplines at universities and research institutes in Europe.

See for more information: ESRS Autumn School

PhD course Gender & Diversity in Sustainable Development

September 19 – October 14, 2016

 Lecturers:
Chizu Sato (SCH)
Bettina Bock (RSO)
Margreet van der Burg (SSG)
Jessica Duncan (RSO)
Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk (RHI)
Janneke Pieters (DEC)
Elisabet Rasch (SDC)

 

Inequality lies at the center of current debates about sustainable development, from which a number of policy issues, including Sustainable Development Goals, emanate. Yet, how social (in)equality contributes to creating sustainable development often remains invisible in research. This course enables participants to recognize linkages between gender and diversity and sustainable development in a contemporary globalising world.

The topics covered in this course are:

  • Introduction: key concepts in gender studies
  • Trends form a historical perspective
  • Economics: macro and micro perspectives
  • Work and care
  • Population and migration
  • Food security and governance
  • Environment and natural resource management
  • Global politics

The last topic will be covered in a public lecture by Prof. dr. Melissa Leach (the Director of the International Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK) who will connect global policy and local practice in support of sustainable development from a gender and diversity perspective.

Topics will be surveyed from perspectives that attend to the intersecting diverse dimensions of inequality, such as gender, race, ethnicity, social class, and nation, to mention just a few. Intersectional perspectives will be put in context in time and place to explain changing constructions, perceptions and interpretations of inequality. This course examines sustainability historically, as well as both in the global South and the global North, illuminating differences across time and geographical locations and their dynamic interactions.

Course outline  Registration