Successful first training session in Wageningen

To train ESRs in innovative approaches to study sustainable place-shaping practices, SUSPLACE offers an extensive training program in both scientific and professional skills. From April 18 till May 11, 2016 all 15 ESRs participating in SUSPLACE came to Wageningen, The Netherlands for their first intensive training session.

The training started with an Introduction Course, introducing the ESRs to the SUSPLACE project and framework and providing courses in Research Ethics and Data Management Planning. In a video workshop offered by Mugmedia the ESRs learnt how to make and edit a video for communication purposes.

In the second week the ESRs participated in the PhD course ‘Spatial Thinking in the Social Sciences’, offered by the Wageningen School of Social Sciences and coordinated by Dr. Joost Jongerden. During the course, relational approaches to place and space were discussed and the course included two sessions with human geographer prof.  Ash Amin about ‘Looking through the City’ and ‘Lively Infrastructures’.

In the third week all supervisors and co-supervisors came to Wageningen to join the ESRs for a  Seminar on Sustainable Place-shaping. During the seminar the five work packages-leaders gave presentations about the topic of their expertise and the ESRs pitched their research ideas. On the third day of the Seminar three workshops were offered by Visiting Scientists: prof. Katherine Gibson from Western Sydney University joined via Skype and gave an inspiring lecture about ‘Managing the Commons’, Dr. Alex Franklin from Coventry University organised an interactive session on Participatory Action Research, and dr. Laura Jones and dr. Jesse Heley from Aberystwyth University introduced their work on Relational Rurals in Newtown, Wales, looking at places as assemblages.20160511_142528

The training ended with an 3-day training offered by partner Except on integrated sustainability, using the methodology of Symbiosis in Development (SiD) developed by Except. During this training, the ESRs applied the SiD-method to the case of the Cardiff Capital Region.

This first training session was truly intensive, but as one of the ESRs remarked: ‘it made us all a true team!’. We thank all the ESRs, supervisors and trainers for their enthusiasm and commitment and for making this first training session a success.

The next training session will be held in Wageningen in October 2016.