My colleagues and I are currently working on a project called SINFO. The overall purpose of the project is to gain a better understanding of social innovation in food provision and think about how we could enable practical innovations towards sustainable food production and consumption in Latvia. One of the first things we did, whilst still working on the conceptual framework, was to create a database of sorts of all the initiatives in Latvia that are related to food in general and more sustainable approaches to consumption and distribution in particular. One of the initiatives we looked at is the internet platform svaigi.lv.
Last week Anda and I attended the third seminar dedicated to the cultural strategy of Tukums. As far as I understand, this will likely be the last seminar for a good while, unless additional input from stakeholders is necessary to develop the document. The next event in this series will probably be the presentation of the first draft of the cultural strategy, and it will take place sometime in June 2020.
Last week my colleague Miķelis and I went to Tukums to participate in a seminar where the strategic framework for the cultural strategy of Tukums municipality was presented. Well, I say “participate”, but in reality we were there as observers.
Frustration, territorial reforms and a valiant effort to work on a strategy for an entire municipality on a cold November morning in Tukums.
DESIRA (Digitisation: Economic and Social Impacts on Rural Areas) is a Horizon 2020 Project coordinated by the University of Pisa. It aims to improve the capacity of society and political bodies to respond to the challenges that digitisation generates in rural areas, agriculture and forestry, and to provide a comprehensive assessment of both opportunities and threats.
A quick update on the challenges of building a protype for the AgriLink WP3 living lab in Latvia.
The BSC team has started autumn with a variety of research activities and intense work on several research projects.
European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) Autumn School to be held in Riga, Latvia. The objective of the Autumn School “Social Innovation in and for Sustainable Food Provision” is to advance scientific knowledge of PhD students in rural sociology and related disciplines (e.g. agriculture and food studies, nutrition and public health) about the role social innovation plays in contemporary food provision. Abstracts have to be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org by the 20th of September.
The BSC team has spent the summer months actively working on several research projects, but researchers have also found time to relax and participate in the Latvian Song and Dance Festival and an informal work event in Vilksala.
The 3rd international workshop on System Innovation towards Sustainable Agriculture (SISA-3) is to be held in Riga on 6-8 November 2018 co-organised by the Baltic Studies Centre. The deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended to 15 July.
The BSC team has been busy since the last entry. We have continued working on our research projects, but there are also a number of activities that we would like to highlight.
It’s been six months since the TRUST project started. A lot has been done since then. Just in April, we were asked to talk about our findings in Hague Erasmus University, Wageningen University and Research and in "Food Urbanism" conference held in Tartu. #postdoclatvia #wildproducts
The BSC team has succesfully conducted several interviews, and BSC researchers have given presentations on the institute's activities.
I recently jotted down a few thoughts on the responsibilities of being a living lab monitor as part of the Agrilink project. I somehow managed to combine my interest in Linux and science studies with my work on the Latvian living lab.
I have been given the role of monitor as part of AgriLink living lab project, and I have recently started a blog to document the process of understanding living labs and creating one in Latvia. I have committed to writing at least one blog post per week. They will generally be on the short side (300-400 words), but I intend to post more lengthy reflections after stimulating project meetings or any other interesting events.
You can find my blog at: http://livinglablv.blogspot.com/
The post-doctoral study "Innovations in Non-timber Forest Products: Towards Rural Development and Sustainability (TRUSt)” has been running for three months now.
BSC researcher Mikelis Grivins starts working on the post-doctoral study "Innovations in Non-timber Forest Products: Towards Rural Development and Sustainability".
The first national newsletter on the progress and initial results of the intenational SALSA project has been issued by BSC.
BSC researcher Talis Tisenkopfs in an interview about key cultural connections between urban and rural territories and populations to be explored in the EU H2020 project ROBUST.
BSC researchers blog about H2020 project PLAID findings on success factors in agricultural demonstration.
BSC researchers feature in Euronews science program Futuris on the Future of Food Technology.
We are announcing keynote speakers that will give lectures in conference “Alternative food supply networks in Central and Eastern Europe: Towards new grounds for interpretation and collaboration”.
