söndag 13 november 2011

"Green" telecommuters

Me and my colleague Jorge have talked about two groups, green telecommuters and urban homesteaders, who both blur the line between urban and rural. It's possible to live outside of a large city and do (part) of your work from home with the help of ICT. It's also possible to live in a city and be pretty serious about gardening and small-scale husbandry.

Me and Jorge are, I guess, thinking about putting together a research application later, but as a first step we met a month ago and started to discuss what a thesis proposal in this area might look like. This week we met and finalized a thesis proposal we called "Green distance work in Sweden" [written in Swedish].

We are especially interested in "distance workers with a green agenda", something we define as:
1) distance workers who live in a smaller city or on the countryside,
2) who work from home a least one day per week (and who might have "downshifted" and work less than 40 hours/week)
3) who have a "green agenda" behind this decision of theirs (i.e. to lower their energy use and their CO2 footprint etc.)

We did in fact define three distinct tasks/theses proposals, and in a best case scenario, different students would explore two or all three questions in parallel. The thesis proposal is fine, I guess, but we would need to beef up the list of proposed literature a little more. We still went ahead and published it though and add to the literature list later. Please add your own suggestions for literature in the form of a comment below!

Talking about thesis proposals, I have a blog solely for this purpose and where every blog post in fact is a thesis proposal. I haven't been very active lately though, and this was only the second to appear this year.

We will have a new batch of students who will write their bachelor's thesis at our department during the spring, and I have set as a goal to publish at least ten new proposals before the end of this year. That's not as difficult as it sounds, I have at least twice as many ideas and drafts that I just haven't had the time to finalize. That's one of the tasks for December though, when my two courses (that keep me very busy indeed at the moment) end.

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