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GWSN members to attend Sunbelt Conference in Hamburg, Germany

 (Photo courtesy of Sunbelt conference website)

GWSN members, Kelly Jiang and Dr. Ulrike Gretzel, as well as Lindsay Young, Sneha Narayan and Dr. Nosh Contractor, recently had abstracts accepted to the 33rd Sunbelt Social Networks Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA). This year’s conference will take place from May 16-26 in Hamburg, Germany. The website states that the Sunbelt conference “will provide an interdisciplinary venue for presenting current work in the field of social networks.”

INSNA is an organization comprised of researchers interested in social network analysis, and publishes the Connections Journal. Social network analysis focuses on revealing patterns of people’s interactions, which can provide valuable information on the potential success or failure of an organization or society, according to the INSNA website.

Two sets of abstracts were submitted by GWSN members. Doctoral student, Kelly Jiang (Texas A & M University) and Dr. Ulrike Gretzel (University of Wollongong) submitted an abstract entitled, “Information exchange between mentors and mentees: Examining communication linkages between participants in the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Science Network Academy”. The other abstract, entitled, “Issue spaces as semantic and social networks: Does what you know determine who you know and vice versa?”, was submitted by doctoral students Lindsay Young and Sneha Narayan with Dr. Nosh Contractor from Northwestern University’s Sonic lab.

Ms. Jiang and Dr. Gretzel’s project assessed the mentoring network within the Rocky Mountain Science and Sustainability Network’s  summer academy. The academy brings students from around the U.S. and Mexico to participate in a week-long workshop for undergraduates entering internships or jobs on public lands, or embarking on summer research projects related to environmental science, climate change, or sustainability. During the academy, students hopefully build mentoring relationships with speakers, and graduate student team leaders, as well as stay connected with other students via the RMSSN facebook group and through blogs written over the course of the summer. Ms. Jiang and Dr. Gretzel’s research analyzed the information exchange amongst the students and mentors to better understand network gaps, which can inform the best means for improving and strengthening mentoring relationships. See the full abstract here: Sunbelt 2013: Information exchange

Ms. Young, Ms. Narayan’s and Dr. Contractor’s research focused on what is called an “issue space”, whereby there is a focal topic around which people from different backgrounds gather around. The issue space for their project dealt with professionals working on gender and sustainability issues. These professionals were asked a series of open ended questions about unique challenges and opportunities that women bring to the discussion on climate change and sustainability. Ms. Young, Ms. Narayan and Dr. Contractor looked at answers regarding the issue and how similar people’s responses were to one another. This research looked at how the answers related to the overall social interactions of people interviewed to better understand how gender and sustainability issues are promoted and discussed within a diverse social structure. See the full abstract here: Sunbelt2013: Issue Spaces

Do you currently have research, projects or other activities that you would like to share with the group? Please contact to share what you have been up to!


Lecture on February 11: “Gender issues in sustainability: Visions from the Feminist South”

GWSN member Dr. Verónica Vázquez will give a public lecture entitled, “Gender issues in sustainability: Visions from the Feminist South” for the Networking Women in Sustainability course on February 11th from 1 to 3 p.m. Click the following link for more details: Vasquez Talk

Evolving rhetoric on gender and climate change at UNFCCC’s first Gender Day

ImageTuesday, November 27, 2012, marked the first official Gender Day at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha, Qatar. Members of the Global Women Scholars Network had the chance to attend events that focused on the changing rhetoric in discussing women’s roles and challenges they face with regard to climate change impacts.

One event entitled, Gender and Climate Innovation: Breakthrough Changes for Gender Equality entailed a lively discussion of women scholars issues related to climate change. During the discussion, an interesting dichotomy arose among the panelists. On one side, some panelists advocated the need to place women’s struggles and inequality at the forefront of discussions on gender and climate change. However, others posited that the continuing to highlight women’s unique struggles have become redundant. These speakers cited the need to move on, and focus more on solving the issues. The other aspect of the new dialogue about advancing to the next step also discussed incorporating men into discussions about gender. The term “gender” often carries the connotation of discussions focused on women. The UNFCCC Gender Day supported this assumption with panels solely comprised of women. Some panelists emphasized that people should keep in mind that men also play a critical role in strengthening community resilience and adaptation to climate change. The world cannot solve environmental crises with half the population: balance is the key.

However, in seeking balance, people should not discount the inordinate burden that women face when coping with climate change challenges, such as food and water security and lack of access to decision-making positions within their own communities (56th Commission on the Status of Women). Those advocating for change did not discount women’s struggles, but rather, called for an end to repetitive discussions, in favor of increased action, as well as getting more men on board with gender-related climate change discussions.

News from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha, Qatar

P1090573Members of the Global Women Scholars Network had the unique opportunity to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha, Qatar last week. Today marks the end of the conference, as well as the negotiations for the new protocol that will replace the Kyoto Protocol. There still remain some obstacles to overcome, and our group wanted to share the following links to stories and other blogs that highlight some of the issues that we as  a global community still need to resolve. See the links below and stay tuned for more information on reflections from our group’s experiences in Doha!

