group discussion

Endings and beginnings: project-based work within wider transformations

by Adrian Ely and Elise Wach Since 2016 we have been involved in a small-scale project, as part of the broader ‘Pathways Network’, that has explored how to move towards more sustainable agri-food systems in Brighton and Hove.  The project’s focus has been evolving on the basis of changing circumstances, knowledge and ideas – a…

Tomato seeds growing

Seeding ideas: knowledge brokering and recombination for agricultural transformations

by Adrian Ely, Paddy Van Zwanenberg, Elise Wach, Martin Obaya and Almendra Cremaschi Straight after the ‘Transformations 2017’ conference, the ‘Pathways’ network gathered at the mid-point in our three year project to take stock. This included discussions in ‘pairs’ of hubs, including reflecting on our ‘theories of change’. In our case, the UK and Argentina…

Garden cultivation

How Kerala is making the transition towards healthy, home-grown food

In Kerala, agri-food systems are in transition towards self-reliance and sustainability. Through bringing traditional gardening into the mainstream food agenda, and adopting technologies and practices like agroecology, growers and consumers in Kerala are trying to overcome the impacts of external food dependency and related vulnerabilities. Debates on sustainable food systems are still largely trapped in…

Farmers' jury

Using a “farmers’ jury” to see Nicaragua’s food system from rural perspectives

Jorge Irán Vásquez Zeledón, a participant in the project on Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems based in Nicaragua, has written a blog post (in Spanish) about a “Farmers’ Jury” organised in connection to the project. The event aimed to investigate farmers’ views on the state of agroecological systems in Nicaragua, and what challenges need to…

Farming in the UK: can we nourish ourselves from this land?

The recent dispute over food prices between the UK’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, and the UK’s biggest food and grocery manufacturer, Unilever shines a light on a deeper problem in the global food system: our reliance on food that is grown elsewhere. This is compounded by a drive for healthy eating in the UK which…

Participants at a hackathon

From social networks to robot scarecrows: Agroecology meets Open Source technologies

Agroecology has been traditionally based on co-producing knowledge with farmers, scientists, indigenous communities and technicians. As such, it could be regarded as an “open and collaborative” practice. But does this mean that it is ready to meet open source technologies?

Adrian Smith interviewed on Spanish radio about innovation, technology & society

Adrian Smith, convenor of our Grassroots Innovation research, was recently interviewed on Spanish radio about the role that technology plays in social relations. In the interview, for the Spanish station Radio 3, Adrian discussed different types of basic innovations, such as those taking place in agroecology and eco-construction, and how they form part of a…