20150819

Communication. Mapping agro-food consumption groups in the city of Barcelona

Cover of Espelt, R., Peña-López, I., Losantos, P., Rodríguez, E., Martín, T. & Pons, F. (2015). “Mapping agro-food consumption groups in the city of Barcelona”

My colleague Ricard Espelt is these days at the XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, in Aberdeen, Scotland. The motto of this year’s edition of the congress is Places of possibility? Rural societies in a neoliberal world and this is just what Ricard is presenting on behalf of a small team he put up to analyse and map agro-food consumption groups in the city of Barcelona.

The communication he just presented, Mapping agro-food consumption groups in the city of Barcelona, is but a part of a major research project that Ricard is doing and that I have the luck to be a part of. Following can be found the abstract, slides and downloads of our communication, signed together by Ricard Espelt, Pere Losantos, Enrique Rodríguez, Toni Martín, Francesc Pons and myself. Mind that it is only a short paper and, thus, only a small part of the information produced is available. Comments (and/or requests) will definitely be welcome.

Abstract

“Consumption groups” (or “consumption cooperatives”) is one of the types of short circuits of food consumption. They are organized to create an alternative to the dominant model, the agro-food big chain. Breaking the barriers between consumers and producers, this model of organization strengthens the possibility of stimulating social and economic local development.

In this article, we show how consumption groups take advantage of the traditional cooperative move-ment rooted in the XIXth century, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the context of Barcelona.

We analyse how the Social and Solidary Economy (SSE) measurement indicators are achieved by agro-food consumption groups, the nature of the networks made up by consumers and producers and the rele-vance of ICTs to maintain the business activity. Using geolocalized data and social network analysis we highlight the significance of local economical connec-tions among the actors involved.

Even though consumption groups stimulate local business and correlate with SSE indicators, they are not represented in the design of public policies. This article wants to draw a different point of view in the promotion of alternative food futures as emerging social and economic actors, and the public policies to promote them.

Slides

Dowloads

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Short paper:
Espelt, R., Peña-López, I., Losantos, P., Rodríguez, E., Martín, T. & Pons, F. (2015). “Mapping agro-food consumption groups in the city of Barcelona”. In Places of possibility? Rural societies in a neoliberal world. Proceedings of the XXVI ESRS Congress, Aberdeen, Scotland, 2015. Aberdeen: The James Hutton Institute

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Slides:
Espelt, R., Peña-López, I., Losantos, P., Rodríguez, E., Martín, T. & Pons, F. (2015). “Mapping agro-food consumption groups in the city of Barcelona”. In Places of possibility? Rural societies in a neoliberal world. Proceedings of the XXVI ESRS Congress, Aberdeen, Scotland, 2015. Aberdeen: The James Hutton Institute

20150531

Book chapter. The double edge of technology: an opportunity for inclusion and a risk of exclusion

Portada del Informe FAROS 2015

FAROS is the childhood and youth health observatory of the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, one of the most renowned hospitals specialized in children and youngsters in Spain.

Every year they publish a book — the FAROS report — which deals about a topic of especial relevance for families and carers, helping them to understand it and to address it.

The 2015 edition of the FAROS report its entitled Las nuevas tecnologías en niños y adolescentes. Guía para educar saludablemente en una sociedad digital [New technologies in children and youngsters. Guide for a healthy education in a digital society]. As it can be inferred from the title, the report deals about minors accessing technology, the use of devices, online and videogaming, social networking sites, privacy and security, socialization, etc.

I was kindly invited to write one of the final chapters about the pros and cons of digital life. Unlike the preceding co-authors, my approach is not about one specific point of view or technology, but more panoramic. It tries to bring to the debate that the use of technology is a matter of socialization. And, as such, it does carry embedded the very same advantages and risks of interacting with others. Without fully digital inclusion, one will not be in risk of e-exclusion, but in risk of sheer social exclusion. On the other hand, an inappropriate digital inclusion will be very much like inappropriate socialization, putting us in risk of being abused, be an abuser (or a criminal), lack education opportunities and so on.

