Sheldon

Invited Lecture by professor Kennon Sheldon, University of Missouri, USA, at the Social Learning Workshop “Motivations, relations and transformations: the role of social learning in collective agency for social innovation“.

The Social Learning Workshop was an Integration Workshop organized within the EU FP7 Funded TRANSIT project. TRANSIT is an international research project that aims to develop a theory of Transformative Social Innovation that is useful to both research and practice.

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SASIA

Inspirational Lecture by professor Peru Sasialeader of the credit cooperative Fiare Banca Etica and Professor at Deusto University, Basque Country, Spain, at the Social Learning Workshop “Motivations, relations and transformations: the role of social learning in collective agency for social innovation”.

The Social Learning Workshop was an Integration Workshop organized within the EU FP7 Funded TRANSIT project. TRANSIT is an international research project that aims to develop a theory of Transformative Social Innovation that is useful to both research and practice.

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La Universidade da Coruña y el Ayuntamiento participarán en un Proyecto Europeo sobre Soluciones que utilizan la naturaleza.

La semana pasada se conocía la noticia: un consorcio de 29 participantes compuesto por Universidades, PYMES y una docena de ayuntamientos  de toda la Unión Europea desarrollará CONNECTING, un proyecto de investigación financiado por la Dirección General de Innovación de la Comisión Europea  de 5 años de duración y que cuenta con 11 millones de Euros de presupuesto. La Universidad de A Coruña, bajo el liderazgo de la Dra. Adina, asociada al Grupo de Investigación Persona Ambiente, y el Ayuntamiento de A Coruña, representado por Dña. María García Gómez, edil de Medio Ambiente, forman parte de esta red que trabajará, liderada por el Trinity College de Dublín, con el objetivo de impulsar la difusión de las denominadas “Soluciones que emplean la naturaleza”  a través del efecto demostración.

Ayer día 24 de Enero de 2017, tuvo lugar en el Rectorado una rueda de prensa de presentación de Connecting, en la que participaron:

  • D. Xulio Xosé Ferreiro Baamonde, Alcade de Coruña.
  • D. Julio Abalde Alonso, Rector Magfco. de la Universidade da Coruña.
  • Dna. María García Gómez, Concejal de Medio Ambiente de Coruña.
  • Dña. Adina Dumitru, Coordinadora del equipo de investigación español de la Universidade da Coruña.
  • D.  Ricardo García Mira, Profesor de Psicología Social y Ambiental de la  Universidade da Coruña y miembro de la  Comisión del Cambio Climático del Parlamento.

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On Saturday the 22nd October, the People-Environment Research Group from the University of A Coruna organised a presentation, followed by several discussions, on the implications and results of GLAMURS Project in adopting more sustainable lifestyles. This event took place within the framework of activities in relation to ecology, environment, sustainability and eco-quality of life that the Ecological Fair EcoGalia scheduled during the three days that the event took in the city of A Coruña.

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The People Environment Research Gorup from the University of A Coruña, organizes, in the framework of the European project TRANSIT (http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu) – the international seminar “Motivations, relations and transformations: the role of social learning in individual and collective agency for social innovation “.

 The seminar will be held at the Faculty of Educational Sciences (Graduate Hall, 1st floor) of the University of A Coruña (Campus of Elviña),  between the 8th and 9th June 2016 and will involve thirty researchers and activists, all experts in processes of transformative social innovation.

Download the programme here:TRANSIT_3IW_ACoruna2016_V7 (1)

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Since last May 16 the People Environment Research Group is pleased to host Monica Maldonado, a Mexican Psychologist who will be at the University of Coruña in a research visit for 1 month and a half under the auspices of the National Commission on Science and Technology (CONACYT ) from the Mexican Government and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

During her presentation, Monica Maldonado briefly introduced her research interests and some work done in the area of Social and Environmental Psychology. Her research efforts are now focused on designing interventions aimed at early childhood education in Mexico to help reducing and preventing obesity. Mexico is the second country worldwide with higher rates of overweight. Among the possible reasons for this, Monica Maldonado pointed to the high presence of carbohydrates in traditional Mexican diet, the extent of sedentary habits among the population and the high cost of fresh food in her home country. Recent studies by the World Health Organization show that the adoption of habits begins between the ages of 3 and 5 years. In this line, the Studies Program in which the work of Monica Maldonado is developed consists of the design and implementation of interventions such as school gardens, and it takes place entirely in kindergartens in the area of Mexico City, looking to generate sustainable habits from preschool ages.

Supporting sustainable lifestyles in Galicia.

