The Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) organising committee for POLLEN 2022 has made the decision to shift the conference to a virtual format. This decision takes into account the unlikelihood that the international participants will travel under prevailing Covid conditions, and also under advice from the host University of Kwazulu-Natal, in Durban South Africa, in terms of capacity restrictions under Covid protocols for an in-person event on campus.

The Pollen conference will be a fully virtual, interactive event and while we can’t replicate the in-person experience, we can maximise the virtues of technology to ensure we can still gather together in a virtual space to continue to share insights and grow the network. We will be adapting the programme to suit the virtual format and will include a variety of opportunities for interaction – among attendees and between attendees and speakers. The conference will also be extended from a three to a 4-day event, running from the 28 June – 1 July 2022.


POLLEN 2022: The 4th Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network

Political Ecology: North, South, and Beyond

#POLLEN22 | @PolEcoNet

Extended submission deadline for completed organised session proposals

In anticipation of further interest in the amended format, we have extended the call for organised session proposals till 31 January 2022.

The POLLEN 2022 Organising Committee is pleased to announce the second Call for Proposals for Organised Sessions, and an extended deadline for submission.

This Call encourages proposals for Organised Sessions in a variety of both conventional and novel formats, aspiring to bring together perspectives and ways of sharing from across disciplines and geographic traditions, and welcoming contributions from within and outside the academy.

To this end, this Call encourages proposals for Organised Sessions in a variety of both conventional and novel formats, aspiring to bring together perspectives and ways of sharing from across disciplines and geographic traditions, and welcoming contributions from within and outside the academy.

We particularly encourage transdisciplinary engagements and collaborations in political ecology (i.e. involving, for example, researchers in social sciences, natural/environmental sciences, environmental humanities, and development studies; artists; journalists; practitioners; policy professionals; laypersons; activists; environmental justice campaigners; and others).

Call for individual papers

We strongly urge participants to consider proposing or joining an existing organised session (see the current list here). However, we will accept individual abstracts and collate papers into thematic sessions. While we cannot guarantee placement, we will do our best to fit individual submissions into the conference program. Abstracts of 250 words, along with a title and 3 keywords can be submitted by 31 January 2022   to the portal below.



Are you new to POLLEN and not sure about how to organise a session for the upcoming conference? Are you interested in exploring one of the conference themes or cross-cutting questions from different perspectives? Do you have ideas about how to take thinking forward on a classic question or topic? Do you have a research question that you think would make a good session but don’t really know how to proceed? Is there a debate or conversation that you think needs to be taken up in political ecology?

Here are some guidelines that will help de-mystify the process.

Who can organise a POLLEN session?

Organised Sessions are the basic building block of the POLLEN conference, and anyone can propose one. Some sessions are organised by the conference Organising Committee, but most are organised by people who plan to attend the conference and want to explore ideas related to their areas of interest and get to know others with similar interests.

What does POLLEN consider an “Organised Session”?

Sessions can be in a variety of formats, but on a basic level a session involves a group of people who get together to present or debate something (ideas, methods, research findings, art, reflections, etc.) around a specific topic or theme.

How do I decide on a topic for my session?

Each biennial POLLEN conference is organised around an overarching theme. The overarching theme of the 2022 conference is ‘Political Ecology: North, South, and Beyond’ and the detailed Call for Proposals: Organised Sessions document discusses the conference theme in depth.

People who are organising sessions often draw inspiration from the conference theme. Many find interesting ways to link the themes to their own specific areas of research or experience. However, it is perfectly acceptable to use a session to explore a theme or question in, or relevant to, political ecology that is outside of the main conference theme.

I have an idea for a session, but I don’t know where to start!

Start by reading the Call for Proposals: Organised Sessions and think about what format might be best for your topic and aims. While Paper Sessions tend to be the most common session format for conferences, we are trying to open POLLEN up to different ways of exploring and communicating what we do. We therefore encourage other types of session formats including Paper, Panel, Indaba, Exhibition, Poster, and Workshop.

Paper Session A standard conference session with a series of papers/presentations followed by discussion. “Lightning Talks” and “Storytelling” fit within this format.

Panel Session A panel of contributors discussing a particular topic. Sessions with civil society actors fit within this format.

Indaba Session A general discussion of a topic, issue, or proposal. This format includes a facilitator and perhaps an initial introductory presentation, whereafter participants debate and discuss in an open format. This format lends itself to roundtable, open discussion and networking activities.

Exhibition Session A session format to display and discuss/films/performance pieces with a political ecological focus. Sessions with a broader art/culture focus fit within this format and session organisers are encouraged to allocate time for discussion around the pieces.

Poster Session On-demand sessions for posters (and attached audio).

Workshop Session This format (double session/3 hours) is available if an organiser would like to run their own session independently (‘off platform’) in their own virtual or in-person venue. The Organising Committee will vet proposed Workshop Sessions for relevance, and if accepted will advertise them in the conference programme, but authority and responsibility is given to organisers to run Workshop Sessions themselves.

Once you have a format in mind, come up with a title and an abstract/description for the session. The title should be clear and reflect the content of the session you are proposing. Most conference attendees only take a few moments to decide which session to attend, so be sure to make the title clear and enticing and provide keywords.

In writing the abstract or session description, you should be specific about your topic and concise and coherent in explaining what will be covered and from which approach(es). It is not necessary to give a long literature review, and you may or may not choose to include references. At the least, you want to clearly state the problem or central question that your session aims to explore and give a little bit of background on the debates around it or reasons why it is particularly timely or relevant. Be sure to specify whether a particular geographic, temporal, gendered, theoretical approach, etc. is desired.

How can I recruit participants for my Organised Session?

The Organising Committee and the POLLEN Secretariat can assist with posting calls to the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) website and the conference website. If you would like to post a call for papers or presenters or other participants or contributions to your Organised Session, please send your call as a Word doc attached to an email and include the following: proposed Organised Session title, session details, abstract requirements, and instructions for submitting contributions to with “CfP POLLEN 2022’ in the subject line. Please make sure to include all relevant information for potential participants in your session, and allow enough time for responses.

How long can my session be?

Organised Sessions are 90 minutes long. Workshop Sessions are 3 hours long, but note that these are “off platform”.

How many Organised Session proposals can I submit?

In order to ensure quality sessions and a breadth of participation, organisers will be limited to giving 2 Organised Sessions; more than 2 proposals may be submitted, but a maximum of 2 Organised Sessions per organiser will be accepted.