Speaking with Colm Stockdale

Could you introduce yourself briefly? Tell us a few things about your background, studies, and general interests.

I come from Ireland, specifically from a place called Waterford which is in the South East. My undergraduate degree was business with Spanish and after I undertook a MSc in Co-operatives, Agri-food and Sustainable Development – both with University College Cork. With research my interests of course include collaborative workspaces and social innovation, but more personally I am a music lover, coffee mad, and I love to read and run when I find the time.  

How was your moving to your new home? How are things going for you in your new place?

Initially it was pretty hectic as I joined the project late, and was jumping between temporary accommodations – I even spent a week on Lorenzo’s (ESR 13) couch! But I settled in very quickly here because the other ESR’s and management team were so welcoming, friendly and helpful I felt at home almost immediately.

The project as a whole is of course challenging, but I am enjoying taking it one step at a time which I feel is extremely important for any large project. I must admit I was unsure what to expect in terms of how I would be working and how much others would be involved but one thing that has surprised me is how much flexibility we have to really mould the projects into our own and take it in whichever direction we wish, which is really nice.

You are preparing for your Work Package meeting, how is your work going?

It’s going well, I still have much to do but I am looking forward to presenting and speaking with the rest of the group about what I have been working on since our last meeting. I feel like I have progressed a lot since September and my personal project is shaping up really nicely so I’m excited to share and discuss it with the other ESR’s.

Could you share with us some key insights/ “aha moments” from your work so far?

There has been a lot, sometimes daily! Most of the time it comes from reading case studies of previous research which fits almost directly in what I want to research, which can be very satisfying. There are so many examples of rural communities coming together to overcome social challenges both in Europe and worldwide, and collaborative workspaces can have a significant role to play, both in terms of job creation but also to function as a sort of ‘social infrastructure’ for rural areas.

I have been also looking into some very interesting concepts and theories which will benefit my research – Actor network theory, Assemblage, Diverse Economies and The Commons to just name a few!

What do you expect from the WP meeting?

I expect everyone to have some really interesting insights, comments and thoughts and it to be a great knowledge sharing experience. It will be nice to discuss what we have all been working on since September so I expect everyone will be more familiar with their projects and should have a lot more to say.

I will also look forward to hearing from and speaking with the other supervisors, as I really enjoyed hearing their insights the last time. 

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