spaces of empowerment

Sophie Bond

It starts with talking and it starts with doing things ever so slightly differently. Those sort of little incremental changes allow people to start just even just shifting the way they’re thinking and making space for doing things differently.

Shane:                  Our guest tonight is Dr Sophie Bond. She’s a senior lecturer in the Department of Geography at Otago University. Her areas of research include the formation of collectives in response to environmental and social change. Social sustainability, autonomous geographies, and alternative economies, urban sustainability, qualitative and feminist methodologies, political ecology and discourse theory. Welcome to our show, Sophie.

Sophie:                 Thank you.

Shane:                  Now, just before the show I can embarrass myself as always because you guys said that you went to school with Sam. I thought because I heard that southwest English accent the same accent Sam has. I thought you went to school in England, but you didn’t. You came from very close to where Sam grew up.

Sophie:                 I spent the first four years of my life in Bristol.

Shane:                  Funny, I can still hear it, just a little bit. I’m a linguist so I pick these things up a bit more quickly than other people. Do you remember much about Bristol?

Sophie:                 I’ve been back a few times, spent quite a bit of time there. My partner is from Dorset so we try to get back there quite regularly.

Shane:                  Oh cool. You grew up in Dunedin, is that right?

Sophie:                 That’s right, I grew up here.

Sam:                      They have a great school I might add.

Shane:                  What school is that?

Sophie:                 Logan Park.

Shane:                  Logan Park where my son goes as well and Sam’s son.

Sophie:                 My daughter studies there too.

Shane:                  Oh yeah, it’s a crazy place. You went to Logan Park. Was there something at the school that got you interesting in geography or … What got you interested in going to university?

Sophie:                 Actually I came at geography in a very, very roundabout way.  I did  a law degree as my undergrad. I did women’s studies. I wasn’t remotely interested in geography at that time. Then, had a bit of a break went to, lived in Monaco for awhile, did some stuff there. Including getting involved in the environmental society writing, submissions and helping them out on a few things. Then, we were abroad for a couple of years, came back and deciding that we do something a bit more productive than what we were heading. Went to back to university, and did a planning masters in the geography department and then kind of stayed. Got a PhD. following on from that. Yeah.

Shane:                  What got you particularly interested in the sustainability stuff? What was the urban sustainability? What got you interested in that? I noticed your PhD. and thesis, we’ll talk about that a little bit later. What piqued your interest about that?

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