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Addressing global problems using conviviality


Associate Professor Sita Venkateswar

Associate Professor Sita Venkateswar from the School of People, Environment and Planning says the online conference has drawn participants from around the world.


The Political Ecology Research Centre (PERC) at Massey University and the Centre for Space, Place & Society at Netherland’s Wageningen University are running an open access, virtual conference on the topic of “Conviviality” next month.

The conference will address the tangled global predicaments of climate change, agriculture, biodiversity, and conservation with a focus on conviviality – that is, “the cultivation of vitality, regeneration, and restoration in shifting terrains of belonging and exclusion in multispecies communities”. The conference themes include Ideologies, Tools, and Advocacy, Conservation Politics, Cultivation Beyond Productivism, Indigeneity and Decolonisation, and Botanical Relations.

The conference, which runs from October 4-9, is part of the annual series of virtual conferences hosted by PERC in recent years. These events have drawn an international audience, both academic and non-academic. 

Conference co-convenor, Associate Professor Sita Venkateswar from the School of People, Environment and Planning says this year’s conference has drawn participants from across the globe.

“We have three non-academic ‘practitioners’ on offer as keynotes, drawing on their ongoing interventions to engage with the conference theme. Anyone interested in areas such as agriculture, biodiversity, conservation, climate change, climate justice, food sovereignty etc. would be interested in this event.

 “We have made a dedicated effort to be diverse and inclusive in our selection of keynotes, discussants and chairs over the duration of the conference, which also reflects the diversity of those presenting at the conference,” Dr Venkateswar says.

The conference draws together many early-career researchers as well as established scholars, including many from the Global South (the regions of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania), to examine intersections of agriculture and the practices, values, and limits of diverse relations among humans, plants, animals, and soil.

During the conference, panels will be posted to the conference homepage. Discussion between presenters and participants will take place in a comments section on that page. There are no registration or costs associated with the conference, and the presentations and discussions will stay online as a resource.

The event is co-convened by Dr Venkateswar and Serena Stein, a postdoctoral scholar at Wageningen University.

“We have worked hard to make this a hospitable event, where people can gather together at ease, enjoying what’s on offer, participate to the extent they can and leave feeling nourished,” Dr Venkateswar adds.

You can find out more about the conference and participate here.