Ecocultures 2012

Welcome to the webpage for Ecocultures 2012, to be held at the University of Essex’s Wivenhoe Park campus on the 17th and 18th of April, 2012.This page will host the evolving conference programme, and information on registration and local travel in Colchester.

REGISTRATION: Online registration is available here. Concessionary rates are available for students, University of Essex staff, non-waged delegates and those travelling from the developing world. In order to maximise space and time for meaningful discussion and debate, we have limited the conference to 60 participants. Therefore, we encourage you to register at your earliest convenience to guarantee your place at the conference.

TRAVEL: Travel directions to the campus can be viewed here. The full address of the campus is University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, Essex, United Kingdom. Our main telephone number is +44 (0)1206 874321. For delegates who will wish to explore the local area, further information is available on the following pages: the University of Essex guide to the local area; and the Essex Tourist Guide.

UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX WIVENHOE PARK CAMPUS: The conference will be hosted in the Tony Rich Teaching Centre.  A map of the Wivenhoe Park campus can be found and downloaded from here. Directions to the Teaching Centre will be clearly signposted on the days of the conference.

PLENARY, DAY 1: The Lammas ecovillage project – Redesigning the human relationship to resources. Paul Wimbush, Lammas

Paul Wimbush was the driving force behind the creation of the Lammas project in Pembrokeshire. Having studied Architecture, he went on to live in a wide range of alternative communities throughout West Wales. In 2005 he co-founded Lammas and spearheaded a 3 year campaign to win planning permission for the Tir y Gafel ecovillage. The replicable model is pioneering in its grass-roots approach, empowering people to generate their own solutions to the challenge of sustainability. He has been influential in shaping both local and national planning policies and is actively involved in supporting the emergence of a low-impact movement inWales that seeks to promote an alternative rural lifestyle model that is productive, affordable and attractive.

PLENARY, DAY 2: Title: TBC, Dougald Hine 

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME: Updated 23rd March, 2012 

DAY 1: 17th April 2012

9:30 – 10:00 REGISTRATION
10:00 – 10:15 WELCOME ADDRESS Steffen Böhm, Essex Sustainability Institute
10:15 – 11:30   FRAMING AND APPROACHING ECOCULTURES Epistemic Barriers to Weathering the Perfect Storm:  A Critique of Development, Resilience, and Sustainability Glen David Kuecker, DePauw University

For a concept of meta-sustainability Bogdan Dragos, University of London

What do ecocultures know that we don’t?Connecting with nature can build strong communities Netta Weinstein  and Eliz Volkan, University of Essex

11:30 – 1:30 PARALLEL SESSION 1: TRANSDISCIPLINARITY & STUDYING ECOCULTURES   Art’s role toward sustainability: ecocultures require a sensibility to complexity Sacha Kagan, Cultura21 and Leuphana University

Sensing sustainability and dwelling in a wider landscape: Interdisciplinary approaches to developmental practise Roland Playle, Iapetus Initiative

A web-based information platform for in-service teacher training: An instrument for overcoming some barriers of the transition towards sustainability education Valentin Grecu, University of Sibiu; Laura Colucci-Gray, University of Aberdeen and Calin Deneş, University of Sibiu

The real and the imagined: Managing sustainability and resilience in Aotearoa New Zealand Alison Henderson, University of Waikato

Conflicting Socio-Ecological Identities (SEI) as obstacles to adaptive management in the Fúquene watershed system, Colombia Andrés Umaña, Fundación Humedales; Lorena Franco, Fundación Humedales and Germán Andrade, Andes University


Voluntary simplicity and Transition Network: a comparison of narratives, practices and strategies Giuseppe Feola, University of Reading

 Facilitating Sustainability at the Micro-Level:  A Case Study of Bristol Green Doors Jane Hindley, University of Essex

Building (Green?) Community: Ecological Consciousness at a Women’s Community Center at the U.S.-Mexico Border Christina Holmes, DePauw University

Manifesting resilience: a case study of embodied sustainability Carole Elliott, Hull University Business School; Ginny Newsham, Lancaster University Management and Colin Newsham, Forrest Hills

PARALLEL SESSION 3: PANEL: Highland aquatic resources management, biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods  

Values assigned to freshwater ecosystem services using two contrasting methods; economic valuation and stakeholder prioritization Kevin Smith et al., IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit

Work, education and out-migration among children and youth in upland Asia: Changing patterns of labour and ecological knowledge in an era of globalisation Samantha Punch and Fraser Sugden, University of Stirling

Prospects for responsible aquaculture and culture-based fisheries in highland Asia Stuart Bunting, Essex Sustainability Institute  

Potential contributions of participatory, interdisciplinary and action planning research for wise use management of aquatic resources in upland Asia:  preliminary findings from cases in India, China and Vietnam Soren Lund et al., Roskilde University

The long-term impacts of watershed development in India Zareen Bharucha, Essex Sustainability Institute

