Czechia POLLEN Node
This recently established POLLEN node spans across universities and research institutes in Czechia, including the Czech Academy of Sciences (Global Change Research Institute, Institute of Sociology, Institute of Ethnology), Faculty of Humanities at Charles University in Prague, and Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University.
The umbrella themes of the node include societal transformations towards just and sustainable futures, interactions between environmental policies and societal movements, and the roles of environmental justice, protest and activism in shaping governance systems.
The node aims to build on the rich interdisciplinary expertise of its members, including environmental and sustainability studies, development studies, ethnology, environmental sociology, policy science, social and political anthropology, philosophy and arts.
The node members are active in both global and Central/Eastern European research and strive to nurture the exchange of research insights across scales and contexts. They contribute to knowledge co-production initiatives and interfaces between science, policy and practice.
Lenka Suchá is a postdoctoral researcher at Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences with a background in development studies. Her research is embedded in environmental justice, exploring how diverse power relations in society interact with each other and underpin access to land and to other social and ecological capital, thus contributing to numerous layers of inequalities. Lenka’s PhD was exploring the diversity of land access mechanisms of small-scale urban farmers in Soweto, South Africa. Her recent research focuses on the interplay between the practice of Czech official development assistance (ODA) and the social-ecological links of land tenure, governance, and well-being in rural Zambia. She has an extensive experience in ethnography and builds on the principles of participatory action research.
Zuzana Harmáčková is a research associate in the Department of Human Dimensions of Global Change at CzechGlobe - Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Stockholm Resilience Centre. She focuses on scenarios of potential future development, looking particularly into which social-ecological futures do stakeholders, experts and policy-makers envision at different scales, from local to global. Zuzana has run participatory scenario-building processes in a variety of contexts (Europe, Africa, Central Asia) and is involved in the work of science-policy interfaces, currently contributing to the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
Julia Leventon is the head of the Department of Human Dimensions of Global Change at CzechGlobe - Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She works broadly on topics of governance systems change for sustainability, engaging in topics of biodiversity loss and climate change (and their related symptoms). Julia takes a systems thinking approach, including understanding place-based social-ecological interactions, and how these are embedded within multilevel governance systems, including politics, polity and policy.Her work has a strong focus on inter- and trans-disciplinarity, with a contribution to developing methodologies therein.
Petr Jehlička is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Ethnology and at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. He has a long-standing interest in everyday environmentalism and sustainable food consumption at the intersection of formal and informal food economies. More recently, inspired bypostcolonial and decolonial scholarship and responding to the exclusion of East European variants of environmentalism and sustainability from the circuits of cosmopolitan knowledge production Petr has explored these topics in relation to inequalities in the geography of knowledge production. His work has interrogated existing hierarchies in global knowledge production by examining the dominant research on post-1989 East European environmentalism and proposed its re-think, arguing for a more positive framing that extends it in the direction of ‘post-postmaterial’ environmentalism.One example of this work are the lessons from the East European inconspicuous but materially significant food self-provisioning and sharing practices as sustainable and caring behaviours that do not rely on intentionality and postmaterial value change but draw on the desire to produce healthy food for human Others.
Tereza Stöckelová is a researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and an associate professor at the Department of Sociocultural Anthropology, Charles University. Her work is situated in-between sociology, social anthropology and science and technology studies (STS), and draws upon actor network theory and related material semiotic methodologies. She investigated academic practices in the context of current policy changes, science and society relations, environmental controversies, and the interfaces between biomedical and alternative therapeutic practices. Her current research is concerned with trajectories of human-microbial and - fungal coexistence in the Czech Republic. It builds on the concepts of microbiopolitics, (micro)biological citizenship, and situated biologies and it maps out how embodied subjectivities, biosocialities, and state governance are being (re)configured in relation to and through microbial and fungal agents. Since 2020 she is a member of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, an advisory body and forum of reflection set up by UNESCO.
Martin Vrba studied philosophy and theory of interactive media at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University and conceptual art at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology. He is currently one of the coordinators of the Czech branch of the international movement Extinction Rebellion. He also works as a dramaturge and scriptwriter for CO2 Kolektiv, which focuses on ecopolitical theater, and is a co-founder of the Unconditional Basic Collective, where he is connecting the idea of unconditional basic income with environmental issues. He worked as an art editor in A2 and FlashArt magazines and is a contributor to periodicals such as A2larm, Artalk.cz, or art + antiques.
Arnošt Novák is a researcher at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities,Charles University in Prague. His expertise is in environmental sociology, social movements and environmental policies, focusing (among others) on the themes of urban gardening, urban squatting and radical ecological initiatives in Czechia.
Jan Vávra is an environmental sociologist focusing on informal food production, social aspects of agriculture, climate change and household carbon footprints. He received his Ph.D. in Culturology in 2012 at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. Currently, Jan is a researcher in the Department of Local and Regional Studies at Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Jan has worked in many EU and Czech funded research projects where he gained experience with quantitative and qualitative research in social science and multidisciplinary collaboration. Recently, Jan has served as a Management Committee member of the COST Action European Network for Environmental Citizenship and has become Co-chair of the Environmental and Rural Sociology Section of the Czech Sociological Association.
Lukáš Likavčan is a philosopher focusing on technology, ecology and visual cultures. He received his degree in philosophy and PhD in environmental studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Likavčan currently teaches at Center for Audiovisual Studies FAMU in Prague and Strelka Institute for Media, Architectureand Design in Moscow, and he is a member of Prague-based collective Display – Association for Research and Collective Practice. As a researcher, he was based at Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Likavčan is an author of Introduction to Comparative Planetology, and a chief curator of Fotograf Festival #11: Earthlings.
Bohuslav (Bob) Kuřík is an assistant professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague. His expertise is in political, digital and environmental anthropology, focusing on the themes of protest and resistance, in/dividuality, autonomy and post-politics.
David Stella is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Human Dimensions of Global Change at Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CzechGlobe). David focuses on stakeholder-based processes related to the assessment and evaluation of ecosystem services, natural resource management and climate change adaptation.
Thomas Smith is an assistant professor at the Department of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno. His research interests relate to economic diversity and the social solidarity economy, geographiesof sustainability transitions, and wellbeing and the 'good life' in post-growth economies.
Mikuláš Černík is a PhD student at the Department of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno. He has a long track record of leading pro-sustainability advocacy initiatives which he also studies within his research focused on just and sustainable transformations.