Wed. Aug 21st, 2019

Common Alternatives

Creating Futures Beyond Capital and Carbon

“Alternative Futures Research Hub”- Brief Report on the 23 July Workshop Results

3 min read

Future Societies Workshop was successfully organized by FEDUA-Alternative Futures Research Network  (AFRN) in collaboration with New Economy Network Australia (NENA) on 23 July 2019 to establish FEDUA’s first Community partnered “Research Hub” based at the University of Newcastle, with the purpose of developing and conducting linkage research projects. See also the news article on this event: Future Societies Workshop kicks off Memorandum of Understanding with the New Economy Network Australia

The parties committed to working together to seek the means and resources necessary to establish Alternative Futures Research Hub based at the University that aims to:

  1. create a ‘Knowledge Commons of Alternatives’ through exploring, mapping, comparing, examining and integrating alternative modes of livelihood, governance, and sociability that transcend capitalist relations and dependence on carbon, commodities, and (unsustainable) growth;
  2. identify, explore, develop and promote collaborative research projects focused on building new socio-ecological and economic systems or modalities in Australia;
  3. actively seek financial and in-kind supports required to implement the activities of collaboration including linkage/joint research projects;
  4. co-host events including research-oriented conferences, symposia, and training workshops;
  5. coordinate and promote collaborative research and facilitate its publication to ensure that the Research Hub contributes to the development of the knowledge commons, supports social projects, and informs actions that transform Australian society; and
  6. create an open and collaborative platform for mutual learning and sharing experiences amongst the academics and practitioners involved in the projects.

This event was a promising start; a strong interdisciplinary team has been formed with significant enthusiasm, novel ideas, and energy to co-create FEDUA’s first community partnered research hub! We also look forward to offering Seminar Series, Workshop and Masterclasses (the very first one takes place on 10 Sept 2019 on Designing Smart Cities of More-than-Human Futures by AFRN’s visitor Professor Marcus Foth from QUT) for academic staff, potential regional end-user and UON HDRs as well as opportunities such as internships and placements for under/postgraduate students and potential WIL projects.

Further information:

Participants in the workshop:

  1. Identified the main research themes of the Hub, according to NENA’s immediate and longer-term needs and interests, as the potential end-user/partner-organization, as well as the research interest of the AFRN;
  2. Discussed the Hub’s general research agenda; agreed on sine details (including exploring the most effective ways of articulating research project ideas, appropriate methodologies, and conceptual frameworks) and outline a framework/platform for practical collaboration between the two parties.
  3. Discussed the organizational management of the Hub including deciding the name of the hub (Alternative Futures Research Hub) and defining roles and responsibilities.
  4. Discussed, strategized and planned for seeking alternative sources of funding (internal and external) to help and cooperate with the linked/relevant industries involved in regional sustainable transitions projects (beyond Carbon, Capital, Commodification), etc.
  5. Reflected on and draw insight from NENA’s Newcastle/Hunter Regional Symposium held on 13 July 2019 in Newcastle – Charlestown Library (co-founded by NENA and some members of AFRN), by NENA Newcastle Regional Hub, in order to map regional networks and connect with potential regional stakeholders/partners from the community, public/private and grassroots civil society sectors.

A copy of the Program can be downloaded from here: Joint Workshop Program -23 July Future societies and New Economies- 22-7-19

INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING OR TAKING PART IN THIS PROJECT? Please fill out the form and submit from here: https://forms.gle/kz1LN4ZHoZDPe6y4A