The Chair of Conference, Professor Wendy Larner (University of Bristol), has introduced the theme of the conference and the overlapping areas of debate for delegates.
Geographies of co-production
In recent years the research and teaching activities of universities have been challenged by a wide range of new encounters, including commercialisation, open innovation, participatory social science, engaged arts, and public engagement. These new encounters are disrupting conceptions of where knowledge resides, how problems are framed, and who should be mobilised to influence research. ‘Co-production’ is the term increasingly used to describe these new encounters, and is shaping research council agendas, institutional practices, and academic identities.
The aim of this conference is to reflect on the challenges and new opportunities that arise when geographers reflect what we think we know against the ‘other’, those who start from a different entry point and bring different perspectives to our field of knowledge. It will provide opportunities to examine the challenges of multi-disciplinarity, and explore how different communities might deploy each other’s perspectives to create new understandings. Collaborative knowledge making also requires a robust framework that acknowledges and works constructively with inevitable differences and tensions, encouraging geographers to think more creatively about dynamic locations for knowledge formation, novel forms of exchange and dissemination, and innovative methods for geographical research and teaching.