Regions in Recovery: Building Sustainable Futures – RSA Global E-Festival report by Ana Gutierrez Sanchis

By Ana Gutiérrez Sanchis (Twitter; email) Comillas Pontifical University, Spain and Lab2PT at University of Minho, Portugal.

I am glad to have become an RSA member last year because it was a determinant of my participation in the RinR21 Conference. I really enjoyed attending several sessions related to, for example, demographic change; left behind places; labour markets, business support and impacts of COVID-19; populism, discontent and regional decline; borders, networks and cooperation. After this International Conference, my knowledge grew with an open perspective from different countries and disciplines.

It is not easy to express everything in a few lines, but I can highlight some lessons related to Sociology and Population Studies that I would recommend. From Solène Le Borgne, I enjoyed remembering, through my sociological background, the Social Capital concept by Bourdieu and Wacquant (1992) – the sum of resources that accrue to an individual or group by virtue of possessing a durable network of institutional relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition. Social cohesion, social infrastructure, and social participation made the Social Capital, which has an impact on territorial development.

Similarly, I enjoyed the lessons from Demography; those presented by Thomas Dax who compared Spain and Scotland Demographic Strategies inside Europe (such as politics, spatial demography development, or reorganization after COVID-19). I also enjoyed Norma Schemschat’s ongoing research. She said that, for the French case study, interviewed participants mentioned that many forced migrants are unaccompanied minors, often young men from sub-Sahara Africa. Refugees and unaccompanied minors are also a relevant issue in Spain at the moment, and I could learn from science about what is happening in other countries.

Other sessions about grants and funding, early careers, and meeting with the RSA journal editors were very useful, and I am so grateful to the RSA team for their offer to write in this ezine and to moderate a session as a chair.

Finally, just to point that, despite COVID-19 restrictions, it was possible to meet people connecting by Social Networks after the presentations and during the amazing virtual coffee breaks!

Ana Gutiérrez Sanchis is a Sociologist. Ana holds a Ph.D. in International Migration and Cooperation for Development from Comillas Pontifical University, Spain. Her Ph.D. thesis and main research line are about the Economic Demography of Spain.