Keynote Speakers

Dr Manisha Anantharaman

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Manisha Anantharaman is an Assistant Professor of Justice, Community and Leadership at Saint Mary’s College of California, USA, where is also affiliated with the Global and Regional Studies and Earth and Environmental Science programs. She is currently serving as the Alba Viotto Invited Professor in Sociology at the University of Geneva. A multidisciplinary problem-driven social scientist, she studies the potential for, pathways to, and politics of socially-just urban sustainability transitions, applying participatory and ethnographic methodologies. Her commitment to critical sustainability research emerges from and informs her community-engaged research praxis, enacted primarily through her work with Hasirudala, a waste-picker cooperative in Bangalore, India.


Manisha’s research contributes to scholarship in sustainability studies by examining the ways in which sustainability initiatives and environmental movements reinforce or dismantle interlocking systems of oppression. Drawing on her research in India, her recent publications have argued that sustainability researchers should explicitly examine questions of identity, recognition, inclusion and representation, a gap in this literature that frequently frames sustainability as purely a technical, managerial and behavioural challenge. Her work was recognized with an Early Career Scholar Award from the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative in 2016.


Manisha is a founding member of the Global Research Forum for Sustainable Consumption and Production. Her publications include an upcoming edited volume on The Circular Economy and the Global South (Routledge, UK). Her current research project, funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies, examines the role of green public spaces in supporting sustainable and inclusive well-being in Asian cities. 

Prof Em Clara Greed

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Dr Clara Greed is Professor Emerita of inclusive urban planning at the University of the West of England, Bristol. She is now semi-retired but is still active in research, writing and campaigning. She is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and other built environment professional bodies.


Greed's activities are focused upon the built environment, architecture, planning, urban design and urban social issues.  She has become infamous for her research and publications on the importance of public toilet provision within the context of urban design, women and planning issues and the social aspects of planning.  She has written and edited over 12 books on urban planning, surveying and urban social issues, many journal articles, newspaper items and toilet documentaries. She has often been invited to be a guest speaker at international conferences, especially in China and other parts of East Asia, most recently in Xi’an. 


Greed is a member of the four British Standards Committees BS6465, Parts 1-IV, on Sanitary Installations. These set the government requirements for the levels of provision, design, location and technical details. Currently, she is investigating the effects upon women of proposals to desegregate public toilets in the UK and the creation of Gender Neutral Toilets.

Prof Michael Keith

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Michael Keith is Director of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at the (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford, co-ordinator of Urban Transformations (The ESRC portfolio of investments and research on cities), co-Director of the University of Oxford Future of Cities network and the Director of the PEAK Urban Research programme.  


His research focuses on migration related processes of urban change. His most recent work is the monograph China Constructing Capitalism: Economic Life and Urban Change (2014). His next will be a book for Cambridge University Press, entitled: Power, Identity and Representation: Race, Governance and Mobilisation in British Society (with Les Back and John Solomos). 


He has experience outside the academy working in the community and voluntary sector and as a politician for twenty years in the east end of London, working initially in organisations focusing on racism and the criminal justice system and more recently as the co-founder and chair of the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, a major cross cultural arts centre in Bethnal Green. 

Prof Diana Mitlin

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Diana Mitlin is Professor of Global Urbanism in the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester and also Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Since 2015, Diana has been the Managing Director of the Global Development Institute.


Diana completed her first degree in 1983 at the University of Manchester with joint honours in economics and sociology. After working as a public sector economist with the Forestry Commission (1983-6) and the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (1986-8), Diana completed a Masters in Economics at Birkbeck College (University of London). Diana then joined the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London in 1989 to work in a multi-disciplinary team working within the Human Settlements Programme. Development has remained the major focus of Diana’s work since that date with a particular interest in urban inequality and poverty in towns and cities in the Global South. In 1996, Diana worked part-time for the London School of Economics to set up a Masters in NGO Management. In 2001, after completing her PhD at the London School of Economics, Diana worked part-time at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM, now GDI) at the University of Manchester, whilst continuing with a senior research post at IIED. In 2012, Diana became a Professor at the University and Director of the Global Urban Research Centre (GURC). The work of this Centre has now been taken up by the Manchester Urban Institute.


Diana’s work focuses on urban poverty and inequality including urban poverty reduction programmes and the contribution of collective action by low income and otherwise disadvantaged groups. Diana has a particular research focus on issues of urban basic services, tenure and housing, and studies urban social movements and their strategies of confrontation and collaboration with state agencies. For the last 20 years, Diana has worked closely with Shack/Slum Dwellers International, a trans-national network of homeless and landless people’s federations and support NGOs; and with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, a network of civil society groups focussing on urban poverty and exclusion. This collaboration enables her to learn from the experiences of grassroots organisations in addressing social injustice, poverty and inequality.

Prof Nikolas Rose

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Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. He originally trained as a biologist before switching to psychology and then to sociology. After ten years at Goldsmiths College, where he was Head of Sociology and Pro-Warden for Research, he joined the London School of Economics in 2002 and was Convenor of the Department of Sociology from 2002 to 2006 and Martin White Professor of Sociology. He founded the BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society at LSE, and was its Director since its inception in 2003.  He joined King's in January 2012 to establish the new Department which aims to bring the approaches of social medicine to bear on contemporary biomedical research and clinical practice, especially in the world’s poorest regions.


Nikolas Rose has published widely on the social and political history of the human sciences, on the genealogy of subjectivity, on the history of empirical thought in sociology, on law and criminology, and on changing rationalities and techniques of political power. For the last decade, his work has focussed on the conceptual, social and political dimensions of the contemporary life sciences and biomedicine. His current research concerns biological and genetic psychiatry and behavioural neuroscience.  His study of the social implications of the rise of the new brain sciences, written with Joelle Abi-Rached,  was published by Princeton University Press in 2012 as Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind. Other recent books include Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 1999), The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton University Press, 2006) and (with Peter Miller) Governing the Present.  His long overdue book Our Psychiatric Future: The politics of mental health will be published by Polity in October 2018.  He is currently working on a book on urban mental life and mental health, with Des Fitzgerald, to be published as Vital City: metropolitan life, mental health and the urban brain Princeton University Press, 2019.


Nikolas Rose is a longstanding member of the Editorial Board of Economy and Society and co-editor of BioSocieties: an interdisciplinary journal for social studies of the life sciences. He has worked closely with several advisory groups including the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is Chair of the European Neuroscience and Society Network, a unique interdisciplinary collaboration of social scientists, philosophers, lawyers, neuroscientists and psychiatrists.