As some may know, Duncan died suddenly ten days ago. In time, I am sure members of SCGRG will want to discuss how we might appropriately mark his contributions to the group as both member of the group, one-time Committee member and speaker at many SCGRG sessions and events. He was both an provocative and passionate geographer, and his passing makes British geographer seem a less fun place. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are of course with his family and friends at this time.
For those who want to share their memories of Duncan as teacher, colleague and friend, please see:
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Geographies of Social Enterprise
The study of social enterprise organisations that trade with a social purpose is an emerging field of research that is of importance to geographers and other social scientists. This double session recognised the topical nature of the research and brings together academics already working in the field to present their work but also to discuss future research directions.
The first session focused on the geographies of social entrepreneurs/enterprise covering a variety of research areas: Jane Ricketts Hein presented a summary of research on the role of churches in rural areas; Emma Street discussed her research with the South Bank Employers Group; Dan Van der Horst showed the importance of social enterprise in the renewable energy sector and Muki Haklay discussed the use of Geo-Spatial mapping techniques in understanding social impact to cultural and social geographical aspects of social enterprise.
In the second session focused on connecting social enterprise research with social theory and the relationship between social enterprise and the empowerment of marginalised and excluded groups. The session included presentations Mike Gordon, with some statistical analysis of social enterprise activities; Kean Birch discussing the role of the third sector in regional development and finally Sarah-Anne Muñoz offered a research agenda for social enterprise research.
The sessions complemented each other by focussing on the different approaches and methodologies associated with social enterprise research. It is hoped that this will stimulate further research on social enterprise within Geographical research.
A session that was co-sponsored by the SCGRG at this year's RGS involved photography. The images were a mixture of self-directed photos and those taken by researchers. All were exhibited in the tented area at the RGS and seemed to attract much interest. For further images and details, see:
The session had two objectives, first to bring together current work using participant directed photography and second to critically examine the spaces of the conference by providing an exhibition rather than a paper session. Accompanying this exhibition was a panel session and a round table discussion. The exhibition involved work from 19 different projects grouped into four thematics: Photographs and young people; Imaging identity and the self in situ; Memory, images and remembering; and Images, marginalisation and resistance. These thematics occupied the informal spaces of the conference in the entrance foyer and great hall of The RGS building and the marquee in the grounds.
Both the roundtable discussion and the panel session with Gillian Rose JD Dewsbury and Eric Laurier were very well attended with some very interesting points raised both by the panellists, and in wider discussion. Not least was the issue that despite the effective and affective communication of ‘the image’ it is tempered within and softened by words. Moreover the academic space of the image is restricted to illustration by editorial requirements, ethical considerations, and print limits of academic outputs.