Thesis Opportunity: Generating Buzz, Making Futures: Enthusiasm and Investment at Food Events

Food events such as Food Tank and Seeds and Chips are becoming important venues for steering the food innovation and food policy agenda. We are interested in gaining a better understanding of the types of innovations, policy agendas, and politics that are articulated and silenced in these spaces.  We seek one or two Msc students who will conduct a stakeholder mapping, event ethnography, and media analysis of these organizations and their events. This research will shed light on the uneasy relationship between finance, innovation, and politics in the food sector, and the role of enthusiasm and celebrity as modes of communication and policy making for more or less just and sustainable food futures.

green pineapple fruit with brown framed sunglasses beside yellow surface

Photo by Lisa Fotios on


  • You have some training in qualitative methods and critical social theory
  • You are an interested in celebrity and food politics
  • You are willing to develop new methodologies to analyse digital media and events
  • You are registered for one of the following MSc programmes: MID, MCS, MLP, MFT, or MOA
  • You have completed at least 2 RSO courses (or relevant social science courses)

Questions? Please get in touch!

Supervisors: Oona Morrow (RSO) & Prof. Mike Goodman, University of Reading

SOLINSA and FarmPath – joint Final conference in Brussels, December 3 2013

SOLINSA Final conferenceDecember 3 the EU-funded reserach projects FarmPath and SOLINSA will jointly present their findings at a final conference in Brussels. A detailed programme is available at the website. Location: Thon Hotel, Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 75, B-1040. From 9.00 am till 4.30 pm.

SOLINSA video: what is SOLINSA about in a nutshell

Februari 1 and 2 we had our third SOLINSA project meeting in Paris. Apart from discussing the proceedings in the different Workpackages (see for more information and results) we had a workshop dedicated to making Participatory Video’s. In the workshop lead by Catcher Media and Chris High from the Open University, we as team of researchers learned to make our own participatory video: what is SOLINSA about?  This resulted in a short video ( 3 minutes only) that has been published at the front page of the SOLINSA website ( and at You Tube. If you want to get a quick impression of the SOLINSA project and our team have a look:

First results: analysis of the context (WP3)

Wageningen University (in casu: Communication and Innovation Studies and Rural Sociology Group) was the lead partner of WP3 Understanding the context. WP3 aimed at analysing the trends, relation to LINSA’s and structure of the Agricultural and Knowledge Systems in the participating 8 countries through desk study and a participatory SWOT analysis. This has resulted in two reports accessible at the website:

  1. A synthesis of the comparative analysis of the Agricultural Knowledge Systems in 8 countries
  2. Review of relevant EU Policy documents on innovation

For further information with regard to WP3 one can contact Frans Hermans  (

Next event is the international dissemination workshop on the future of AKIS in Europe on March 5, 2012 in Brussels. The workshop is organised in partnership with the collaborative working group on Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS) of the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR). Proceedings of the seminar will be available for download after the 15th of March. At the workshop a summary of the WP3 results will be presented.

Support of Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture (SOLINSA): new EU-funded project

In March we had the kick-off  meeting of the EU-funded research project SOLINSA: Support of Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture. The website has been launched recently and provides information on the project and will publish reports of findings. At the front page of the website can find a link a flyer on the SOLINSA project.

Agriculture is in transition. Among others agriculture respond to market developments, policy reforms, consumers and societal concerns and more generally sustainability issues, but in various ways.  From a rather one-sided production perspective , agriculture has become many-sided or even versatile. This has in turn has implication for Agricultural Knowledge System (AKS), i.e. the formal education, research and advice directed to agriculture and its development and is reflected in the different tasks and roles AKS can and is asked to fulfill in the support of learning and innovation practiced in often less formalised networks (i.e. the LINSA’s). AKS is in transition too, with regard to the need of building versatile expertise as well in how its is formally organised and funded (private, public or mixed funding). This is core of what will be studied in SOLINSA: how AKS can support more effectively and efficiently learning and innovation networks for sustainable agriculture. For this purpose two Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture (i.e. LINSA) of various kinds in the eight participating countries will be studied in depth. In the Netherlands for example the network of sustainable dairy farmers (

The Rural Sociology Group (RSO) and Communication and Innovation Studies (CIS) of Wageningen University jointly participate as a partner in SOLINSA. For information you can contact either (CIS), (CIS) or (RSO).