PyGyRg Away Weekend 2017

Participatory Geographies Research Group Away Weekend – June 30th – July 2nd

We would like to invite you to attend the 2017 Participatory Geographies Away Weekend. This year it will be held in Reading, at the start of July. It will run from the morning of Friday 30th June to midday Sunday 2nd July 2017.  

PYGYRG are co-hosting the event with the Participation Lab at Reading University ( The Participation Lab will run a one day workshop on the theme of  Participation for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Digital technologies and innovation on Friday 30 June. PYGYRG will then host the weekend events at the Reading International Solidarity Centre ( Further details below.

PYGYRG away weekend 2017 flyer

The PYGYRG weekend away is a space in which we explore how we do our research and teaching. It is organised and led by participants. We tend to structure workshops around issues raised by people coming or run by people willing to share their skills and experience. It is as much about solidarity around doing radical research in the academy as it is around particular research methods. It is a space for thoughtful constructive discussions, meeting each other and having fun.

Basic information:

Costs – There is a fee of £25 per attendee to cover the cost of room hire and basic food.

Accommodation – will be available at Reading University Halls of Residence. This needs to be booked by individuals through the University website (

Food – We will mostly prepare this together, but we might also eat a meal out one evening

Bursaries – we can provide up to 8 bursaries of up to £80 to cover accommodation costs and/or contribute towards travel costs for early career postgraduate, practitioners and unwaged participants. To apply for bursary please email by 25th February 2017 detailing (i) whether you plan to attend the Friday Participation Lab workshop, the weekend activities, or both; (ii) why you would like to attend; and (iii) why you need the bursary (maximum 1 page A4).

Further details about the weekend, including the Participation Lab workshop, will be advertised nearer to the time.


About us

PyGyRG is a collective whose members aim to raise the profile and perceived value, and further the understanding and use of participatory approaches, methods, tools and principles within academic geography and beyond:

  1. The participatory geographies research group is a broad and inclusive collective of academics and non-academics who value and practice participatory approaches, principles and methods.
  2. These participatory methods include a broad variety of tools alongside critical analysis of their utility, limitations and development.
  3. A participatory approach in academic geography includes collaborating with others as partners in improving equality, justice, and other progressive social change causes.
  4. We aim to work across all spaces and places, alongside attempts to widen participation in higher education geography.
  5. We support work that results in social change outside the academy and thus seek to widen the range of what are considered to be legitimate geographical knowledge and research activities.
  6. We aim to provide a space for mutual support orientated towards those engaging in participatory approaches, especially for those working within the increasingly pressured and competitive higher education context.

For further information see our website,


Friday Participation Lab Workshop:

Participation for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Digital technologies and innovation

Participation Lab’s 2nd Annual Workshop, University of Reading, 30 June 2017. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global  plan of action “for people, planet and prosperity”, encompassing both social and environmental concerns. Participation of all members of society is central to meeting and monitoring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participation in and for the SDGs, with a particular emphasis on digital technologies and innovation, is the focus of the Participation Lab’s 2nd Annual Workshop in 2017. There is a wealth of existing knowledge around innovative ways of engaging with community members and stakeholders at a range of scales through the use of digital technologies. This one-day event will examine the ways in which people in a range of contexts around the world are participating to help achieve the SDGs, and the ways in which participatory methodologies and digital technologies are being employed to enable participation and evaluate progress. We will bring together academics, practitioners and community members to explore how traditional and digital methods such as community engagement, participatory mapping, GIS, digital art, photography and video, online games, interactive web platforms, social media among others, might be combined with crowdsourcing and citizen science approaches to advance progress on the Goals and what innovations might be required. 

More details to follow soon, with link for registration. For further information please contact: Hilary Geoghegan, University of Reading. Email:


If you would like to participate in the weekend activities, or have any general questions, please email 25th February 2017.

If you would like to participate in the Friday event please email

Thank you

PYGYRG Committee


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