In December 2012, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) in Delhi, India hosted a 5-day workshop that marked CORD’s second official large-group meet-up since the Toronto workshop in May 2012. The core aspects of the workshop are detailed below. For more detailed information about the workshop, please review our complete Workshop Report, under the Publications section of our website.
This workshop aimed to follow-up and build upon the CORD’s initial work (including two online conferences and a 4-day workshop in Toronto in May 2012) as well as to create long-term strategies to sustain the growth and activities of the network. Such face-to-face meetings are extremely important for maintaining the energy and enthusiasm of researchers separated by substantial geographical distances. The meeting in India offered researchers the chance to collaborate on a series of ongoing projects, as well as to brainstorm ideas for emerging work and funding strategies.
- To welcome new partners into CORD
- To brainstorm a cluster of common research themes and shape collaborative programs within the three groups (Knowledge and Democarcy; Political and Economic citizenship; Marginality and Policy) and look at areas of interconnections for future collaborative research projects
- To create “Mind Maps” of real cases of interface between knowledge, technology and democracy
- To present and discuss book chapters for an edited volume (Mediation Group)
- To finalise grant applications and plan for the next round of activities and outputs
As CORD aims to study practices of democratization around the world, it is important to also be democratic in the ways in which workshops are organized and how research is both conducted and disseminated. Thus, the sessions of the workshop were structured in such a way that almost all members had the opportunity to facilitate a particular session, if they wished to do so. Along with this mixed facilitation, other collaborative methodologies included:
- Individual paper presentations and feedback sessions
- Large-group discussions / small group discussions
- Mind-map creation
- Sharing of research methodologies (ex: digital story-telling projects, digital mapping, open access technologies)
- Public forum presentations and discussions on CORD members’ research on the topic of “Mediating Urbanization in Democracies”
- Presentation of critical feedback from non-CORD members, about mechanisms of collaboration, and a critique on the chapters that will be submitted for an edited volume on “Mediation”
In terms of research methodologies, CORD plans to undertake many different ways of working. In particular, the group plans to make use of technology to enhance collaboration over geographical distances. For instance, online mapping of current practices of democracy have been discussed, as well as participatory research methods such as digital storytelling. While the network is currently using basic forums to hold “online conferences,” we hope to enhance these discussions by making use of other technologies such as video conferencing applications to host meetings between face-to-face workshops.
The workshop took place over a period of five days, beginning on Monday December 10th, and ending on Friday December 14th. While many different discussions and activities took place over those five days, the core activities were as follows:
Presentations and discussion of book chapters for an edited volume on the subject of Citizenship Mediation,
- The solidification of key research objectives for the Knowledge & Democracy and Economic Citizenship sub-groups
- The emergence of a new sub-group called Marginality, Alliance Building and Policy
- The theoretical and empirical framing of development issues pertaining to urbanization through an open public symposium
- Sharing of methodologies
- Discussions on the future growth and direction of the network, including building key partnerships, long-term funding strategies, and structures of administration