My chapter is called El doble filo de la tecnología: una oportunidad de inclusión y un peligro de exclusión [The double edge of technology: an opportunity for inclusion and a risk of exclusion] and can be downloaded as follows.

Lots of gratitude to Olga Herrero for counting me in and making it possible.

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Download the chapter(PDF):
Peña-López, I. (2015). “El doble filo de la tecnología: una oportunidad de inclusión y un peligro de exclusión”. In Roca, G. (Coord.), Las nuevas tecnologías en niños y adolescentes. Guía para educar saludablemente en una sociedad digital, 123-133. Barcelona: Hospital Sant Joan de Déu.

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Download the full report (PDF):
Roca, G. (Coord.) (2015) Las nuevas tecnologías en niños y adolescentes. Guía para educar saludablemente en una sociedad digital. Barcelona: Hospital Sant Joan de Déu.

20150325

Book review: Networks of Outrage and Hope

Cover of the book review: Redes de indignación y esperanza

The Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies has just published a book review that I did on Manuel Castells’ Redes de Indignación y Esperanza (Networks of Outrage and Hope in its English edition).

Unlike most reviews — not my words, but someone else’s — my review is not just a description of what is in the book, but an actual review or, better put, a critique. Not necessarily negative one, mind you, but a reading with at least a critical eye.

In my review — which, by the way, is in Spanish — I begin by telling why the book is relevant and comes at a perfect timing.

Then, I go into debating on of the most important (to me) subjects of Manuel Castells’ trilogy on the Information Society and that the author revisits in his by now latest book: the question of space (or of spaces). Unlike what he did in The Information Age, though, his approach to the concept of space is somewhat changed here, and goes more in the line of what other authors have stated, like John Perry Barlow, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Javier Echeverría or Marc Augé.

The paper can be downloaded at the following link, and the bibliography that I used can be accessed after the download section.

Download:

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PDF download:
Peña-López, I. (2014). “Redes de indignación y esperanza”. In Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, 1-4. New York: Routledge.

Bibliography:

Alcazan, Monterde, A., Axebra, Quodlibetat, Levi, S., SuNotissima, TakeTheSquare & Toret, J. (2012). Tecnopolítica, Internet y R-Evoluciones. Sobre la Centralidad de Redes Digitales en el #15M. Barcelona: Icaria.
Barlow, J.P. (1996). A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Davos: Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Castells, M. (2004). “Informationalism, Networks, And The Network Society: A Theoretical Blueprint”. In Castells, M. (Ed.), The Network Society: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
Castells, M. (2009). Communication power. Cambridge: Oxford University Press.
Castells, M. (2012). Redes de indignación y esperanza. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
Corsín Jiménez, A. & Estalella, A. (2013). “The atmospheric person: value, experiment and ‘making neighbours’ in Madrid’s popular assemblies”. In Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 3 (2), 119–139. Manchester: University of Manchester.
Corsín Jiménez, A. & Estalella, A. (2014). “Assembling Neighbours. The City as Archive, Hardware, Method, and “a very messy kind of archive””. In Common Knowledge, 20 (1), 150-171. Durham: Duke University Press.
Echeverría, J. (1999). Los Señores del aire: Telépolis y el Tercer Entorno. Barcelona: Destino.
Gibson, W. (1984). Neuromancer. New York City: Ace.
Neale, M. (2000). William Gibson: No Maps for These Territories. Los Angeles: Docurama.
Stephenson, N. (1992). Snow Crash. New York City: Bantam Books.
20140824

New paper. Spanish Indignados and the evolution of the 15M movement on Twitter: towards networked para-institutions

Cover of the paper Spanish Indignados and the evolution of the 15M movement on Twitter: towards networked para-institutions

My colleagues Mariluz Congosto, Pablo Aragón and I just got a paper published. It is the final, improved version of a research that had already been presented thus:

(more…)

20140531

Open social innovation: the political organization as a platform

Book cover for Comunicació pel Canvi Social

In the last months I have been reflecting — especially in my blog in Spanish, SociedadRed, but also here — on the impact of ICTs on political institutions, and how these institutions are — or, in my opinion, should — adapting to new forms of participation and citizen organization.

