All Pathways Training (2)
Date - Wednesday, 29th November 2017 (1:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
Addressing grand research challenges through interdisciplinary social science: solving problems in the Food System
Date & Time: Wednesday 29 November 2017, 1pm-5pm
Venue: University of York
Interdisciplinary working – Pathway training
Introductory Lecture followed by Pathway Workshops
Keynote Speaker – Professor Bob Doherty
Bob Doherty is Professor of Marketing at The York Management School, University of York and principal investigator on a large 4-year interdisciplinary research programme (£3.4m) on food resilience titled ‘IKnowFood’, funded by the Global Food Security Fund www.foodsecurity.ac.uk. In addition, he holds a number of institutional wide research positions including the University of York lead for the N8 AgriFood https://www.york.ac.uk/research/in-focus/agrifood/ and research theme leader for sustainable food in the York Environmental Sustainability Research Institute (YESI) https://www.york.ac.uk/yesi/about-us/leadership/. Furthermore, he is a member of both the university nominations and the Office for Fair Access committees.
Global mega trends demonstrate the vulnerability of complex food systems. However, producers, supply chain actors and consumers are traditionally explored by separate academic disciplines. The Global Food Security funded ‘IknowFood-integrating Knowledge for Food Systems Resilience Programme’ takes a food systems lens which provides the opportunity to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. The talk will identify several research gaps of resilience studies in food systems, caused by an analytical blindness of academic and practitioner literatures to the inherent complexity of food systems, composed by multiple and often competing biophysical, social, economic and political dynamics. A conceptual review of the recent literature is used to map out an interdisciplinary research agenda for food systems resilience. It starts by looking at the inconsistent way the concept of resilience has been applied in business, socio-environmental systems, and political economic literatures. The talk will then discuss the concept of a food system and the difficulties in developing an actual interdisciplinary approach. A systems approach is often invoked in food studies but the focus remains the focal firm i.e. the buyer and not the producer. What is needed is an approach that allows differentiated understanding of the ways in which resilience may promote the interests of the different agents within supply chains and of different elements within food systems. It is clear a more systemic analysis of resilience using an interdisciplinary approach is required to allow for adaptive and transformative approaches to the food system.
The keynote talk will be followed by break out sessions enabling students to articulate how their research contributes to wider societal challenges in one of the seven thematic Pathways of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership.