Healing gardens in a video

In an earlier post I talked about our pilot project Healing Gardens, which had just started: six (former) cancer patients were gardening under supervision of two enthusiastic volunteers, at Parkhuys (a cancer support center) in Almere. The aim of the pilot was to prepare for a larger study in which we hope to find out to what extent gardening is a useful way to increase physical activity, stimulate healthy eating patterns, and function as effective social peer support.

This pilot has now ended. It has been successful in the sense that the patients really enjoyed the activity. Almost all of them have taken up gardening at home – two of them have even rented an allotment together. Also, the pilot gave us valuable insights which we will use when starting the lager study: the gardening containers were considered too small by most participants, for instance, and it is extremely important to have access to knowledgeable garden supervisors. Currently we are analyzing our results – during the course of the pilot gardeners were interviewed three times, filled out different questionnaires and participated in various fitness tests. We expect the results early 2018.

One of our project partners, Jan Eelco Jansma, explains the aims of our study in more detail in a video. You can also visit our website for more information: www.healinggardenswur.nl. Sorry, both are in Dutch. Healing Gardens is a cooperation between Rural Sociology, Human Nutrition, and applied plant sciences, and supported by the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and Flevocampus.

Discussing about Diverse Economies with prof. Katherine Gibson

On June 27th 2017, the Rural Sociology Group (in collaboration with SUSPLACE and in conjuction with the CSPS Conference ‘The Value of Life’) organised a masterclass on Performative Practices for Diverse Economies with prof. Katherine Gibson (Western Sydney University).

The masterclass was well attended, with more than 25 PhDs, researchers and professors joining, from a diversity of geographical and disciplinary backgrounds.

Prof. Gibson opened the meeting with a short presentation of her work on Diverse Economies. Next, we engaged in dynamic ‘fishbowl’ conversations in which 3 participants at a time discussed about a topic or question of joint interest, with prof.  Gibson stepping in and helping to advance the thinking.

We thus actively ‘performed thinking’ on diverse economies!

00:1927:06 Family Economies & Gender (with Maria Borras Escayola, Shivani Kaul and Zulfa Utami Adiputri)
27:1042:42 Participation, Activation & Motivation (with Veerle Boekenstijn, Esther Veen and Inez Dekker)
43:0058:28 Food Economies, prosumers and community gardens (with Sungwoong Jung, Lucie Sovova and Alberto Serra)

Thanks to MSc student Veerle Boekestijn, both prof. Gibson’s keynote and all the fishbowl conversation have been captured on video. We are happy to share them here, with all those that weren’t able to attend the masterclass in person.

 

‘A Global Sense of Place’ – register now!

RSO-55306_2017.In period 2, from October 30 till December 22, we’ll be teaching again RSO-55306 A Global  Sense of Place: Place-based approaches to development.  Registration for the course is open until October 1, 2017.

A Global Sense of Place  is an optional interdisciplinary course on sustainable place-based development for students from various master programmes (e.g. MDR, MES, MID, MLP, MUE, MOA, MFN). The course builds on the BSc course RSO-56806 Sociology and Anthropology of Place-shaping providing an introduction to place-based approaches in development. Knowledge of this introductory course is an advantage, but is not assumed. The course aims to make students acquainted with an interdisciplinary and place-based approach to development.

A relational place-based approach is seen as key to the understanding of interrelated rural and urban transformation processes and ergo sustainable development. In a relational approach places are considered as contingent,but in time and space differentiated outcomes of three interrelated interdependent and unbounded transformative processes: political-economic, ecological and social-cultural. Places are time and space specific constructs, like their boundaries and connections.

figureplace

Shaping resilient places. Source: Roep, D., Wellbrock, W, Horlings, I, 2015. Raising Self-Efficacy and Resilience in the Westerkwartier: The Spin-off from Collaborative Leadership, In: J. McDonagh, B. Nienaber, M. Woods (Eds.), Globalization and Europe’s Rural regions. Ashgate, Surrey, pp.41-58

By means of this course students will achieve profound understanding in key-concepts and methods on place-based sustainable development. Work from key thinkers in sustainable place-making will be critically discussed and examined on the basis of various cases. Guest speakers are invited to reflect on place-based approaches to sustainable development and illustrate these through case studies. Ultimately students will acquire a place-based perspective on development.

Language of instruction and examination is English. Classes are taught on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.30 -12.30.

Key lecturers: Dr. ir. Joost Jongerden (RSO), Dr. Ir. Dirk Roep (RSO) and dr.ir. Martijn Duineveld (GEO).

For more information, please contact Anke de Vrieze, anke.devrieze@wur.nl.

Sustainable Food Futures (NEW BOOK)

Food Governance

bok coverVoltaire once said that “no problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”.

In this book, we put that statement to the test. The problems plaguing food systems are well researched and well known. But how can we support transformation towards sustainable and just food systems?

