The Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) organising committee for POLLEN 2022 would like to announce that there has been some further change to the conference delivery format.
In brief, we unexpectedly lost our primary South African National Convention Bureau funding after our shift to a virtual conference. This precipitated discussions over two options between the Local Organising Committee, POLLEN Secretariat, and the conference advisory collective of POLLEN members.
- The first option was to continue with the fully virtual format and raise registration fees as well as seek additional funding in order to cover the shortfall.
- The second option was to host the main conference in person, in 2023, and in the meantime host a series of small, focussed pre-conference workshops.
It was agreed that the fully virtual conference experience was unlikely to warrant the fees increase that would be required, and we recognised the significant virtual conference fatigue that many are feeling; therefore the second option was preferred. Accordingly it is with both regret and excitement that we announce that we are adopting a two-pronged approach to the POLLEN conference delivery.The first aspect of delivery is to delay the primary conference until June 2023 and host it in-person. This will allow us to maintain our funding and deliver the best conference experience we can, in Durban. We hope that tenured staff and those willing and able to travel will join us. We know from conference advisory collective feedback that many will welcome this chance to reconvene in person, and another benefit of in person is a more flexible programme that allows session and presentation amendments closer to the time.
However, we are also acutely aware that there will be members who may not be able to travel, or who need to present and get feedback on their work this year. This group may include postgraduate students, members in tenuous employment, or members finalising special issues drawing on conference sessions. Therefore we aim to organise a series of asynchronous pre-conference workshops with willing POLLEN nodes, to accommodate as many of these members as possible.
For those moving to the asynchronous format, delivery will include pre-recorded presentations organised around conference themes, with opportunities for facilitated written discussion, as well as limited live aspects. While we do not intend for individual presenters to participate in both the asynchronous and in-person formats, we would hope that session/double session organisers could reflect on any asynchronous inputs from amongst their participants in order to create some continuity. We also aim to incorporate discussion on hybrid and asynchronous POLLEN conference workshopping in some special sessions at the conference to take stock of lessons learned. We hope that this two-pronged approach for POLLEN 2022/3 will be a workable compromise.
If you are a programme participant and need any further information about POLLEN 2022/3 please feel free to reach out to Adrian Nel here
POLLEN PRE-CONFERENCE FORMAT CHANGE Q&A SESSION
A Q&A session was hosted to address any questions from session organisers and to assist them with understanding their participation options in the two-pronged approach to POLLEN 2022/3.
Please view the recording of the Q&A session and post any follow-up questions you may have in the comments.