HELSUS Global South Encounters

helsus global south encounters

The HELSUS Global South Encounters is a series of seminars and small talks intended to sharpen critical research in sustainability science. Recognizing the complexities and peculiarities of the Global South, these seminars engage  mainstream sustainability science in order to transcend it, among others by decolonizing nature, economy, society and methodologies. The seminars aim to open up space to get prior feedback on a forthcoming talk, an ongoing dissertation, a draft article, and a variety of research from students at all levels, academics, and members of the general public. Encounters also welcome discussions on giving conference papers and celebrate/publicize published papers.

One Earth banner

The Pandemic, Sustainability, and the Global South

Call for Papers: One Earth

https://www.cell.com/one-earth/home

The world looks very different from how it was a year ago. Even more so from the perspective of the Global South. Much has been said about the corrosive effects of COVID-19 on the economies and political economies of the Global South, although we know much less about the implications for sustainability in these nations, anecdotal evidence suggests that the pandemic has delayed and perhas even reversed progress on sustainability. Particular concern has arisen regarding the broadening of inequality gaps within and between countries and questions have been revisited asking just how just is our current approach to sustainable development.  

Traditionally, sustainability is seen three dimensionally: environment, economy, and society, but just sustainability[1] must be seen as interconnected and global. Current concepts of sustainability increasingly emphasise the need for change, usually stressing sustainability transitions, sustainability transformations, and systemic changes. However, it remains unclear what the ramifications of  these multiple changes would be for countries in the Global South , perhaps signalling a need to alter our theories, theorising and methods of study.

We are at a crucial juncture in our efforts to realise a sustainable and just world within one interconnected earth. There is a unique opportunity to build back better following the pandemic, but we must do so in inclusive ways. In spite of much talk about ‘collaboration’, scientific relationships in sustainability science research are too uneven and unequal. Without decolonising sustainability, the Global South and its peoples, often those making the least contribution to the socio-ecological crises of today and yet those hardest hit by the effects of environmental degradation, will be left behind.

With the goal of limiting (and indeed reducing) inequalities in mind, we launch this call for papers for consideration for publication in a focus issue of One Earth. We seek research papers on a wide range of topics. We encourage diversity, pluralism, and citizenship, whether in disciplines, fields, paradigms or any other identity. Our theme, however, is a compass and includes the following:

  • Re-envisioning sustainability and Sustainability Sciences in the Global South from the perspective of the Global South;
  • The Pandemic, and its Ramifications for Sustainability; and  
  • Sustainability transformations for the Future.

We invite interested authors to submit an advanced abstract that indicates how their papers align with these objectives and significantly advance our understanding. The editors and co-ordinators of the focus issue strongly encourage scientists based in, or coming from, the Global South to submit, where needed, collaborations which reverse historical uneven relations between geographies, races, (dis)abilities, and genders are preferable.  All submissions will need to meet the criteria for One Earth and offer a significant advance in understanding over the existing literature https://www.cell.com/one-earth/aims

Timelines:

  • Abstract*  Submission: December 31, 2020
  • First Decision: February 1,  2021
  • Full Paper submission: before May 31 2020
  • Review process: June -July 2021
  • Revisions: August - September 2021
  • Final submissions: October 1st 2021
  • Publication Date: 2021

Submission of abstracts for pre-approval by the focus issue coordinators should be submitted via eform (link https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/107987/lomake.html) by 31st of December 2020:

* 150 words, including the following

  • Context (background and debates)
  • Research questions
  • Originality of possible answers
  • Methods
  • Data
  • Theory/ies
  • Possible arguments/findings

All possible questions and other matters, authors need to contact the focus issue co-ordinators Franklin Obeng-Odoom (Franklin.Obeng-Odoom@helsinki.fi) and Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki (kaisa.korhonen@helsinki.fi), Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki, Finland.

 

Resources:

[1] Agyeman J, 2013, Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning, and Practice, Zed Books, London.

