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.

 

What if the Trucks Stop Coming? – PhD thesis by Cheron Constance

On Wednesday 21 June 2017 at 13.30 hrs Cheron Constance will defend her PhD thesis entitled ‘What if the trucks stop coming? Exploring the framing of local food by cooperative food retailers in New Mexico’ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The ceremony will be live streamed by WURTV but can be viewed later as well.

The full thesis will be available online after the defence ceremony.

 

Summary of the thesis

Proponents of local food cite a variety of economic and environmental advantages of short food supply chains. Consumer interest in local food has also offered a point of differentiation for many players in the food industry, including restaurants and grocery stores. Engaging with local food has significant challenges, however, and many production and distribution systems engender and support more diffuse food provisioning, not less. Though food can travel thousands of miles from its point of origin to consumption, many cooperative (co-op) grocery stores have long sold locally-produced food and have deep ties to their supplier communities. This thesis offers case studies of two co-ops in the natural and organic food sector and examines how they think about and work with local food. The theories of embeddedness (after Polanyi) and diverse economies (from Gibson-Graham) undergird the analyses of these co-ops’ involvement with local food and how the cooperative business model relates to it.

Take back the economy 2: how do we value work?

Take back the economy

In my last blog I talked about Robby and Elena: two people both aged 24 but each having a completely different working life. Echoing the authors of “taking back the economy”, I wondered which bright ideas could help our Robby’s to earn a decent living and our Elena’s to achieve a better work-life balance. Based on your reactions and my thinking, I would like to argue there is a need for a changing value system in our economy. This could be done in many ways. And luckily there are already real life examples to proof this is an ongoing development. In this blog I will show a few of them.

Let’s start with Robby. He has a range of experiences and qualities. He is motivated to work for all jobs that he endorses. Yet he usually ends up with work which is not or very badly paid. His…

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Take Back the Economy – 1. Reframing the economy, reframing ourselves

Inspired by the presentation of Katharine Gibson on Wednesday September 4 and her latest book book ‘Take Back the Economy: an ethical guide for transforming our communities’ (http://takebackeconomy.net/) Michelle Steggerda started her weblog on which she will post her reading of the book and her effort to take back the economy.

Take back the economy

In Dutch we have the famous proverb: keep business and private life separately. But what if you plea for community building on every academic congress, but don’t even know your own neighbours? Or the other way around, what if you are very proud of the newly installed solar panels on your roof, while you work 40 hours a week for a company that invests in polluting energy? Is there not something strange here? In the book take back the economy they say: “Reframing the economy means taking notice of all things we do to ensure the material functioning and well-being of our households, communities and nations.” That’s a nice quote where not a lot of people would disagree with. But how can we do this if the companies we work for are mainly concerned with making a profit? How can we change our economy if most influential people still mainly…

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