Next phase of Treasure ethnographic research

In the first phase of Treasure ethnographic research, we focused on car-centered industry events as pools for informants, who were interviewed on the topics under study.

Specifically, the study design centered around ethnographic interviews to help us map the conceptual space around circular economy and sustainability practices in the electric car sector. Jos, a native German-speaking researcher conducted structured interviews at 5 car industry events, all located in Germany (Ulm Technorama, Frankfurter Automobil Ausstellung (FAA), Audi Meeting Krefeld, Allstedt Cars Meet Photographers and TopCareerStuttgart2022).

The plan for the next stage of the project is to continue our ethnographic inquiry into the conceptual space where circular economy/ sustainability practices intersect with the electric car sector, but from the converse direction. Rather than targeting car industry events and interviewing participants in an attempt to understand their position on sustainable practices (broadly), in this next phase of the project we will target sustainability-focused events and interview participants there about the ways in which their interest and commitment to sustainability informs their practices and aspirations as car owners or car users.

The methodological rationale for this is two-fold:

  1. Initial research found that the term “circular economy” was not a commonly recognized or used one among our interviewees (even though they had thoughts and reflections about sustainability principles and prospects). Presumably, the term would be more often recognized and used at events where the self-selected attendees are primarily focused around issues of sustainability, rather than focused on cars. Because of the prevalence of cars in our society, it is likely that those informants would themselves have cars, have had cars in the past, or at the very least regularly use cars in rentals or car shares and are aware of the sustainability issues in the car sector, and the role of electronics in cars in sustainability considerations.
  2. Such a shift would be in the spirit of triangulation, which is “the practice of using multiple sources of data or multiple approaches to analyzing data to enhance the credibility of a research study. Originating in navigational and surveying contexts, triangulation aligns multiple perspectives and leads to a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of interest. (Hastings 2010).

Some keywords/topics we can use in selecting events of interest going forwards:

• Circular economy
• Sustainability
• Smart Cities
• Climate Innovation
• GreenTech
• Net-Zero
• Ecological Urbanism
• SUPs (Single Use Plastics – specifically alternatives to SUPs)
• Sustainable mobility
• Sustainability transition

Some organizations/events that have put on events in this past year that may be annual and possibilities for 2023

GreenTech Festival (Berlin, Germany)
World Urban Forum (Katowice, Poland)
Air & Waste Management Association (multiple events; annual conference; calendar of events is here)

Let’s add to this list (and brainstorm in general) in this thread: @ivan @alberto @jos @inge


i´m searching for events with topics as @Nica suggested. If possible international events, so the chance to get interviews in English should be high. I will upload it here soon.

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So I think for beginning are the following events enough. If necessary I can search more:

Events 2023

Date & Location TBC
ICBR 2023 International Congress for Battery Recycling

18.-20. january Salzburg/Austria
IERC 2023 – International Electronics Recycling Congress - “leading event in the world of circular electronics” - 500 international professionals from the fields of production, design, advertising, business development, material supply, recycling, logistics and government

  1. january Biel/Switzerland
    Recycling congress for responsibles for waste and recycling from municipalities, cantons, the federal government and associations, disposal companies, recyclers, transport companies and other interested parties

08.-09. february Munich/Germany
Fraunhofer CCPE Summit »Circular Plastics – Get into the loop« - Meeting point of the international circular economy community
CCPE is Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy

  1. march 08:30-17:00 MECT Bern/Switzerland
    1st Bern User Forum Circular Economy - together from theory to practice
    1. Berner Anwenderforum Kreislaufwirtschaft 2023 Tickets, Di, 28.03.2023 um 08:30 | Eventbrite

30.-31. march Berlin
German Packaging Congress from German Packaging Institute for concrete strategies and best practice examples for the successful and compliant implementation of a circular economy of packaging and sustainability

18.-20. april Bergamo/Italy
Waste Management Europe - Second Waste Management Europe Conference & Exhibition, event focused on waste management and the circular economy. Over 200 companies divided into six industrial macro-areas, including start-ups, and around 5000 people including Italian and international visitors, delegates, exhibitors and speakers

01.-04. may New Orleans/USA
WasteExpo 2023 - WasteExpo is big business. It delivers the latest innovations to the solid waste industry, from vehicles to robotics to recycling equipment and technology. Thousands of colleagues meet here to buy, sell and gather intel on the latest products and services for the solid waste industry

03.-04. may Berlin/Germany
VKU-Congress - Federal Congress of Municipal Waste Management and Street Cleaning with more than 250 experts and municipal communities taking part

14.-16. june Berlin/Germany
GreenTech Festival - The global platform empowering Changemakers and fostering innovative green technologies for a sustainable future

21.-23. june Geneva/Switzerland
IARC 2023 International Automotive Recycling Congress

  1. june Würzburg/Germany
    SKZ-innovation day: Circular economy - SKZ: The Plastic Center - is organizing this meeting with Circular economy thought leaders, adopters and innovators, subjects are: Design for Recycling, Plastic Recycling in Emerging Markets (Developing countries), Use of recyclates in practice and Post Consumer Recycling - next dimension
    Recycling – SKZ-Innovationstag Circular Economy | SKZ Tagung

15.-16.november Stuttgart/Germany
Congress BW - Circular economy and resources efficiency. Many “green working” companies and governmental institutions

WUF12 - World Urban Forum will be 2024 Location &Date TBC


These all look very interesting @jos.
In particular:

  • Fraunhofer CCPE on circular plastics in February
  • Bern User Forum CE in March
  • GTF in Berlin
  • IARC in Geneva
  • BW Congress in Stuttgart

What are the requirements to register as a guest to conduct interviews with the crowd there?