 

Just Sustainabilites in Policy, Planning and Practice

 

When? 27th of January, at 4 to 5 p.m. (Finnish time zone, UTC +2, Eastern time zone UTC -5)

Where? Online. Join webinar here. Passcode: Encounters

Abstract: 

In his talk, Julian will outline the concept of just sustainabilities as a response to the ‘equity deficit’ of much sustainability thinking and practice. He will explore his contention that who can belong in our cities will ultimately determine what our cities can become. He will illustrate his ideas with examples from urban planning and design, urban agriculture and food justice, and the concept of sharing cities. 

Julian Agyeman

Bio:

Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and environmental sustainability. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity.

He believes that what our cities can become (sustainable, smart, sharing and resilient) and who is allowed to belong in them (recognition of difference, diversity, and a right to the city) are fundamentally and inextricably interlinked. We must therefore act on both belonging and becoming, together, using just sustainabilities as the anchor, or face deepening spatial and social inequities and inequalities.
He is the author or editor of 12 books, including  Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press, 2003), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press, 2011), and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (MIT Press, 2015), one of Nature’s Top 20 Books of 2015. In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his “outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning“.

Nature in the City

When? 24th of February

Finnish time: From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Finnish time zone UTC +2) 

Indian time: From 3 to 4 p.m. ( Indian time zone UTC +5.3)

Abstract

In a rapidly urbanizing India, what is the future of nature conservation? How does the march of development impact the conflict between nature and people in India’s cities? Exploring these questions, I will briefly examine the past, present, and future of nature in Bengaluru, one of India’s largest and fastest growing cities.

Once known as the Garden City of India, Bengaluru’s tree-lined avenues, historic parks, and expansive water bodies have witnessed immense degradation and destruction in recent years, but have also shown remarkable tenacity for survival. This talk highlights Bengaluru’s journey from the early settlements in the 6th century CE to the 21st century city, and demonstrates how nature has looked and behaved, and has been perceived in Bengaluru’s home gardens, slums, streets, parks, sacred spaces, and lakes. An analysis of the changing role and state of nature in the midst of urban sprawl, and integrating research with stories of people and places, I  present, in this talk, an overview of my book with the same title, listed by the science journal Nature as one of the five best science picks of the week in its issue of July 28 2016. This is a talk about a city where nature thrives and strives.

Bio

Harini Nagendra's picture

Harini Nagendra is Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University. An ecologist, she uses methods from the natural and social sciences - satellite remote sensing, biodiversity studies, archival research, GIS, institutional analysis, and community interviews, to examine the sustainability of forests and cities in the global South. She completed her PhD from the Centre for Ecological Sciences in the Indian Institute of Science in 1998. Since then, she has conducted research and taught at multiple institutions, and was most recently a Hubert H Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2013. She is a recipient of numerous awards for her research, including a 2017 Web of Science 2017 India Research Excellence Award as the most cited Indian researcher in the category of Interdisciplinary Research; a 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award for her research and practice on issues of the urban commons, and a 2009 Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (with Elinor Ostrom).

Chair of Event and Contact for Enquiries

Franklin Obeng-Odoom is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science with Global Development Studies and the  Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, both at the University of Helsinki in Finland.  He can be contacted via franklin.obeng-odoom@helsinki.fi

The Australian Wildfires

Speaker Bio 

Image of the presenter

Professor Grieve Williams is Warraimaay - an Aboriginal Australian – and historian who has published on Aboriginal family history, slavery, activism and the history wars in Australia. She works in interdisciplinary ways to progress the development of Indigenous knowledges, positioning Aboriginal spirituality /philosophy as the baseline for this development, with a focus on establishing the values and ethics inherent in what it means to be human in a changing world. In this connection she is highly engaged with the impacts of climate change on the natural world and the place of humans in it as we move further into the Anthropocene.

She has published critiques of public policy for Aboriginal people, identifying homo sacer in Aboriginal camps and amongst displaced Aboriginal people and has thus argued for Aboriginal Sovereignty in a newly constituted Republic.

