As we head into fall, Grassland 2.0 once again is hosting our free Digital Dialogue series. In 2021, we kicked off the series with the question: What are healthy agroecosystems? In spring 2022, we asked: What are the levers of agroecological change? This fall we focus on a new question that is near and dear to our Grassland 2.0 work: How does place-making impede or facilitate socio-ecological change?
Place-making is the social, political, and material processes that construct places over time at varying scales of resolution (i.e., sites, regions, nations). Our Digital Dialogue guests will discuss how we shape places and in turn how those collectively developed places influence our individual and group behavior.
The Grassland 2.0 Digital Dialogue kicks-off on Tuesday, October 4th from 12:00-1:30 PM CT with an overview of place-making from Dr. Dan Williams, Senior Research Social Scientist with the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. Dr. Williams is a leading researcher who employs the concepts of place and place-making to study how to improve climate resilience in resource-dependent communities. Dr. Williams explores how to apply social-geographic analysis to assess place-specific meanings and values embedded in natural resource decision making. He also seeks to understand how place-specific meanings and values are shaped by and, in turn, shape social actions and ecological changes across landscapes.
For our first Digital Dialogue of the fall, Dr. Williams will discuss how places are created across spatial scales, and how place-making can help close the knowledge-practice gap as we work toward agriculture that provides for our wants and needs today, while building capacity for future generations to do the same.
Our second Grasslannd 2.0 Digital Dialogue of the fall is set for Tuesday, October 18th from 12:00-1:30PM CT when we welcome Dr. Elena Bennett, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Science at McGill University (and UW-Madison alumna!), for a conversation on the relationships between people, nature, and the ecosystem services we rely on from our landscapes. Her work focuses on questions about future scenario, e.g., How can positive conservation action provide a roadmap for the future?
Digital Dialogue is a four-part webinar series, with more information on the final two speakers forthcoming. Each speaker this fall will explore place-based conservation, recognizing that transformational landscape change occurs within social-ecological contexts.
Each Grassland 2.0 Learning Hub is an example of regional place-making processes. Together, in communities of varying scales, we are engaged in developing a vision for the future. Place-based conservation starts with a collective vision.
Place-making processes provide an alternative approach to conservation work and the Grassland 2.0 Digital Dialogue is the perfect opportunity to learn more! Join the process and explore how you are already place-making!