A pilot multi-site academic and social event

On March 8, we piloted a hybrid conference format in Boston and London as part of the student-organized 16th annual Tufts Nutrition Data Symposium (TNDS), whose theme was “Sustainability Now: Action-Oriented Solutions for Food Systems, Nutrition, and Diet.” Tufts University and the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine hosted a viewing party for the keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, followed by a social event afterwards so that students, staff, and faculty at both locations could engage with one another (pictures below). Two large TV monitors with speakers hooked up to Zoom allowed participants to interact across sites. In our pilot, the video connections worked better than the audio, and we are now experimenting with technical options for improving the audio in the future. Many conferences successfully broadcast keynote speeches, but there are great opportunities for future innovations to improve the interactivity and interpersonal warmth of social events in multi-site conferences. Our website has a tab for more information on low-carbon conferences.

Can We Fly-less? An immersive visual-audio exhibition

The question of how advocates of flying less should engage the broad public is certainly not an easy one. What is clear is that there cannot be a single approach. In that spirit, we share with you here a very innovative production that takes an unorthodox approach. The result is a highly thoughtful and provocative virtual exhibition developed for the “Festival of the Mind,” which took place in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom in September 2022.

Titled “Can We Fly Less?” this “immersive visual-audio exhibition” explores and responds to different attitudes towards efforts to reduce flying. It emerges out of a cooperative effort involving an interdisciplinary group of scholars at the University of Sheffield who conducted the research on which the exhibition is based–Doctors Stephen Allen, Judith Krauss, Renee Timmers, and Matt Watson. They worked in collaboration with Gina Allen, a visual artist, and Kitty Turner, a digital producer, the two of whom created the video below. The podcast that follows the video is comprised of a discussion, one in and which Stephen Allen interviews Gina Allen and Kitty Turner about the video they have produced and how it speaks to questions around flying less in a time of intensifying climate breakdown.

Click on the image above to access the podcast.