Victoria is in the process of establishing a Healing Histories Foundation in which she will apply the Aboriginal principles of healing the wounds of history through "truth telling" from research and reuniting families separated by the vagaries of war.

Chair of Event and Contact for Enquiries

Franklin Obeng-Odoom is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science with Global Development Studies and the  Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, both at the University of Helsinki in Finland.  He can be contacted via franklin.obeng-odoom@helsinki.fi

Critique of Western Development Economics: The Islamic Economics Alternative to Wellbeing and the Environment

Speaker bio

Picture of Dr. Asad Zaman

Dr. Asad Zaman is currently serving as external advisor on the Monetary Policy Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan, and as Director of Social Sciences on the Al-Nafi online educational platform.  He received his BS Math from MIT in 1974, MS Stat, and Ph.D. Econ from Stanford Univ in 1976 and 1978 respectively. He has taught at Economics Departments of highly ranked international universities like Columbia, U. Penn., Cal. Tech.  and Johns Hopkins as well as Bilkent University, Ankara and Lahore University of Management Sciences. His econometrics textbook Statistical Foundations of Econometric Techniques is widely used as a reference in graduate econometrics courses, internationally. He is managing editor of International Econometric Reviews and Pakistan Development Review.  He has more than 100 publications, with more than a 1000 citations, in top ranked journals like Annals of Statistics,  Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, and Journal of Labor Economics. He has published widely in Islamic Economics, and is a leading authority in the field.  

Chair of Event and Contact for Enquiries

Chair Franklin Obeng-Odoom is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science with Global Development Studies and the  Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, both at the University of Helsinki in Finland.  He can be contacted via franklin.obeng-odoom@helsinki.fi

Black Feminism and the Environment

 

Speaker bio

Denise Ferreira

An academic and practicing artist based at the University of British Columbia in Canada, Professor Denise Ferreira da Silva’s work addresses the ethico-political challenges of the global present. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), A Dívida Impagavel (Oficina da Imaginaçāo Política and Living Commons, 2019), Unpayable Debt (Stenberg/MIT Press, forthcoming) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Her several articles have been published in leading interdisciplinary journals, such as Social Text, Theory, Culture & Society, Social Identities, PhiloSOPHIA, Griffith Law Review, Theory & Event, The Black Scholar, to name a few. Her artistic works includes the films Serpent Rain (2016) and 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018), in collaboration with Arjuna Neuman; and the relational art practices Poethical Readings and Sensing Salon, in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She has exhibited and lectured at major art venues, such as the Pompidou Center (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London, MASP (Sāo Paulo), Guggenheim (New York), and MoMa (New York). She has also written for publications for major art events (Liverpool Biennale, 2017; Sao Paulo Biennale, 2016, Venice Biennale, 2017, and Documenta 14) and published in art venues, such as Canadian Art, Texte Zur Kunst, and E-Flux. 

Chair of Event and Contact for Enquiries

Chair Franklin Obeng-Odoom is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science with Global Development Studies and the  Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, both at the University of Helsinki in Finland.  He can be contacted via franklin.obeng-odoom@helsinki.fi

A Global South Perspective of Climate Change: The Case of China

Speaker bio

Ying Chen

Ying Chen joined the New School in the fall of 2016 as an assistant professor of Economics. She holds a PhD in Economics from Ph.D. Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her current research focuses on the sustainable development in contemporary China from the perspective of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. She has published in leading journals such as Review of Radical Political Economics, Journal of Labor and Society, and International Review of Applied Economics.

 

Chair of Event and Contact for Enquiries

Franklin Obeng-Odoom is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science with Global Development Studies and the  Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, both at the University of Helsinki in Finland.  He can be contacted via franklin.obeng-odoom@helsinki.fi

Pluriverse, Education and Territorial Justice

 

Paola Minoia

Paola Minoia is a Senior Lecturer in Global Development Studies at the University of Helsinki, and an Associate Professor in Political and Economic Geography at the University of Turin. Her research interests intersect the fields of political ecology and development studies with a focus on territoriality, state- and minoritized groups relations, socio-environmental justice, eco-cultural knowledges and the pluriverse. She is the Principal Investigator in the project Ecocultural pluralism in the Ecuadorian Amazonia (funded by the Academy of Finland 2018-2022) and a WG leader in the EU/COST Network Decolonising Development: Research, Teaching and Practice (2020-2024).

