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Research Seminar: Anastasiadis, Brightwell & Spence

19/09/2013 (13:00-15:00)

Sustainability and London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics

Theme group: Sustainability, Responsibility and Ethics

Speakers: Dr Stephanos Anastasiadis (RHUL), Dr Graca Brightwell (Department of Geography, RHUL) and Professor Laura J. Spence (RHUL)

Olympics and sustainability

Dr Stephanos Anastasiadis, Lecturer in Sustainability, School of Management

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games emphasised sustainability. I briefly analyse London's claim to be the 'greenest games ever' and use that as the basis for a critique of mega-events and sustainability more broadly.

Olympics, ethics and values

Professor Laura J. Spence, Director, Centre of Research into Sustainability, School of Management

The Olympic and Paralympic values (friendship, respect, excellence and determination, inspiration, courage, equality) should be applied across Games, locations and organisations. Focusing on London 2012 Games I reflect on the ethical perspectives engendered in the values and the ethical challenges of political protest, governance, inclusion, corporate sponsorship, supply chain issues, volunteering and the local legacy.

(De)Constructing food visions: the circulation of sustainable practices between London and Rio during the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Dr Maria das Graças Brightwell, Project Manager, Leveraging Buying Power for Development - Ethical Consumption and Public Procurement in Chile and Brazil (sustainablechoices.info), Dept. of Geography, RHUL

Despite major criticisms from the public for having sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonald's, the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) launched its London 2012 Food Vision. This was an ambitious plan aimed at leaving a positive legacy for the future by setting new standards for catering at events through its commitment to sustainable sourcing. The same model is being carried out in Brazil, with major global players in the certification industry taking part in the construction of a Rio Food Vision 2014.

This presentation brings some ideas for a research proposal which intends to examine the circulation of sustainable practices between London and Rio in relation to food procurement in the run up to these mega sports events. Broadly it critically interrogates the emergence and significance of mega-events as carriers of sustainable practices. What's the impact of their intense and short lived demand on existing circuits of food consumption and production? More specifically, it engages with recent scholarship on theories of practice which argues that 'policy initiatives to promote more sustainable ways of life could and should be rooted in an understanding of the elements of which practices and systems of practice are formed" (Shove, Pantzar and Watson, 2012).

By looking at the practices of practitioners and to the spatial aspects of practices I aim at a) mapping which and how sustainable practices expertise travels and get integrated in new sites; b) How new practices re-define the spaces in which they are enacted and; c) how the spaces and existing practices re-define new practices?


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