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Final Conference Programme: The Future of Mobilities, Casterta 2015

Final Conference Programme: The Future of Mobilities, Casterta 2015

The organizing committee of The Future of Mobilities Conference 2015 in Casterta, Italy is happy to announce the conference programme for this Future of Mobilities Conference. Please find the programme and practical information on the Cosmobilities event-site here.


Update: Programme for Future of Mobilities conference

Update: Programme for Future of Mobilities conference

The joint T²M and Cosmobilities ‘The Future of Mobilities‘ conference in Caserta this September is closing in. The organizing committee have released a preliminary programme and a list of practical information for the participants travelling to Italy . Both documents can be found below.

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Preliminary Programme

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Practical Information












For further overview and registration, please visit the T²M conference-page. We look forward to seeing you in September!



Professor Mimi Sheller of mCenter Drexel opened the 10th Cosmobilities conference in Copenhagen on Networked Urban Mobilities. In her lecture, ‘Mobilizing Hybrid Cities’, she adds theoretical perspectives on digital art and locative media to the themes of mobilities studies and urban studies. In the talk Sheller asks how social sciences can take a more active role in shaping urban mobilities and how mobile media and geolocational data produces new relations of people to space, to community, to interaction and to communication. We also had a small chat with Mimi about her experience at the conference, which you can read below the video.


On the last day of the Networked Urban Mobilities Conference in 2014, we sat down with Mimi Sheller and asked a few questions about her experience of attending the Cosmobilities event in Copenhagen.

Sune & Oskar: What will you take with you from this conference?

I’ve been really excited about the younger scholars that are coming up and thinking about the mobilities perspectives and how to incorporate them into new research projects, and for me, in one of the last sessions we had a great conversation about the relation between micro-level research and macro-level problems, systems and structures. I think we are getting some interesting new ways of bridging the micro and the macro through mobilities research.

S & O: What has been the best or most surprising experience at the conference?

I just think the atmosphere has been really nice; in fact, we have had papers talking about “affective atmosphere”, and I think one of the great achievements of the cosmobilities network is creating a conducive and friendly atmosphere for people to exchange their work. For me that’s the best thing about it.

S & O: Where do you see the cosmobilities network and these conferences going from here? /What is the future of this network?

Well, next year it is our joint conference in Italy, which is a great future to look forward to. But I see efforts to really establish the field as not just a research network but sort of more than that. We have a growing set of publications, and hopefully new PhD’s and new positions in universities that will come out of this work that has gone on in this 10-year period.

S & O: How do you think the mobilities paradigm is developing, what is the future of the mobilities paradigm?

I think it is increasingly being taken note of by governments, by engineers, by designers, by transport planners and so, I think we are having a greater and greater impact on these kinds of realms of actual decision-makers, that are actually shaping the world, and I hope our research can help make better worlds in the future.


More Experimentation in mobilities studies

Interview with Monika Büscher

During the Cosmobilities conference in Copenhagen November of 2014 we caught up with Dr. Monika Büscher from Lancaster University. She calls for more experiments in research methodology within mobilities research. Quite a few discussions during Networked Urban Mobilities Conference emphasized that the field is already well underway in achieving this goal.

Her own research centers around disaster management and the network of technologies that enable and mediate this. The paper she presented together with Michael Liegl and Katrina Petersen, Disclosing Disaster? A Study of Ethics and Phenomenology in a Mobile World, illustrate the multitudes of methodological approaches and different understandings of mobility within mobilities research. We had a few words with Monika after the last session of the conference in Copenhagen where she pointed to the vast variety of methods available to mobilities researchers today.

For me mobility is an analytical orientation that looks at how everything is mobilized or immobilized. Looking at the world through this mobility perspective makes you see social structures in their enactment rather than as artifacts or determining things. To be able to see that requires the researcher to be mobile but that doesn’t necessarily means in a ‘go-along’ or ‘shop-along’ way. It can also be a mobile archival work, code archeology or database work, where you sit at your desk and in detail figure out the sequence of things and follow things retrospectively.

Her work also involves an inquiry into the ethics of the design of mobile technologies when applied in disaster situations and into the politics of information sharing in what she has called ‘informationalization of every day life’. As a result Monika sees herself as a designer as well as a researcher.

Mobile researcher is in my understanding always part of the design or the changes of the phenomenon. So being mobile is also a matter of design and interference – it is inventive. For me an important intersection is between inventive methods and design, speculative design, critical design and art.

In order to investigate the networked technologies applied in disaster response Monika Büscher have experimented with collaborative design and research approaches. When asked what she takes away from the conference the answer is clear: experiments.

Experiments, that is something that I am interested in anyway. More experimental engagement in the making of futures. I am more interested in life and everyday life politics and the shape of the world and research is only a tool to play a role in that and take some responsibility.


Ulrich Beck (1944-2015)

BeckWe are deeply concerned to hear that German sociologist and author of the Risk Society, Ulrich Beck passed away on January 1st. The global sociology community in general and the Cosmobilities Network has lost a public intellectual, a singular free mind, constant inspiration, a challenging voice and unique political figure in science and society.


In his writings and social commitment Ulrich was fighting for cosmopolitan mobilities and a world where mobility wouldn’t be a threat but a blessing. He was fully aware of all risks and dangers for modern lives. But he never lost his optimism for a better world and another, a reflexive modernity where people meet and interact with each other instead of being xenophobic and destructive in competition.


Ulrich was very generous and supportive with Cosmobilities from the earliest days of the network. In his welcome note for the 10th anniversary conference in Copenhagen last November he wrote:


“It is a pleasure for me to see how this research network has been growing over the last ten years. I can still remember the first days of Cosmobilities and the workshop on Mobility and the Cosmopolitan Perspective at our research centre on reflexive modernization in Munich in 2004.”


“Today, Cosmobilities has been growing from social science into a strong voice in interdisciplinary research on mobility and transport. Your work still has a significant impact on the mobilities turn in social science. Understanding cosmopolitanization and the globalization of the modern world is impossible without understanding the diverse forms and dynamics of mobilities.”


“Against this background the Cosmobilities Network has become a reflexive place and space for re-thinking the basic principles of modernity and for the future of modern societies. Congratulations for ten years of innovative scientific work! And all the best for the future.”


We are deeply concerned about his death and feel with his family and friends.
Mobility and the Cosmopolitan Perspective will live on in our network and future.


Photo by Regina Schmeken, published in Süddeutsche Zeitung 


Read Ulrich Becks 2008 text on Cosmopolitanism and Mobility:

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