The network of researchers involved in the four EPSRC-funded projects met in at Emmanuel College, Cambridge on 7-8 January 2008 for a second “Bridging the Global Digital Divide” conference. The aim of the two-day meeting was to bring the project teams together to share news and information about our ongoing work, as well as plan for the months ahead. Attending on behalf of Fair Tracing were Dr Apurba Kundu, Dr Ann Light and Christian Wallenta (both days), as well as Dr Dorothea Kleine and Ashima Chopra (day one), and Maria Jose Montero (day two).
Our own presentation — close to the halfway point of the Fair Tracing project – gave details of our recent field visits to Chile and India (including news that Professor N. Shantha Mohan has joined the project as a consultant), as well as initial results of our UK Consumer Study, and aspects of the prospective data collation, storage and retrieval technologies that the project will use. The report also highlighted presentations made by team members on aspects of Fair Tracing, including
- D. Kleine, ‘Anything but neutral: The role of technology in development’, Open University, Milton Keynes, 28 Mar 2007;
- D. Kleine & A. Light, ‘Found in Translation: Experiences from the Fair Tracing Project’. Human Computer Interaction annual conference, Lancaster University, 4 Sept 2007;
- D. Kleine, ‘Linking local realities: Using technology to connect Fair Trade consumers and producers’, Royal Geographical Society annual conference, 31 Sept 2007;
- I Brown, ‘Current research’, Oxford Internet Institute, 10 Oct 2007;
- A. Light , ‘A Year in Pictures: Some Issues in Developing a Representation of Ethical Producers for Consumers’, Sheffield Hallam University, Nov 2007; and
- D. Kleine, ’The Fair Tracing project: Using the internet to track Chilean Fairtrade wine’, Centre for Latin American Studies, Cambridge University, 18 Jan 2008,
as well as recent and forthcoming publications concerning the project, including
- D. Kleine (2007) ‘Striking a Balance’, Engineering and Technology, 2:2, 30-33;
- A. Chopra & A. Kundu (2008, forthcoming) ‘The Fair Tracing project: digital tracing technology and Indian coffee, Contemporary South Asia, 16:2 June;
- D. Kleine (2008, forthcoming) ‘Negotiating partnerships, understanding power: Doing Action Research on Chilean Fairtrade Wine’, Geojournal;
- D. Kleine (2008, forthcoming) ‘How fair is fair enough? Negotiating alterity and compromise within the German Fair Trade movement’, in D. Fuller, A.E. Jonas & R. Lee, Alternative Economic and Political Spaces (Ashgate);
- D. Kleine (in preparation) ‘From solidarity coffee to fine wine: The changing images of Fair Trade’, Antipode; and
- D. Kleine & A. Light (in preparation) ‘Designing with Partners in the Global South: Empowering producers, informing consumers’ .
While the conference itself proved a very useful means of communication between groups, fair tracing also benefitted from the time alloted for the separate teams to meet to plot our next steps. These include the following presentations:
- A. Chopra, ‘Fair Tracing and the digital divide: tracking Indian coffee across the internet’, Critical Internet Studies seminar series, Liverpool John Moores University, 21 Feb 2008;
- I. Brown, A. Chopra, .D. Kleine, A. Kundu, A. Light, M. Montero & C. Wallenta, ‘The Fair Tracing Project’, Department of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London, 6 Mar 2008; and
- A. Chopra (under consideration) , ‘The Fair Tracing project: Indian coffee and the digital divide’, British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) annual conference , Leicester, 26-28 Mar 2008.
All in all, it was a very productive two days!