2020 was the most extraordinary of years when conferences have been cancelled or postponed and normal flows of researcher engagement and networking have been heavily disrupted. So, what is the plan for 2021, a year in which we all hope that vaccines will roll out globally and we will slowly see a welcome return to more social interaction?
A small number of societies and research led organisations have come together and agreed that rather than run competing events we will contribute to co-hosting a Festival of regional and related research. This multi-partner event will run globally, online from 2nd June – 18th June 2021. Partners’ calls will be announced beginning of 2021. Details on the Regional Studies Association’s (RSA) call for abstracts and special sessions are listed below.
The RSA will provide its newly developed events and networking app (RSA Hub) which incorporates a conference wire frame for virtual events to host a multi-strand event within an app enabling participant networking, Q&A, multiple presentation types and exhibition spaces as well as rooms for social and well-being occasions. Partner organisations will have spaces to showcase their activities and we hope to include a job fair.
Presenters, chairs, discussants, rapporteurs and other active participants will be required to pay a small fee (£45 or £20 for concessions) to cover costs. The Festival will be free for non-presenters who can take part in discussions and networking.
Regions in Recovery Building Sustainable Futures – Global e-Festival
RSA Call for Abstracts and Special Sessions
Special session deadline: 27th January 2021
Abstract submission deadline: 17th March 2021
Recent months have seen the exceptional become the ordinary. From social distancing to widespread travel restrictions, new quarantine rules to lockdowns and remote working, the significant shock of Covid-19 and its implications are becoming clearer for all to see. And yet, as attention switches to recovery, calls to pivot away from business-as-usual approaches are clashing with structural forces opposed to significant change. Add in the global climate and migration crises, rise in populism, racial tensions and the #blacklivesmatter movement, geopolitical manoeuvrings by the United States, Russia, China, EU, and the question on most people’s lips is: what happens next?
Against this backdrop, regional studies are more vital than ever to inform public debate and invoke appropriate policy responses. Indeed, regional studies has tools tailored to understanding the spatial impacts of significant shocks, be they economic, political, social or environmental. For this reason, regional research is once more spearheading major efforts to provide the type of reliable, robust knowledge necessary to support cities and regions in their recovery. 2020 has taught us that the greater the change the greater the disruption, but also the greater the disruption the greater the chance of change. As we look ahead though, it is critical that we consider fundamental questions about the significance of these changes. What changes will ultimately endure? Which changes will be short-lived and quickly fizzle away? Why is this and what are the implications for cities and regions? What does it tell us about the capacity for regional research to influence policy and affect meaningful change?
The Regions in Recovery Festival presents a timely opportunity to discuss and debate these important issues, to establish the need and nature of future research imperatives in the field, and to address the concerns and challenges confronting practitioners and policymakers. The focus on rapid change is an invitation to step outside the narrow confines of existing debate to address issues of profound relevance, significance and importance to the future of regions and cities.
The RSA is keen to attract papers and sessions which rethink cities and regions by identifying new fields of enquiry, address a broad research and policy agenda, and include contributions from any discipline which can offer relevant insights at local and regional levels. Papers which are highly innovative, collaborative, international or multi-disciplinary are especially welcome.
If you would like more information about how to join the RSA contribution to the Regions in Recovery Festival, please contact Lesa Reynolds: email@example.com Or call +44(0)1273 099622.“