The Baltic Studies Centre, in cooperation with the Latvian Academy of Culture, organises the scientific and practical conference “Alternative food supply networks in Central and Eastern Europe: Towards new grounds for interpretation and collaboration”.
Baltic Studies Centre announces the preliminary call for selection of post-doctoral research proposals within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund programme “Growth and Employment” 1.1.1. specific support objective “To increase the research and innovative capacity of scientific institutions of Latvia and the ability to attract external financing, investing in human resources and infrastructure” activity 22.214.171.124. “Post-doctoral research aid”.
Researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders are invited to participate in a moderated e-mail conference hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) from 10 to 23 October 2016 entitled "Exploring the contribution of small farms to achieving food security and improved nutrition".
What are food and nutrition future scenarios for Europe and which transition pathways lead to improved food and nutrition security of the population? How these pathways are related to improvements in school meals provision, food assistance to vulnerable groups, greater involvement of small farmers in provision of healthy products, introduction of sustainability standards in food production and other practical solutions? These were among the issues that were tackled during the TRANSMANGO project meeting held in Riga on 8-9 September 2016, bringing together 38 researchers from Latvia and abroad.
What is needed for achieving notable progress in generating scientific publications and thesis chapters ahead? Commitment and painstaking writing! However, the text production could be made a lot smoother and more creative by collective support!
A sociologist reflects on her experiences of researchers-practitioner collaboration and asks how social scientists can provide genuine value.
According to the overview provided by the National Contact point of the European research and innovation programme „Horizon 2020”, the Baltic Studies Centre (BSC) is the most successful research institute in the field of social sciences and humanities in Latvia in the attraction of EU project funding, and it comes 11th among all the 77 research institutes in the country.
On 1 March 2016, a new 3-year transnational project „Advancement of non-technological innovation performance and innovation capacity in fruit growing and processing sector in selected Baltic Sea Region countries” (InnoFruit) has been launched.
On 18 February 2016, a workshop was organised in Riga by BSC researchers in the framework of the international research project TRANSMANGO („Assessment of the impact of drivers of change on Europe’s food and nutrition security”) were a scenario building method was applied in debating issues regarding school catering.
On 22 January food system researchers, governance and market representatives were gathering in Brussels to participate in the final conference of the GLAMUR project. During the conference project's main conclusions and policy implications were presented. Also, several chaired discussions took place during the conference.
To read more about BSC involvement in the project visit http://bscresearch.lv/en/projects/glamur
Terry Marsden, TRANSMANGO researcher and professor at Cardiff University, shares his reflections on the European policy. Why not a Common Food and Nutrition Policy for Europe? is an opinion paper that should open up the debate. The TRANSMANGO consortium welcomes your comments on twitter @transmango, #commonfoodpolicy or on our facebookpage https://www.facebook.com/transmango
Dichotomies serve as ideal types that allow orienting in the diversity. Yet, to comprehend the reality we should rather search for the way how to bridge the gap between them. Recently the researchers’ interest in how to go beyond the simplified binary interpretations of agro food systems has risen. Two of the BSC researchers (Grivins & Tisenkopfs) have published an article on this matter.
Researchers from Baltic Studies Centre have presented results from Latvia in the Second International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society in Rome. The Conference was focusing on reconnecting agriculture and food chains to societal needs and was aiming to advance the scientific state of the art in research on multifunctional agriculture, local food chains and urban-rural relations by bringing together scholars from a wide range of disciplines (sociology, economics, spatial planning, land-use planning, regional planning, urban planning, crop sciences, animal sciences, soil sciences, architecture, etc.) from many parts of the world.
Joint article by Lani Trenouth and Talis Tisenkopfs - "The Evolution of Household Foodscapes over Two Decades of Transition in Lativa" has been published in Journal of Baltic Studies. The article traces changes in household food consumption patterns comparing the late Soviet period and the present day based on household interviews and interpretive analysis.
The XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology congress "Places of Possibility? Rural Societies in Neoliberal World" has taken place in Aberdeen, Scotland on 18-21 August, 2015. Four participants from BSC participated in the conference and two papers were presented.