Digital rural futures in a complex world: EU Society for Rural Sociology Congress 2019

July 29th, 2019

A man presenting

My presentation on understanding how researchers, advisors and farmers are grasping at digitalisation.

In the last week of June 2019, Emma Jakku and I travelled to Trondheim in Norway to build connections with others working in the digitalisation of agricultural innovation systems research space. Two working groups covered 42 papers (that’s a lot!) focused on the sociological implications of digital agriculture.

One session drew on the application of Responsible Innovation principles to the development of digital agricultural technologies in practice, with Emma sharing lessons from the Digiscape experience thus far. Another session examined the role of intermediaries (ie advisors, extension officers, etc) in navigating a digital agricultural future and helping achieve some of the benefits hyped to date.

Along with a previous International Farming Systems Association Symposium working group, this congress continued to build a rich conceptual and empirical foundation for social scientific research concerning the implications of digital agriculture. Abstracts will soon open for a session I am leading with a consortium of key researchers as co-convenors in this space at the International Rural Sociology Association Congress in Cairns in July 2020. Feel free to get involved if you are interested!

By Simon Fielke, Digiscape Postdoc

Houses and river

Summer in Trondheim, Norway