NEWS: LOC Announces change in POLLEN Conference Dates and Format

We, as the POLLEN 2022 Local Organising Committee (LOC) have been pleased to accept session and paper proposals, and inform the approximately 460 participants of their prospective participation in the event. However, we have also had to inform them of an enforced format change for the conference, and would like to take this opportunity to inform the broader network of the same. In short, a loss of funding has precipitated the shift to a dual delivery format and POLLEN 2022 will now be POLLEN 2022/3.

The first aspect of the delivery change is to delay the primary conference until the same time in 2023. This will allow us to maintain our funding and deliver the best conference experience we can, in-person and in Durban, South Africa.

We hope that tenured staff and those willing and able to travel will join us. We know from advisory collective feedback that many will welcome this change as a chance to reconvene in person, and will allow session and presentation amendments closer to the time. However, we are also acutely aware that there will be attendees who may not be able to travel, or need to present and get feedback on their work this year. We are currently soliciting information from session organisers as to the extent of this group, which may include postgraduate students, members in tenuous employment, or members finalising special issues drawing on conference sessions. We have undertaken to co-organise a series of asynchronous pre-conference workshops with willing POLLEN nodes, to accommodate as many of these individuals and sessions as we are able.

 Asynchronous delivery will include pre-recorded presentations organised around conference themes, with opportunities for facilitated written discussion, as well as limited live discussion aspects, as appropriate. The content from these sessions will be uploaded to the conference website, and allow engagement by conference participants and the broader POLLEN network and beyond.

We hope that this two-pronged approach for POLLEN2022/3 will be workable compromise to an unforeseen challenge. We also hope the asynchronous conferencing will provide engagement opportunities with conference content for the broader network, as well a learning opportunity for the expanding network in anticipation of similar asynchronous, or distributed, events in the future.

 Adrian Nel, Shauna Mottiar, and the POLLEN 2022/3 Local Organising Committee

About

POLLEN (Political Ecology Network) is an umbrella organization of political ecology researchers, groups, projects, networks and ‘nodes’ across the globe. POLLEN was founded in 2015 by a group of European ‘nodes’ and quickly became a global network.

As the name suggests, POLLEN seeks to provide a platform for the ‘cross-fertilization’ of ideas, where the world’s many rich, diverse traditions can come together, discuss, and debate the latest developments in the field. Historically, the term ‘political ecology’ has not been confined only to an analytical approach and research agenda, but also to the theories and narratives that mobilize social and political movements with an ecological agenda. We, therefore, aim to function as a vehicle to promote, encourage and facilitate political ecological research with other academic fields and disciplines, as well as civil society.

Hence, while POLLEN seeks to foster a certain ‘strength in numbers’ for political ecology researchers, it also highlights our common ‘strength in diversity’, acknowledging that it is the interaction between many and varied traditions of theorization on social-environmental relations that continues to make this field so vibrant. The members of POLLEN are both individuals and ‘nodes’. These nodes are really what POLLEN is all about: autonomous groups of political ecologists working in and on different traditions. It is established mainly to coordinate between, but also to support, the various nodes in ensuring that political ecology messages, lessons and insights are shared, broadcasted and heard more widely.

OUR OBJECTIVES:

  • To be the umbrella organisation for political ecology research and conversations;
  • To enable and facilitate the cross-fertilization of information about political ecology research, literature, and relevant funding opportunities among the many nodes;
  • To organise and support activities that encourage and strengthen political ecology work, both within and outside academia;
  • To find ways to engage with activist, civil society and political groups and work to bring these groups into discussion with the network.