I seem to do a lot of talks and in doing so sometimes this involves reshaping and thinking further about talks I have given in the past. On Monday I presented at the Annual Symposium held by the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield. There were many papers that I felt sat well next to each other. I particularly could see the synergies between my presentation and that of John Miller, who is in the English Department, who talked about natural capital and the humanities. Value was a central part of his discussion and I thought it well with my text. This text is a revised version of what I presented earlier this year at West Town Farm as part of the IBG meetings.
I recently attended a conference were I was on a panel with several other speakers. We were asked to consider two questions. The first, addressed to all of us was: Continue reading
I recently participated in symposium that was considering waste in relation to food. It was put on as a pre-conference event to the 2015 RGS/IBG meetings held in Exeter. The symposium, which took place on a working farm, was both fascinating and very engaging. You can find out more about the event and its participants on the web site developed by the organisers here. I encourage you to have a look at the link as you will learn about West Town Farm and the activities of the day. My role at the symposium was to give a short talk around the issue of food waste and neoliberalism. I chose to use an excellent food re-use project–The Real Junk Food Project–as a mechanism for focusing my questions. I am offering the text of my provocation in what follows. Continue reading
This autumn will be the inaugural year for the Food Security and Food Justice MA that I have been developing over the last 18 months. The University of Sheffield has singled it out as being innovative and is using it as an example of good practice in its guidance for those wishing to start up an masters course. To that end, there is a video of me talking about the course. What got cut from the video was the discussion about the field course module that is a mandatory part of the course. It is to Hong Kong and promises to be very exciting.
On Friday, 8 May 2015 I awoke to discover that not only were we not looking forward to a new coalition government in the UK, but that the overall collapse of the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party has given the Conservative government a mandate in UK politics. While I, at an individual level, am likely to see some benefits from the strong neoliberalism that underpins this government’s ideology, I am concerned by the implications of this for the country more generally and particularly the nation’s poor. Indeed, I see a further deepening of the division between those who have and those who have not. As I will elaborate, this will mean the continued exponential growth in the numbers of people requiring emergency food assistance and increased numbers of children and elderly with inadequate food supply, which will also translate into higher rates of obesity, diet rated illness and malnutrition. These trends as they are situated within the current climate of neoliberal austerity will also mean that we, if we are to continue as a nation with social values (as opposed to only economic values) must find ways of filling the gap, not just for families but also for our communities. Continue reading
The University of Sheffield recently engaged a new form of teaching for level 1 students. Known broadly as Achieve More, all first year students (nearly 2000) in the Faculty of Social Science were given a programme of talks on key issues and undertake some investigative challenges that would be completed in within the week. There are 8 groups of students (with 7 in each group), who are working on projects with me concerning the food landscape of Sheffield. I also gave one of the talks. The video of it is available here.
Food Security and Food Justice Achieve More talk–Megan Blake