The 11th OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Rural Development Conference was held in Edinburgh on 9-12 April 2018. Prior to the main conference, a series of interactive sessions, led by the European Network for Rural Development, showcased projects and approaches already launched by rural communities to face 21st century challenges and opportunities.
On the 2nd and 3rd of March, SIMRA’s team from the University of Padova participated in the 12th edition of the conference “Fragile rural areas”, held in Rovigo, Italy. This years’ theme was “Abnormal Exchanges. The nested markets for rural fragile areas”.
“Nested” markets are, according to Jan Douwe van der Ploeg’s definition, markets that have less to do with globalised systems of exchange, and more with exchanges in real meeting places. Van der Ploeg has long studied the phenomenon, coining the concept of “nested” markets, and was invited to give the opening speech at the conference. He emphasised the multi-level nature of such exchanges, pointing out that “nested” markets are markets animated by ethical and social values, related to the quality of products, human relationships, the development of the territory and environmental protection. In his view, nested markets are a segment of a larger market that emerges from economic as well as social and political motives, and presents peculiarities such as unique infrastructure, with an aim to transform the global system. The way in which he characterises “nested” markets closely relates to the topics at the core of SIMRA.
On behalf of the European Rural Development Network, the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics hosted a conference on 3-4 October 2017 in Eisenstadt, Austria. It brought together around 50 researchers and policy makers from the European Union and neighbouring countries, giving lectures, presenting posters and participating in lively discussions.