José Castro-Sotomayor

José Castro-Sotomayor PhD. is an Assistant Professor at California State University Channel Islands, U.S.A. He investigates ecocultural modes of human and more-than-human communication and how they influence our relationships with the Earth’s vitality. His work focuses on transversal forms of communication, agency, and dissent that inform participatory models for environmental peacebuilding and decision and policymaking. He is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (2020), a transdisciplinary volume seeking to foster a radical epistemology by investigating ways ecocultural identities are being, and can be, thought, felt, performed, and experienced within wider sociopolitical structures in ways relevant to regenerative Earth futures. Originally from Ecuador, he worked as an independent consultant for environmental NGOs in Ecuador and Colombia.

 

 

Tuija Veintie

Tuija Veintie is a postdoctoral researcher in Global Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research focuses on the integration of ecological and Indigenous knowledge in intercultural bilingual upper secondary education in Ecuador. Her study is part of a research project ‘Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia’. Veintie has a multidisciplinary background in education, anthropology, and Latin American studies. She received her PhD degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Helsinki in 2018. Her research interests include social justice and diversity issues, epistemic power hierarchies, intercultural and Indigenous education as well as minority and Indigenous peoples’ rights.

Johanna Hohenthal

Johanna Hohenthal is a postdoctoral researcher in Global Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. She has worked in a research project ‘Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia’ that studies intercultural bilingual education and eco-cultural knowledges of the Amazonian Indigenous groups. Her interests focus on the accessibility of intercultural bilingual education and its relation to Indigenous territoriality and place-based learning as well as on participatory research methods. She received a PhD degree in Geography in 2018. Her doctoral research focused on water resource governance and local ecological knowledge in the Taita Hills, Kenya.

Chair of Event and Contact for Enquiries

Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, (PhD) is an Adjunct Professor in environmental policy. She works as a Program Director of the Finnish Academy strategic research programmes “Changing Society and Active Citizenship”  and “Adaptation and Resilience for Sustainable Growth”, and as a researcher and research coordinator at Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, HELSUS. She has over ten years of experience on forest and climate policy and governance research particularly in the Global South as well as expertise in comparative policy analysis, on which she has published widely. Currently her research interests also focus on science-policy interface, SDGs, transformative policy-making and  sustainability transformations as well as innovative knowledge co-production research methods. She can be contacted via kaisa.korhonen@helsinki.fi

Book Discussion: Coal and Energy in Emalahleni, South Africa: Considering a Just transition 

 

Abstract

In this talk, Professor Marais will discuss his latest edited book, entitled Coal and Energy in Emalahleni, South Africa: Considering a Just Transition (Edinburgh University Press, 2021) which investigates the complexity that a transition will bring to a place that has historically depended on coal.

Speaker bio

Lochner Marais

Dr. Lochner Marais is Professor of Development Studies at the Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State (UFS). His research interests include housing policy, small cities in towns (mining and renewable towns and cities) and public health focusing on children. In addition to concentrating on each of these themes separately, he focuses on integrating them. Marais has authored, co-authored and compiled more than 200 research reports, including more than 150 refereed articles in peer-reviewed journals or books. He has also co-edited seven books. Over the past ten years, he has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several international research grants. He has a specific passion for creating and managing interdisciplinary projects.

Justice and Power in the context of Global Bioeconomy

Recording of the seminar visible here.

When?  25.11.2020 at 2 p.m. (GMT+2)

How to participate? Zoom 

Speakers:

  • Sabaheta Ramcilovic-Suominen
  • Leah Temper
  • Constance McDermott

Commentator: Juha Hiedanpää

Chairs: Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki and Franklin Obeng-Odoom

Abstract

In this HELSUS Seminar we tackle the key question: How to avoid dispossession and other forms of injustices in the transitions to low-carbon and bio-based futures and how to facilitate just and socially inclusive transformations globally?

