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…

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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

Wageningen University Teacher of the Year Nominee #1: Jessica Duncan

The first contender for the annual award of the University Fund Wageningen (UFW) is, according to the jury, a lecturer who is to be praised for her enthusiasm and audacity. Someone who is not afraid to tackle her lectures in a different way and is always open to feedback on her methods.

At the Rural Sociology Group we are very proud that Jessica Duncan is one of the six nominees for the Teacher of the Year award. The official ceremony in which the Teacher of the Year Award 2017 will be handed out is on April 6, 2017.

Education for Urban Agriculture & Urban Green Entrepreneurship

On the 30th of March there will be a Green Train event in Almere, hosted by RUAF:

Urban Green Train Multiplier Event
Date: Thursday 30 March 2017 14.00 – 17.30
Location: Aeres, Almere, Stadhuisstraat 18 Almere

Urban Agriculture is increasingly seen as a promising area for new business development. However, starting an Urban Farm requires a variety of knowledge and skills. Knowing how to cultivate plants or rear animals does not guarantee success; you also need to be able to analyse markets and social networks, plan and respond strategically to new trends, as well as to manage and monitor results once your businesses is up and running. It is also crucial to be innovative, sustainable and make optimal use of multifunctional resources. The Urban Green Train project, that was realised in the last years with a team from 4 European countries, encourages and supports pioneering business initiatives in Urban Agriculture by strengthening knowledge exchange, cooperation and innovation between Higher Education Institutions, Small & Medium Enterprises, NGOs and policy makers. In this multiplier event, we share some of our findings and results, including an innovative Training course on Urban Agriculture, innovation and entrepreneurship.

For more information about this event, click here.

Opportunity for Wageningen students: Study at Kyoto University

wp_20160526_12_28_46_proThe Rural Sociology Group and the Graduate School of Economics at Kyoto University have a close collaboration for several years. As a result, Wageningen University and Kyoto University have signed a student exchange agreement, and now in the process of strengthening our collaborative partnership through the Platform for Global Sustainability & Transcultural Studies (see http://agst.jgp.kyoto-u.ac.jp/). For students who are interested in studying at Kyoto University in the academic year 2017/2018 (from April 2017 to March wp_20160527_15_06_26_pro2018) for a period of approximately 4 months, or who are interested in doing their internship or master thesis research at Kyoto University, we have secured funding. If you are interested in studying in Kyoto, the centre of Japanese culture and scholarship please contact Joost Jongerden at the Rural Sociology Group.  

PhD course on place

Coming April and May we organize a PhD course called “the politics of place”. With James Ferguson, Hannah Wittman and Scott Prudham we will  explore and discuss a range of issues related to place and politics, such as place and new understandings of citizenship, social movements, capital & ecology and redistribution. The course will be a mixture of lectures, discussion and tutorials. For more info see:

https://www.wur.nl/en/activity/The-politics-of-Place-Spatial-thinking-in-the-social-sciences.htm