One thing is clear,  the objective of future food systems can no longer be to simply maximise productivity

We are very pleased to announce that our new book, Sustainable Food Futures: Multidisciplinary Solutionshas just been published. The book includes proposals for solutions to move us toward more sustainable food futures.  The solutions, which are based on concrete cases, are organised around 4 themes:

  1. Recognizing place
  2. Enhancing participation
  3. Challenging markets
  4. Designing sustainable food futures

The solutions proposed in this book can be read as an atlas of possibilities.

There are multiple roads we can, and must, travel to bring us towards our…

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Understanding Sustainable Food System Transitions: Practice, Assessment and Governance

Food Governance

SoRo Sustainable Food Transitions

I am very pleased to share that a new special issue of Sociologia Ruralis edited by Damian Maye and me is now online: Understanding Sustainable Food System Transitions: Practice, Assessment and Governance.

The Special Issue provides theoretical insights and advancements into sustainability transitions through empirically grounded and informed investigations of food system practices. The papers confirm, following Hinrichs (2014, p. 143), that ‘numerous opportunities exist to forge more productive links between work on food systems change and the broad and growing sustainability transitions field’.

The Special Issue brings together 8 articles grouped together around two themes:

  1.  Examining relations between AFN practices and transition;
  2. Opening up measures and assessment practices for sustainability transitions.

Taken as a whole, the Special Issue advances discussions and thinking on alternative food practices and sustainability, opening up the debate not only on how to identify and analyse ‘alternative food practices’ in Europe, and beyond…

View original post 209 more words

International conference New Extractivism, Peasantries and Social Dynamics: call for papers

The BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies will have its fourth conference entitled ‘New Extractivism, Peasantries and Social Dynamics: Critical Perspectives and Debates’, this time in Moscow, 13-16 October 2017.

Deadline for submission of abstracts is June 15. Selected Abstracts will be invited to submit full papers. All papers will be published online as BICAS working paper and will be uploaded on to the conference website and might be selected for a Special Issue of the Journal of Peasant Studies.

 

Masterclass prof. Katherine Gibson – Performative Practices for Diverse Economies

katherine_gibson_2015Join us! For a unique masterclass with prof. Katherine Gibson (Western Sydney University), internationally known for her research on rethinking economies as sites of ethical action.

When: Tuesday June 27, 2017 from 9.30 – 12.30 (CET)
Where: Wageningen University and Research, exact location to be announced

The masterclass is organised in conjunction with the CSPS Conference ‘The Value of Life’.

Description
Over the last decades neoliberal solutions for societal problems have received a wide range of critique, ranging from the off-shoring of wealth and power, ecological degradation, and more in particular, for its underlying morality. Several author have argued that we need to move from a critique and a position of  ‘opposition’  to the development of alternatives by making visible what has been rendered invisible as a result of the neoliberal gaze. This is what Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham refer to as performative practices for diverse economies. On the one hand, they argue, the diverse economy is around us, but we have been de-skilled and therefore are unable to recognize these practices as relevant and important . On the other hand, critical social research can contribute to the furthering of these practices.

In this masterclass we will firstly discuss the idea of performative practices and the need to go beyond critique, and secondly the methodological question of how to make visible what is invisible?

webiceberg

The iceberg image, showing diverse economies practices as submerged under the surface. Retrieved from: http://www.communityeconomies.org/home/key-ideas

 

For who?
This masterclass  is intended for MSc students, PhD candidates, postdocs and staff members, across the social and environmental sciences, who (intend to) engage in research on diverse economic practices and are interested in exploring methodological issues, such as:

  • How to make ‘invisible’ practices visible?
  • How to get beyond a capitalocentric discourse and construct a language of economic diversity?
  • What are techniques for performing diverse economies and how can we as academics contribute to what’s happening ‘on the ground’?

Participants are expected to read and prepare their thoughts on readings in advance of the master class. A reading list will be shared with the participants after registration.

Registration
To register, please send an email to Anke de Vrieze, anke.devrieze@wur.nl or Joost Jongerden, joost.jongerden@wur.nl.

Course participants are to submit a short statement of interest( max. 1 A4)  by June 20. The statement of interest must 1) introduce who you are in terms of disciplinary background and education; 2) motivate why you want to participate in this masterclass; and 3) include questions or issues you would like to discuss during the master class.

The maximum number of participants is 20. The masterclass is free of charge, but registration is obligatory.

Reclaiming New Peasantries’ Rights – a report from the Global Peasant Rights Congress

From March 7-11, 2017 the Global Peasants Rights Congress took place in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. Federico Andreotti, MSc-student Organic Agriculture of Wageningen University, participated in the event. Federico made the video report above and wrote the blog below about the event with support from the ‘Boerengroep‘ (Peasant Foundation).

Reclaiming New Peasantries’ Rights: Social Movements and Foxy Entrepreneurs Continue reading