FoE request for help: Topic 7 – Women’s Empowerment

Mike Childs, Head of Science, Policy and Research at Friends of the Earth wants to hear from anyone who might know of any academics who could write an 800 word challenge to the Green Movement? They want well researched arguments about why greens should be active on women’s empowerment. The challenges could be on women and politics, woman and business, woman and agriculture, or numerous other entry points.

Topic 7 in their project (see below) focuses on women’s empowerment – an issue that mainstream environment movements including FoE are fairly silent on so they want to shake this up. 

Brief update on project

  • Topic one – cities: we have now pretty much finalised our work in this area. Thanks to all you wrote blogs or shared thoughts. And especially thanks for Julian Agyeman, Harriet Bulkeley and Eurig Scandrett for writing think-pieces. We’ve pulled all this together in a publication here, and are now communicating this to the policy & politics community.
  • Topic two – bioproductivity: Mark Huxham from Edinburgh Napier University is working with others on a think-piece on multifunctional management of ecosystems and food security. From the early drafts I’ve seen I think this will be hard hitting and challenging. Hopefully this will be ready for circulation for wider comment in mid-March. Meanwhile Tim Lang from City University London is as I write transferring thoughts on policy levers to achieve sustainable diets from his brain to his computer. Hopefully I’ll be able to share Tim’s thoughts in my next update.
  • Topic three – Consumption: just before Christmas I let you know we’d arrived at four Big Ideas, outlined briefly in this blog. We’re delighted that Victoria Hurth from Plymouth University is now leading a group to produce a think-piece on how marketing needs to change to aid sustainable development. Roman Krznaric, author of Empathy (published this week, see blog here) has also agreed to help. We are head-hunting some others to produce further think-pieces.
  • Topic four – History and how change happens:  we are talking this week with the History & Policy Network on how to progress thinking on this topic. At the end of last year we had a great small seminar with a number of historians interested in exploring causation of change and we want to see how best to open up the debate & discussions to others.
  • Topic five – protecting the global commons: through much of December and January my colleague Duncan McLaren & I have been reading a vast quantity of literature in this area and we are tantalisingly close to reaching our first conclusions on particular interventions. In the next update I’ll share this and seek feedback.
  • Topic six – short-termism in business, economies and politics: we are going to start this topic in about a month’s time. If you’ve got any suggested ‘essential reading’ or useful contacts for this topic please do share them with me.
  • Topic seven – women’s empowerment: we are just starting on this. We’ve just published a short literature review here, and as mentioned earlier are seeking some challenges from academics working in this area.
  • Topics eight, nine and ten are for late 2014/2015!

Visit their website for more information including blogs, articles and interviews.  Contact Mike Childs on FoEs main switchboard, 020 7490 1555 or email:



About actionforinvolvment

We're an independent think tank, founded in 2006 to bring people in our communities together with policymakers and stakeholders. We create space often in a workshop format to pool ideas, develop networks and tackle hot topics. Since 2009, we’ve focused on the sustainability agenda such as: climate change, energy, housing, technology, transport with interest in:education, health, welfare, regulation and enforcement. Our latest project is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Grant and our next event on 27th June 2013 includes George Monbiot with other high level environmental policy makers.
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