The weather is a little on the grimey side as the team rolls into the city from Hungary, Iceland, Sweden and India. What the city can't promise in fine weather it delivers in conviviality and cosyness as the team find themselves nested in a host of local eco-bnb's following CONVERGE's tradition of sustainable researching. The CONVERGE team are in Bristol to take stock and celebrate 1 YEAR of the CONVERGE project, and to prepare for the year ahead.
We kick off the week's meeting with an economics mini-conference chaired by Ian Roderick and with Keynotes on:
- Chasing utopias – local and global Ruth Levitas,
- Green Economics – the story so far - Molly Scott-Cato
- Climate and global eco-justice - Kate Brown.
The beginning of the week was spent reflecting on progress to date. There was a sense in the team that things were coming together, that our common understanding of the many angles of the work were solid, and that we felt confident that we would develop some strong outputs, yet we also felt that we needed to bridge a gap between reality and theory; that there wasn't enough interaction with practitioners in our research.
In the months ahead we will approach these challenges inviting inputs from organisations and individuals that deal proactively with the development of "fairness within biological planetary limits" - a concept that we see increasingly in the media - including the publication of Will Hutton's latest book: Them and Us: Changing Britain, Why We Need a Fair Society.
The team is filled with new energy as we look ahead to December; to finalising our background investigation of case studies, policies, engagement strategies and indicator frameworks and to the new year - finalising preparations for our testing phase and the development of the preliminary convergence framework.
It's dark now and the CONVERGE team is strolling on the waterside of Bristol's floating harbour. The SS Great Britain looks awesome as it looms, illuminated over it's warf. We come together closing the week with a celebratory meal at Bordeaux Quay- the UK's first eco-restaurant to achieve a gold rating under the Soil Association's sustainable catering scheme and fill our belly's with tasty local delights.
Happy Birthday Converge!