1:30 –2:30 LUNCH
2:30 – 4:30 PARALLEL SESSION 4: CHANGES AND ADAPTATIONS TO LIVELIHOODS Lessons of Sustainability from Pastoralists: The Case of the ‘Maldharis’ in Gujarat Siddhartha Dabhi, Independent Researchers

Floating in the Deep End of the River: A Pastoral Community Innovating and Adapting in the Face of Tenure Reform, Climate Change and Institutional Changes Stephen Santamo Moiko, McGill University

Winter Seiners of Puruvesi, North Karelia, FinlandTero Mustonen, Snowchange Cooperative and Esa Rahunen, Leader of the Puruvesi Winter Seiners, Puruvesi, Finland

Social Constructionist View of Small Scale Coffee Farmers: Challenges to Their Sustainable Livelihoods in Central AmericaSanjay Lanka, University of Essex & California State University (Monterey Bay)

Responding to social-ecological change at the community level: Insights from a comparative case study on agricultural abandonment in the Black Forest, Germany Dr. Claudia Bieling, Albert-Ludwigs-University


Title TBC. Ben Anderson, University of Essex;

Title TBC. Andrea Accorigi, Energy Cities

Title TBC. Naresh Giangrande, Transition Town Totnes

4:30 – 5:00 TEA / COFFEE
5:00 – 6:00 KEYNOTE: The Lammas ecovillage project – Redesigning the human relationship to resources Paul Wimbush, Lammas 

DAY 2: 18th April 2012

9:00 – 10:00 PLENARY: Title TBC, Dougald Hine 
10:00 – 10:30 TEA / COFFEE
10:30 – 12:30 PARALLEL SESSION 6: RESILIENCE, ADAPTABILITY AND CHANGE Claiming back Country: improved chances of resilience though connection to ‘country’: The Kuku Nyungkal Rangers of Queensland’s Humid Tropical Forest Leanne Cullen-Unsworth, Cardiff University  and Marilyn Wallace, Bana Yarralji Bubu IncorporatedThe importance of understanding system dynamics for community resilience and sustainability: a case study from the Solomon Islands Jasper Kenter, University of Aberdeen and University of St. Andrew;  Tammy Davies, University of St. Andrew and Ioan Fazey, University of St. Andrew

Returning to the Reserve: Resistance and Revitalization In the Central Kalahari Maria Sapignoli, University of Essex

Decreasing adaptive capacity to climate change: the case of pastoralists in China’s arid region, Alxa Left Banner in Inner Mongolia Chengcheng Zhang and Wenjun Li, Peking University

PARALLEL SESSION 7: PANEL: REACHING TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH ENGAGED ARTISTIC PRACTICE – AN INTERACTIVE PANEL Oleg Koefoed, Cultura21; Natalia Eernstman, University College Falmouth; Eva Bakkeslett; Encounters Art; Karen Blincoe and Lucy Neal

12:30 – 1:30 LUNCH
1:30 – 2:00 KEYNOTE: Dreaming of the Green Economy. Jules Pretty, University of Essex 
2:00 – 4:00 PARALLEL SESSION 8: STRUCTURAL BARRIERS AND BRIDGES TO COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITYProtected area sustainable management with an option of eco-cultural tourism developments Zulfiqar Ali, University of the Punjab; Saima Yaqub Shelly, Punjab Fisheries Department; Fehmeeda Bibi, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences;  Zaheer Ahmad Nasir, University of Biological Sciences and Ian Colbeck, Essex Sustainability Institute

Energy Crisis and American Political Thought: Designing Policy for Resilient Cities Elizabeth Bonham, Warren Wilson College

Self-regulation of infrastructure by civil societyFlor Avelino and Niki Frantzeskaki, Erasmus University

Towards a Critical Understanding of the Implementation of Environmental Accounting and Disclosure Practices Solmaz Rohani-Najafabadi, Warwick Business School


From Ecovillages to Ecocities? Power Dynamics between Radical and Moderate Actors in the Transition to Sustainable Communities Flor Avelino, Erasmus University

Towards a culture of sustainability – ecovillages’ roles in social transformation Felix Wagner and Marcus Andreas, Research in Community

“Not a Practical Pattern of Long Term Land-Use”? Planning, Permaculture, and the Transitivity of Development Mike Hannis, Keele University

Challenging the paradigm: The case of water conservation in Dikili, Turkey Akgün Ilhan, The Association for Social Change

4:00 – 4:30 TEA / COFFEE
4:30 – 5:30 CLOSING PLENARY Chair: Steffen Bohm, Essex Sustainability Institute 

Ecocultures 2012: Registration and Programme

Registration is now open for Ecocultures 2012! Please visit to register!

The conference will be held at the Wivenhoe Park campus of the University at Essex from 10am on the 17th of April, and ends at 5:30pm on the 18th.  Directions for travel to the University are here.

We look forward to two days of great papers and workshops.  A preliminary programme is available for download.

Download Programme-19th-March1.pdf