Ecological Challenges Conference, held in Oslo in February 2017, was supposed to be a place where “academia meets activism”. Ganna Gladkykh and Nathalie Spittler participated and came back from it with the following impressions.
The conference was one of those from the new wave of the academic conferences which try to be more inclusive bringing together people with with different experiences. It appeared that academia met activism not only at interpersonal but also at intrapersonal levels. There were many academics who combine research with social and political activity. Systems change was a sort of conference motto and defined a very strong political focus of plenary discussions which mainly focussing around finding the ways of overcoming political crisis and the flaws of capitalism. Trump was a real buzzword at the plenaries – every second presentation of the keynote speakers mentioned US President’s name at least once. The disciplinary backgrounds of the participants were extremely varied. We were relieved not being the only people there who had troubles naming the discipline which our research belongs to. It was an inspiring and insightful conference overall. More information about the conference can be found here and a longer blog piece by Nathalie can be read here.