How can we extend lifestyles and initiatives that help to reduce the carbon footprint of our territory? How do we achieve examples of local sustainability can be upscaled to a regional and even supra-regional level? These are among the questions which the research project GLAMURS (acronym for Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability) tries to answer during its lifetime, between 2014 and 2017. The FP7 Project is coordinated by the People-Environment Research Group at the University of Coruña and other 10 European research centers and universities are involved, all under the strategy of the European Commission against Climate Change and towards Green Economy.

A participative workshop welcomed by a number of Regional institutions.

In this context last weekend the People- Environment Research Group together with the Provincial Government of Corunna, organized at the Mariñan Palace, in Bergondo (Corunna), the Second Back-casting Workshop. The event was opened by the Rector of the University of A Coruña, Mr. Julio Abalde Alonso, the Provincial Deputy D.Juan Penabad Muras, the Environment Councillor of A Coruña, Ms. María García Gómez, the Deputy and Spokesman of the Commission against the Climate Change in the Parliament of Spain, Mr. Ricardo García Mira and the Glamurs Project Coordinator, Ms. Adina Dumitru.

The workshop was attended by about thirty experts from all over Galicia linked to environmental organizations as ADEGA (Lugo) or Fragas do Mandeo (Betanzos), Responsible Consumption Groups as Zocamiñoca (A Coruña) or Carabuñas (Allariz), Environment and Rural Development Technicians, Centres and Schools of Environmental Education as Granxa Barreiros (Sarria), Collectives for Free Culture as Galiza Imaxinaria (Nigrán), researchers from the three Galician universities, staff at the Regional Government Institute for the study of the territory (Santiago de Compostela) and the Environment Delegation of Regional Government (Xunta de Galicia) in Ourense or Vespera de Nada, an association for the regional degrowth, among others.

Making an inventory of problems and regional solutions to achieve a sustainable region in the future.

The purpose of this second workshop was to deepen the future visions that began to emerge in December last year, this time looking to get to make an inventory of problems and solutions at the regional level and proposals to implement that could allow the desired future scenarios to become real in Galicia within 25 years.

Three different strategies towards sustainability: Eco efficiency, sufficiency and socially embedded growth.

Three were identified as the main strategies for Galicia to be sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint substantially in 2040: eco-efficiency, sufficiency and socially embedded growth. According to the first, Galicia would be more sustainable in 2040 through the greening of technologies and consumption (renewable sectors and km0 consumption), increased recycling and reuse of goods and materials. In the vision of sufficiency, our region would reduce its carbon footprint mainly by a decrease in the levels of aggregate consumption and demand. In the socially embedded growth, there would also be a reduction in the carbon footprint as a result of lower levels of demand and aggregate consumption also, but the quality of life of the population would depend on their small communities in which life would be organized daily and within which the resources will be distributed.

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BACKCASTING SCENARIOS DEVELOPMENT: UNIVERSITY OF A CORUÑA (2)

The European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General (DG Environment) commissioned CEP to lead a team of partners in researching and reporting on the public perceptions of environmental risks in Europe. CEP worked with partners at the University of A Coruña (Spain), the University of LatviaOikos (Slovenia), Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) and the West University of Timisoara(Romania).

This ambitious, Europe-wide project aimed to understand the differences between public perception and scientific assessment of environmental risks and the main factors influencing the evolution of public perceptions in Europe. The project used a mixed methodology research approach, including a survey of experts and focus groups with members of the public who were asked to assess and rank a selection of 14 environmental risks included in the Eurobarometer survey. [1]

The project ran from 2014 to 2015 and engaged with more than 100 experts across 28 EU Member States and over 100 members of the public in 12 focus group discussions that took place in six member states. The comparison of the assessment and ranking of environmental risks by type of respondent provides interesting insights for further research.

Overall, the environmental risks seen as being of highest concern by members of the public were similar to the top risks identified by experts. However, consumption habits and waste yielded very different responses between experts and the public.

Factors that were found to influence lay perceptions of risk included individual identity and background, collective cultural, institutional and socio-political systems, social values and degree of trust in authorities. A number of qualitative characteristics of environmental risks, such as scale, severity, proximity and personal control, were also found to influence lay assessments of environmental risks. Discussions in the focus groups showed that many people were using multiple sources of information to develop their understanding of what are often complex environmental issues.

The full report can be downloaded here.

[1] Special Eurobarometer 416: Attitudes of European citizens towards the environment (European Union, 2014)

On the 26th and 27th of February a couple of training sessions took place at the University of Corunna, Spain for capaciting researchers within the Glamurs Project in some of the more innovative techniques of qualitative analysis. In this case, Eugenio de Gregorio, an expert on qualitative methodologies gave both of the sessions on Atlas.ti, one of the best softwares  for qualitative research and qualitative data analysis. The objectives of the of the sessions were to train the researchers  and prepare them to apply this kind of analysis when modelling the change in lifestyles and in sustainable consumption initiatives.

