Conceptualising and examining connections beyond practices – plenary at BSA workshop

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Practice Theory: Connections and Methodologies was a great mix of talks and activities, reaching from philosophical inquiry – for example on the basis for claims of relationality and contesting ideas of where the action of the social is sited – to collaborative empirical project design. The event was very timely, as empirical work with practice theory increasingly includes recognition of its potential to engage larger social phenomena and processes, by attending to the connections between practices across locales and times. Continue reading “Conceptualising and examining connections beyond practices – plenary at BSA workshop”

Practices and complex system change – talk at EC Joint Research Centre

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The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre is a daunting place to go to deliver a paper. The entrance to the enormous site resembles a border. A row of control cabins, each with an armed guard outside, check every vehicle. Anyone without the necessary permissions goes to a desk to handover ID in return for being checked as an expected visitor. On the way out another armed guard with a german shepherd dog scans your new visitor badge and checks it against your ID again.

My first visit there today was to kick off the two days of panel presentations and discussion at a JRC Exploratory Workshop, Energy Sustainability in the Transition to Renewables: Framings from Social Practices and Complex Systems Theories. The workshop aimed to bring together these two contemporary approaches to see how they could help policy – including through identifying further research needs – to confront the broader societal challenges of moving towards low carbon energy through deployment of renewables.

Continue reading “Practices and complex system change – talk at EC Joint Research Centre”

Power, policy and relationality – panel at ECPR Oslo

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I was part of a genuinely complementary and productive conference panel – all too rare an experience – at the 2018 conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) in Oslo. My pretty abstract paper, from my chapter Placing Power in Practice Theory was in a session with Roy Heidelberg, who talked on accountability and technology; Simon West with an ethnographically grounded account of the doing of adaptive natural resource management; and Guy Riveros on the emergence of the ‘school leader’ as part of the transformation of education policy and its enactment.

 

Energy in the city summer school

 

CaptureTalking once again on understanding the relations between infrastructural change, changes to daily life, and their consequences for energy demand, this time as one of the contributors to the ‘Energy in the City’ Summer School at Leeds University. Working through the argument of a journal article recently back from review, and getting participants’ input into it, really helped push along my thinking on ‘infrastructuration’.  A full report of the event is here. Continue reading “Energy in the city summer school”

Commission on travel demand in Leeds

Engaging discussion on understanding travel demand and the possibilities for anticipating it’s futures in Leeds today. Flattered to be one of a great, diverse selection of speakers at this inaugural meeting of the Commission, at the Institute of Transport Studies. The mix of people, from policy and third sector as well as from across academic disciplines and approaches made for varied positives and productive differences. Discussion showed the commissioners have their work cutout, but also plenty of ideas and evidence to work with.

The evidence-policy gap | seminar contribution | London

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Change Points

The challenges of getting evidence and ideas from research into policy was the focus of a workshop at the Friends Meeting House in London today. Matt Watson presented on some of the basis of the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project as a contribution to a rich afternoon’s discussion, which went well beyond the usual prescriptions of how to engage policy audiences. The Evidence-Policy Gap was the final event in a series of 9 funded by the ESRC on Behaviour Change, and organised by Fiona Spotswood from the University of West England.

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Can practice theory help to effect social change?

new-pub-imageI had a great time at the New Practices for New Publics workshop in Sheffield today. I shared the speaker list with David Evans and with Margit Keller, and was first in neat run of three talks taking different approaches to reflecting on practice theory and its capacity to inform processes of governing to effect positive social change. The three talks were followed by a lively discussion, with the three of us fielding some testing and at time trenchant questioning in productive ways. The workshop was the fourth in an ESRC funded series of events designed to bring together cutting edge thinking in social science with the experiences of civil society organisations, especially those in the community and voluntary sector.

There’s a video of my presentation here and my slides are available here