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”

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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Roundtable conference in Autun, France – The urban nexus: infrastructures, politics and spatialities

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Dawn and Autun

A roundtable conference in the French town of Autun, organised by Olivier Coutard and Jochen Monstadt, was a great opportunity to push new thinking on urban infrastructures in relation to the nexus in cities. I delivered a paper, co-authored with Elizabeth Shove, developed from work in the DEMAND centre to engage with the urban nexus agenda. The paper sets out and seeks to work through the concept of ‘infrastructuration’ as a means of approaching the recursive relations between infrastructures of resource provision, and the everyday practices that constitute the demand for those resources. The paper should be going forward as part of a special issue submission to Urban Studies

Manchester Domestic Nexus workshop

img_20151123_150355970_hdrThe focus of the second workshop in the Domestic Nexus series was on researching and understanding changes in domestic practices which can reduce demand for resources. It took place on 23rd November, at Manchester Friends Meeting House. 35 participants, including from Aalborg, Tartu and Roskilde as well as from around the UK, chewed over ideas and issues in a packed programme of talks and discussions. A full report is published on the Domestic Nexus blog and can be accessed here.

Critical insights on nexus, home and transitions at the Sheffield workshop

img_9172The first ‘nexus at home’ workshop made for an excellent start to the series, with a morning of provocative talks warming us up well for some lively workshop activity orchestrated by Will Medd. An account of the day is over on the project blog, and can be accessed here.