We focus particularly on the policy discourse of bioeconomy, which plays a central role in the industrialized countries’ transitionary pathways towards low-carbon futures. Despite the potential of transitions to low-carbon and bio-based futures, they may also generate externalities of profound socio-economic, political and justice implications. Such implications are usually felt in places distant from where policies are made and by more vulnerable segments of society. The existing instruments commonly put in place to meliorate negative externalities – such as ‘multi-stakeholder’ processes, social licenses to operate (SLO), Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) – are proving ineffective, or in some cases exacerbate and reproduce the existing inequalities and power struggles. Societal transition to bioeconomy and low-carbon futures need to be socially inclusive, incorporate and consider the intersectional power dynamics, and strengthen commitment to the different dimensions of environmental and social justice.

In JUST GLOBE project, we study how transitions to bioeconomy relate to, and affect the existing socio-ecological injustices and power asymmetries at different policy scales, and what kind of conflicts emerge between those who do not share same aspirations, worldviews and interests. By identifying the social and environmental injustices, risks and conflicts, we aim to identify the conditions towards socially inclusive, fair and just climate and bioeconomy policies. If these research topics interest, you please join us and consider contributing to our Special Issue on Power and Justice in Bioeconomy. The CfP is open until 31.3.2021.

Sabaheta Ramcilovic-Suominen will introduce the JUST-GLOBE project. Leah Temper will address the relevant environmental justice dimensions in the context of bioeconomy and Constance McDermott will highlight the power dynamics and inequalities in the global natural resource governance. Juha Hiedanpää will provide a commentary concerning the role and significance of different institutions in sustainability transformations.

Global South Encounters speakers

Sabaheta Ramcilovic-Suominen, Leah Temper, Constance McDermott and Juha Hiedanpää

Speakers’ bios:

Sabaheta Ramcilovic-Suominen is Academy of Finland Research Fellow in the Bioeconomy and Environment unit of the  Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). Her research focuses on the international forest policy and governance and just transitions to bioeconomy. Fuller bio: https://www.luke.fi/en/henkilosto/sabaheta-ramcilovik-suominen/

Leah Temper is an ecological economist, scholar activist and filmmaker based at McGill University, Montreal and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is the founder and co-director of the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice (www.ejatlas.org), Research Associate for the Leadership for the Ecozoic program and PI of the ACKnowl-EJ project (Activist-academic Co-production of Knowledge for Environmental Justice). Fuller Bio: https://theconversation.com/profiles/leah-temper-612983

Constance McDermott is a Jackson Senior Fellow and Chair of Environmental Change Institute (ECI) Ecosystems Governance Group, based at and the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. Her research addresses the linkages among diverse local, regional and global priorities for sustainable forest management and examines how dynamics of trust and power shape environmental and social policies. Fuller bio: https://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/people/cmcdermott.html

Commentator’s Bio: Juha Hiedanpää is a research professor at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). He teaches Global economy and environmental problems at the University of Turku and writes about the institutional and social aspects of natural resources and environmental policy and governance. Fuller bio: https://www.luke.fi/en/henkilosto/juha-hiedanpaa/

Chair of Event and Contact for Enquiries

Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, (PhD) is an Adjunct Professor in environmental policy. She works as a Program Director of the Finnish Academy strategic research programmes “Changing Society and Active Citizenship”  and “Adaptation and Resilience for Sustainable Growth”, and as a researcher and research coordinator at Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, HELSUS. She has over ten years of experience on forest and climate policy and governance research particularly in the Global South as well as expertise in comparative policy analysis, on which she has published widely. Currently her research interests also focus on science-policy interface, SDGs, transformative policy-making and  sustainability transformations as well as innovative knowledge co-production research methods.

Franklin Obeng-Odoom is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science with Global Development Studies and the  Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, both at the University of Helsinki in Finland.  He can be contacted via franklin.obeng-odoom@helsinki.fi