I have especially addressed the highly innovative environment of these social practices, and thus (re)approached innovation, open innovation and social innovation but now under the new light of political extra-representative participation, social movements, political engagement and participation that happens “under the radar” of institutions, etc.

A first result of these reflections was my paper “Casual Politics: From slacktivism to emergent movements and pattern recognition”.

What comes now is the result of merging some partial works:

The result of it all is a new book chapter, Innovació social oberta: l’organització política com a plataforma [Open social innovation: the political organization as a platform], published in the book Costa i Fernández, L. & Puntí Brun, M. (Eds.), Comunicació pel canvi social. Reflexions i experiències per una comunicació participativa, emancipadora i transparent. A preprint version is available for download below:

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Preprint:
Peña-López, I. (2014). “Innovació social oberta: l’organització política com a plataforma”. In Costa i Fernández, L. & Puntí Brun, M. (Eds.), Comunicació pel canvi social. Reflexions i experiències per una comunicació participativa, emancipadora i transparent, 59-75. Girona: Universitat de Girona.
20140101

Appointed Director of Open Innovation at Fundació Jaume Bofill

Imagine an organization you highly and very sincerely respect. Imagine this organization calls you and tells you about their vision and the plans to achieve this vision. Plans about opening research, about making the creation and spread of knowledge very participative and collaborative, about making impact the target and research the instrument put at the service of that impact (instead of research being the goal and impact a casual side-effect). Imagine this organization asking for your opinion and listening to you digress about e-research, personal learning environments, the personal research portal, knowledge management or new ways to use technology and participate in the Information Society.

This happened in September at Fundació Jaume Bofill, a leading non-profit in Catalonia that performs quality research in human sciences in general, and now narrowing its field of action to Education in a very broad sense, with a special focus on inequalities, innovation and social change. And the conversation ended with a would you like to lead the project?.

Since November 1st I am the director of open innovation at Fundació Jaume Bofill, being my general goal to rethink how knowledge is produced and shared all across the organization. To be able to perform my new responsibilities, since January 1st 2014 until February 1st 2015 I will be on partial leave from my current job, full time professor at the Open University of Catalonia. I describe what I think the main background is in Open Social Innovation. On the other hand, what I believe my main guiding lines will be in the following year was presented in December to my new colleagues. What follows are the slides I used (in Catalan):

[click here to enlarge] | [click here to download the slides]

All of this has mostly been learning by doing, so I just expect my experience not to be too much wrong.

There is a positive side-effect to this already thrilling collaboration. My University and I found that the best way to channel it was through the recently created Open Evidence, a spin-off from my University working in the field of social sciences research, innovation and knowledge transfer. I will thus be working side by side as a researcher and analyst with my friends Francisco Lupiáñez- Villanueva and David Osimo, whom I highly respect. I hope being closer will make it easier to produce some good things together.

Last, but not least, it is worth acknowledging that things do not happen just because. There is plenty of people to be grateful to. First of all, my thanks go to Ismael Palacín (director of the Foundation), Mònica Nadal (director of prospective) and the board of trustees of the Fundació Jaume Bofill (Carles Capdevila among others) for their trust in me; to some friends and “usual suspects” (Jaume Albaigès, Pau Vidal, etc.) for their priceless help and speaking well of me and my work; to Paco Lupiáñez, Agustí Cerrillo, Mireia Riera, José Miguel de la Dehesa and Enric Vinaixa for their support and making things happen; and to María Salido, Amalio Rey, Julen Iturbe and Ana Rodera for their “notes” on how to leave the nest. And, of course, to Mercè, Muriel and (soon) Jofre for their patience.

At this moment I’m both excited and terrified at the perspective of the new year. The project is huge, both a tremendous opportunity of making great things or falling into deep failures. The team I will be working with is gorgeous and an incredible source of learning. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let’s home. I ever said we were i’ the wrong if we never tried.