Geographies of Co-Production… or what I did at the Royal Geographic Society Conference 2014!


I am just recovering from the 2014 Royal Geographic Society and International British Geographers annual conference held in Kensington, London last week. This year’s conference was themed around co-production of knowledge – whose knowledge counts, who should be identifying research directions, how can researchers support, adapt and respond to this emerging paradigm.

To say the conference was diverse would be an understatement (the wordcloud highlights the session titles variety). RGS Wordle

With over 400 sessions across three days trying to pick a session to go to was similar to my experience of the Edinburgh Fringe – do you go for a big ticket performer or take a punt on an emerging newcomer! I managed to get a mix of both going to talks on:

  • the use of sound in geography (presenting Radek Rudniki’s work on Sonification and upcoming conference on the topic)
  • older people and urbanisation (to get up to speed on thinking for the EPSRC Co-Motion project) where I learnt about the huge upcoming social care issues for China
  • co-producing knowledge on animal and plant health (which connected to SEI OPAL and Cultural Values of Tree’s projects)
  • issues of mobility and reducing carbon emissions
  • how to use visualisations to communicate research findings and engage participants from the Economic Geographers (which links to the AHRC ICE-SaV findings)
  • a ‘lucky-dip’ session on ‘Ad-hoc’ geography where Daryl Martin from the University of York Sociology department presented work on the architecture of Cedric Price
  • co-production of environmental knowledge (where I presented the AHRC Environmental-Values findings and made some new connections on scenarios with Kerry Waylen from the James Hutton Institute and caught up with Louise Bracken from Durham University)
  • interactions between people and flooding in the hydro-social landscapes session (where I presented mine and John Forrester’s participatory GIS work from the Managing Borderlands project)

It was a great few days and I would recommend the conference to anyone who wants to get up to speed on current and emerging ideas in geography – or just hear some really interesting and diverse viewpoints on our understanding of the changing world. The next conference is being organised by Sarah Whatmore and will be held in Exeter 2015 – if you can make it I would recommend the experience.


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