Other relevant blog posts that may be of interest include:
Shifting Gears in Doha, blog post by Elliot Diringer
Reflections from Doha: It’s never easy, blog post by Elliot Diringer

“US, equity and the elephants in the room”, blog post from Doha by Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on the India environment portal:

IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is the humanitarian news and analysis service of OCHA (Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs). See the following for coverage on the emerging concepts and other issues on the table in Doha:”

Join our meeting in Qatar to discuss “Climate Change and Sustainability Communication- New Tools and Trends”

Event Flyer: Climate Change and Sustainability Communication- New Tools and Trends

Click here to register:

The Global Women Scholars Network, in association with Colorado State University, Northwestern University, the University of New Haven, MODUL University in Vienna and webLyzard Technologies, will host a brainstorming meeting that will familiarize participants with the latest collaborative technologies that engage stakeholders and influence the conversation on Climate Change.

The meeting will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Northwestern University of Qatar’s Carnegie Mellon building. Note: The Carnegie Mellon building is across from the Student Center. 

Map of the Qatar University campus:

See the following for more detailed information:


Elizabeth B. Davis, PhD, Dean of the College of Business and Professor of Management at the University of New Haven


“Leveraging Knowledge Networks for Climate Change and Sustainability Communication” and Reciprocity Ring

by Noshir Contractor, Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA

“Online Media Tools for Engaging Stakeholders and Supporting Climate Change Action”

by Arno Scharl, PhD, Head of the Department of New Media Technology at MODUL University Vienna and is the Managing Director of webLyzard technology

Speaker Bios:

Elizabeth B. Davis, PhD

Dr. Davis is currently Dean of the College of Business and Professor of Management at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.   Formerly she was Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication and, Former Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute at the George Washington University.   Liz earned her B.A. from Columbia University, and received her Ph.D. in Systems Sciences focusing on Strategy and Organizational Systems & Theory from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

She has published numerous articles her work has appeared in the  Organizational Management Journal, The Journal of Business and Economics , the Business Journal, Journal of Production and Operations, the Case Research Journal, the Journal of Quality, Management, Journal of Management Education , Journal of Medical Humanities,  and the Health Policy Journal, and in Sage’s Environmental Leadership volumes and  in numerous conference proceedings at The Strategic Management Society, the Academy of Management , The Eastern Academy of Management,  Decision Sciences Institute,  International Leadership Association, International Eastern Academy of Management and the Northeast Business & Economics Association. She has lectured and done consulting work in strategy, strategic teams and human centered systems change the U.S A., Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe.

Arno Scharl, PhD 

Professor Scharl heads the Department of New Media Technology at MODUL University Vienna and is the Managing Director of webLyzard technology. Prior to his current appointments, he held professorships at the University of Western Australia and Graz University of Technology, was a Key Researcher at the Austrian Competence Center for Knowledge Management, and a Visiting Fellow at Curtin University of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Scharl completed his doctoral research and habilitation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Additionally, he holds a PhD from the University of Vienna, Department of Sports Physiology. He has been project leader of a number of award-winning semantic systems projects including IDIOM, RAVEN and Triple-C , author of more than 140 refereed publications, and editor of two books in Springer‘s Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing Series (The Geospatial Web, Environmental Online Communication). His current research interests focus on media monitoring and Web intelligence, human-computer interaction, and the integration of semantic and geospatial Web technology.

Noshir Contractor, PhD

Noshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts. The insights gained are used to enable networks by building sophisticated recommender systems that provide individualized suggestions on who to collaborate with or what team to assemble. Professor Contractor has published or presented over 250 research papers dealing with communicating and organizing.  His book titled Theories of Communication Networks (co-authored with Professor Peter Monge and published by Oxford University Press, and translated into simplified Chinese in 2009) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

This workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (grant #: OCI-1239982) and Northwestern University in Qatar

GWSN to attend collaborative meeting in Aspen, CO

The Global Women Scholars Network heads to Aspen this weekend (Oct 12-14) to participate in a collaborative meeting with the Aspen International Mountain Foundation (AIMF) and the Rocky Mountain Science and Sustainability Network (RMSSN).

The meeting begins with a panel discussion hosted by the AIMF on Friday night (Oct 12, 5:30-7 pm) entitled, “Mountain Perspectives from Rio +20”. Panelists will discuss Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development’s initiatives and outcomes with regard to their effects on Colorado mountain communities.

Look for more information from the GWSN blog as the weekend progresses!

GWSN at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea

GWSN participated in this year’s WCC on Jeju Island. Gillian Bowser and Ulrike Gretzel presented on the value of networking women for sustainability. The presentation slides can be downloaded here:

Ulrike Gretzel and Gillian Bowser at the Exhibition Center during the WCC

Introducing the Global Women Scholars Network

The Global Women Scholars Network (GWSN) is a Research Collaborative Network (RCN) funded by the US National Science Foundation. Watch this space for updates on GWSN activities!