 

 

On February, the 25th, an international Seminar organised by the People Environment Research Group on “Back-casting scenario development” took place at the University of Corunna, Spain.

This kind of workshop is one of the main tools by which the group of researchers from the UDC manages and provides specialized training to the rest of the members of the Consortium for the Glamurs Project. In this case the training was on a methodology to create participation scenarios with the case studies included within the project and which whom the researches have been working since January 2014, date when the project started.

Apart from the members of the manager team, this international workshop gathered together other members of the Glamurs Consortium from Scotland, Austria., Germany, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands. Other members from Leipzig (Helmholtz Institute) and Magdeburg (University of Magdeburg) also joined the meeting through video-conference.

Last 19th of November, the First Workshop on “Co-production of knowledge for supporting transitions toward sustainable lifestyles and a green economy in Europe” was held in Brussels. We worked during a full day in an interactive session with 40 policy-makers, academics, and representatives of European institutions. Our Project Officer, Dr. Domenico Rossetti di Valdalbero, gave an inspiring presentation on the challenges of co-producing knowledge for sustainable transitions in Europe. We were also delighted to welcome representatives of four General Directorates of the European Commission at our event: Environment; Transport and Mobility; Research and Innovation; and Enterprise and Industries. A summary of conclusions of this workshop will follow soon.

As scientists, we do not have the monopoly of knowledge. Knowledge is constantly being produced by citizens, organized in communities and social networks, as well as organizations in charge of defining policy and supporting the management of our common resources. Besides taking knowledge co-production seriously, GLAMURS is evaluating the context the project creates to understand how citizens, researchers, stakeholder organizations and policymakers come to know what it is they need to do to bring about individually, socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable living. This first European workshop was an important step into this direction, which provided a series of valuable insights for the research and practice of sustainable transitions.

 

Please, go to the European Commission website for further information (presentations, gallery, etc.):
http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/index.cfm?pg=events&eventcode=B707F5DD-9C9F-FA6E-C859EB28AEAF5AA5

In his twenty-eighth edition, the Congress of Applied Psychology(ICAP) brought together about 4500 participants of more than 100 countries. During the meeting, held in Paris between the 8th and 13th of July, a mention was made on how stimulant the current period is being for Applied Psychology in the sense work in connection with different social crises is growing and increasingly demanded. Amongst the attendees, Professor Ricardo García Mira did it both as director of the People-Environment Group from UDC and as president of the “International Association for People-Environment Studies”(IAPS).

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Previously to our first GLAMURS consortium members meeting in Rome on next October 1st-3rd, a new meeting took place in Bath on July 17th-18th. This meeting, hosted by University of Bath, focussed our attention on the kick-start of the hand collaborative work, defining specific aspects of the modelling, and also connecting the empirical research and the projection into the future.

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On June 27th, the 23rd edition of the Conference of IAPS finished, leaving behind a positive balance among the  People-Environment group members. Two of the PhD researchers, Amelia Fraga and Isabel Lema,  presented their projects under the titles of “Environmental Education, Public participation and bottom-up processes” and “Psychosocial evaluation in organizational environments” respectively. Within the Social Psychology domain, the aim of these lines of research is to demonstrate two concepts. First, the importance and transformative functions of environmental education and secondly to analyze how certain working conditions, such as shift work, affect the workers’ quality of life.

Professors Ricardo García Mira and Adina Dumitru chaired several panels during the Conference and participated in the final presentation of results for the LOCAW Project, closed in December 2013, which is now at the stage of informing the public on the results. Furthermore, in line with the Group’s new projects, discussions focused on the use of research techniques and theoretical approaches on sustainability and to support transitions to socio-environmentally responsible lifestyles. Building future scenarios and agent-based modeling were presented as very effective tools to be applied in the study of local transitions, including both consumption and production models. The sessions highlighted the need for new research agendas as a means of responding the challenges of sustainability and climate change.

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The 23rd IAPS conference held in Timisoara (Romania) from 23 to 27 June 2014, was the starting point of the Presidency of IAPS by Professor Ricardo García Mira, who in 2013 was elected unanimously by the Board for this responsibility during the period 2014-2018. In his speech, Professor García Mira pledged to IAPS members attending the Annual General Meeting to boost a higher connection between IAPS and the international bodies that are responsible for management of research and innovation (ONU, EU, ERC…), linking our organization as a body of experts in the field of person-environment studies. Also announced that he will strengthen the expansion of IAPS along the international context in which it operates, and he will integrate sustainable management criteria of the organization both in the organizational, social and economic aspects. Professor García Mira congratulated outgoing board members for their work and invited members re-elected and the new entrants, to continuing their hard and coordinated work in this exciting project.


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