Conference: Environmental Labour Studies
Looking back – looking forward: labour and nature through the lens of life histories and prospective sustainability scenarios
17th – 20th of September 2015, Stockholm, Sweden
Organisers: Nora Räthzel, Department of Sociology, Umeå University
David Uzzell, School of Psychology, University of Surrey
This conference aims to bring together scholars, trade unionists, and environmentalists, who are forging the link between climate justice and workers’ rights. It is meant to provide not only a learning space but a space for exploration as well. The conference has three parts set up to enable different forms of dialogue.
Part I: Looking back:
By ‘looking back’ at the life-trajectories of environmentally active individuals in academia, labour movements, and environmental movements the relationship between individual/collective practices and their historical, organisational and spatial embeddedness will be discussed. This part will consist of four sessions in which two people with different backgrounds will interview each other about their life-histories The dialogue will develop along the following questions: How did they become interested in environmental issues? How were their actions received in their respective communities? What were the main obstacles and what were the enabling developments? How do they see the result of their work so far?
Part II: Paper presentations.
This part is open for paper submissions from scholars, unionists, or environmentalists. We expect papers, which reflect on the relationships between labour and the environment, e.g. environmental transformations of production, alliances between labour and environmental movements, labour campaigns against climate change, environmental representatives at plant level and other issues. Depending on the number of papers received and accepted, there will be parallel workshops around specific themes.
Part III: Looking forward:
The third part of the conference will be devoted to the development of future scenarios. Small groups will be organised comprising scholars, trade unionists and environmentalists, respectively to engage in the method ‘IMAGINE’. This is an innovative method of deliberation devised by two of the participants, Prof Stephen Morse, and Prof Simon Bell. Imagine requires no lecturing or overt ‘teaching’; rather it is a process model which makes use of the natural flows of facilitated group-work process. In a vigorous but engaging thought experiment members of small groups gradually build up a shared understanding of a problem and feed this back to the wider group. In a form of fractal learning, the larger group then adopts the main themes agreed by the smaller groups and with this, a rigorous understanding of the three realities (where we are, where we want to be and how we want to get there) develops. This understanding can subsequently be used as a blueprint for agenda setting and the planning of strategies and research.
Confirmed Participants so far are:
Simon Bell: Professor of Innovation and Methodology, Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, Department of Engineering and Innovation, Open University.
Jacklyn Cock: Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Witwatersrand, (SWOP)
Alana Dave: Education Officer, International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)
Stephen Morse: Chair in System Analysis for Sustainability, Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey.
Joaquín Nieto: Director of the Spanish International Labour Office (ILO) branch. Responsible for Environmental policies at the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) between 1992 and 2007
Dimitris Stevis: Professor of Political Science, Colorado State University.
David Uzzell: Professor of Environmental Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Surrey
Abstracts for papers (not longer than half an A4 page) need to be submitted until May, 30, 2015. Presenters will be informed about acceptance of their paper until June, 30, 2015
Registration: 50 Euros for employed participants, 20 Euros for PhD students, unemployed/retired, etc.
Registration starts now and ends July 15, 2015
Since the conference will take place at a conference venue with limited facilities, participation is limited and (apart from paper presenters) will be decided according to the first come, first served principle.
Abstracts, registrations, enquiries:
Nora Räthzel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference: Environmental Labour Studies