Contact us

2019 RSA Winter Conference Plenary Speakers

Opening Plenary Session: “Inventing Future Cities”

Professor Andrés Rodriguez-Pose, London School of Economics, UK and University of Stavanger, Norway

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose is a Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics and a part-time Professor of Innovation at the University of Stavanger (Norway). He is past-President of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI). He is a regular advisor to many international organisations, including the European Commission, the World Bank and numerous UN agencies. He was awarded the 2018 ERSA Prize in Regional Science and has been a holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and of a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award. In 2019 he received Doctorates Honoris Causa from Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and Jönköping University (Sweden). He is an editor of Economic Geography, and sits on the editorial board of 33 other scholarly journals.



Plenary Session on “People left behind and Places left behind”

Dr Mia Gray, Cambridge University, UK

Mia Gray is an economic geographer at Cambridge University and a fellow of Girton College, Cambridge. Gray received her Masters from the University of California at Berkeley and her PhD from Rutgers University. She is interested in how the economy is regulated, shaped and structured by our formal and informal institutions. Mia works at the intersection of political economy, and economic and labour geographies.

Gray has studied and published about regional economies for over 20 years. She has focused on the regional implications of changing structures of work: rising precarity, the “gig” economy, underemployment, alternative finance, and gendered and racialised patterns of inclusion and exclusion. More recently, her research on contemporary austerity covers the UK, the US, and Canada – exploring issues of the changing structure of the state, public spaces, welfare reform, and debt. In addition to her academic work, Gray is extremely active in the community of regional economic scholars. After a stint as the co-editor of Regional Studies, for the last 10 years, she has been co-editor and co-founder of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. She is a board member of the Cambridge Centre for Business Research, a senior analyst and research fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, and is also the Vice Chair of Communication & Public Engagement for the Regional Studies Association.

Professor Michael Batty CBE FRS FBA, University College London, UK

Michael Batty is Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London where he is Chair of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). He has worked on computer models of cities and their visualisation since the 1970s and has published several books, such as Cities and Complexity (MIT Press, 2005) and The New Science of Cities (MIT Press, 2013). Both books won the Alonso Prize of the North American Regional Science Association. His most recent book Inventing Future Cities was published by MIT Press in late 2018. His blogs cover the science underpinning the technology of cities and his posts and lectures on big data and smart cities can be found here. Prior to his current position, he was Professor of City Planning and Dean of the School of Environmental Design at the University of Wales at Cardiff from 1979 to 1990 and then Director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1990 to 1995. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) and the Royal Society (FRS), was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2004 and the 2013 recipient of the Lauréat Prix International de Géographie Vautrin Lud. In 2015 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his work on the science of cities. In 2016, he received the Senior Scholar Award of the Complex Systems Society and the Gold Medal of the Royal Town Planning Institute. In 2018, he was awarded the Waldo Tobler prize for GI Science of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Early Career Plenary Session on “Infrastructure, strategic coupling and the politics of regional development”

Dr. Kean Fan Lim, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, UK

Kean Fan Lim is Lecturer in Economic Geography at Newcastle University. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia in 2014 and was appointed Assistant Professor in Economic Geography at the University of Nottingham (2014-2018). Kean joined Newcastle University in the spring of 2018, on the back of an established international reputation for evaluating national and transnational economic restructuring through subnational regions. This track record is primarily represented by two books. The first book, An East Asian Challenge to Western Neoliberalism: Critical Perspectives on the ‘China Model ’ (co-authored with Niv Horesh, 2017), speaks to a broad, interdisciplinary audience by foregrounding the constitutive role of inter-regional politics in the so-called ‘China model’ of development. More recently, his second book, On Shifting Foundations: State Rescaling, Policy Experimentation and Economic Restructuring in Post-1949 China, examines how the evolution of the Chinese political economy can only be concretely understood through the rescaling of state spatiality for city-regional policy experimentation. The book is published under the prestigious Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers Books Series in March 2019.

Closing Plenary Panel: “City and regional policy futures”

In these turbulent times, regional research is once again spearheading major efforts to provide the type of reliable, robust knowledge necessary to correct the opening of gaps between people and places which are emerging as winners and losers. The aim of this panel is to facilitate discussion and stimulate debate around whether existing policies and frameworks help (or hinder) cities and regions, or are there alternatives that we should be promoting.

A series of invited panellists will each deliver a short opening position statement. The panellists will approach this from their respective roles on the UK2070 Commission into city and regional inequalities (Gillian Bristow, Cecilia Wong), working for the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission (Lewis Dijkstra), and researching the circular economy and its implications for people and places (Marcin Dąbrowski). This will then be followed by open discussion among the panellists, prompted by questions from the audience.

Panellists (please click here for bios):

  • Cecilia Wong (The University of Manchester, UK)
  • Gillian Bristow (Cardiff University, UK)
  • Lewis Dijkstra (European Commission, Belgium)
  • Marcin Dąbrowski (TU Delft, The Netherlands)

[ back to top ]

← Back to conference page

All content copyright © Regional Studies Association 2019. Registered charity number 1084165.

We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.