The 8th annual SIID PGR conference took place in Sheffield over May 2-3. This year we called for presentations around the theme ‘The age of sustainability? Opportunities, challenges and critiques’, and weren’t disappointed with the breadth and quality of the response. Below some of our panelists reflect on their highlights from what was a great couple of days.

Kamya Choudhary, University of Edinburgh
Presented on Power, Revolution and Transformation in Rural India: Studying the Social and Ecological Consequences of State Subsidized Solar-Powered Irrigation Pumps in India

“My experience here has been amazing, because I’ve met so many wonderful people under one roof, in terms of academics and the research that they’re doing – it’s vibrant and dynamic and different, and quite revolutionary. We’re having discussions that don’t even exist at political and parliamentary levels right now. It’s just so amazing to explore these ideas that we would otherwise not have exposure to at all. I think the point of such interdisciplinary conferences is not just to get your work out, but to widen your horizons of what’s possible and what research is happening, and to be exposed to ideas you wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Johannes Dittmann, University of Bonn
Presented on Impacts of Devolution on an East African Small-Scale Fishery – A Political Ecology of Fishery at Lake Naivasha, Kenya

“It was very nice to discuss with the others in my panel session about recommendations and future prospects for all of our research projects, and to get different insights from so many people from all over the world. This is something which is very rare in Germany. At this conference I noticed that there are people from India, from Africa, from South America, from Asia and all over the world. All people are coming here to discuss. It’s a very fruitful situation.”

Daniele Malerba, University of Manchester
Presented on Can Poverty Eradication be Achieved within Environmental Sustainability?

“As an economist I underestimated the concept of sustainability from an environmental point of view, so the fact that there were panels explaining different environmental angles definitely helped me in understanding deforestation, emissions and all kinds of different concepts that I’m not used to. I was expecting a bit more to do with economics, as I think sustainability has a lot to do with economic development. But overall it was very interesting for an economist like me.”

Cecilie Dyngeland, University of Sheffield
Presented on Sustainable Food Security: Impact Evaluation of the Zero Hunger Programme in Brazil

“My project is looking at food security, and the role of small-scale farmers. I’m evaluating a project in Brazil, to see whether or not it’s been effective in reducing food security. The panel was very useful. The audience and the moderators know we come from many different departments and backgrounds, and I got questions I probably wouldn’t have had it only been people within my field. For instance, people challenging my method just because it’s not something that they know a lot about.”

Ed Atkins, University of Bristol
Presented on Notions of Just Sustainability: (Re)Articulating Sustainable Development in the Case of the Belo Monte and São Luiz do Tapajós Dams

“It’s been very nice to be here for these two days. A postgraduate conference is a good opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and have your work analysed in ways that you hadn’t thought possible before. It’s generally a very productive process, and I’m happy to be here.”

Find out more about SIID’s work by reading the blog