Working Groups


Researchers at IRI THESys have joined forces in different working groups to exchange ideas, concepts and case studies on cross-cutting topics – such as decolonization, mining or modeling. The working groups below showcase running initiatives mainly created, developed and organised by doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

Decolonial Working Group

The decolonial research group was born in February 2020 as a student initiative to study and disseminate Decolonial Studies in the transdisciplinary work of the IRI THESys.

We currently hold a bi-weekly meeting, in which we present and discuss relevant texts from Decolonial Studies and other currents of critical thought. We also work on the development of our own texts and comment on the work of close colleagues and guests, with the aim of producing a fruitful and transversal dialogue. In June 2021, we held an Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Decolonizing Academia at IRI THESys which explored  how coloniality influences knowledge production within academia.

You can follow our reading sequence here.

For any collaboration, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact: Jorge Vega, Co-organiser & Speaker


Mining Working Group

We initiated the Mining Working Group in 2018 as more and more researchers interested in studying different aspects of global mining practices and processes joined IRI THESys.  Envisioned and enacted as a space of reflexive exchange, the Working Group brings IRI researchers working on different types and aspects of mining and resource extraction in dialogue.

Through our current research, we cover various forms of extractivisms and alternatives in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), East Africa (Tanzania) and Latin America (Chile, Colombia and Mexico). Our research is interdisciplinary, multi-method and speaks to critical geography, political ecology, anthropology, institutional economics, decolonial studies and cognate scholarships. For a snapshot of these mining research projects, you can read three in-depth research stories here.

Members of our group include; Sascha Cornejo PuschnerCristián Flores FernándezAnna Frohn Pedersen,  Liliana MosqueraBeril OcaklıJorge Vega. 

We welcome your queries and interest in potential collaboration with our thought collective. 

Beril Ocaklı, Co-organiser & Speaker


Situated Modelling Working Group

The Situated Modelling (SitMod) working group aims at fostering a reflexive and co-laborative approach to modelling human-environmental relations. We call this approach “Situated Modelling” drawing on Donna Haraway’s (1988) notion of situated knowledges. Situated Modelling is a way of researching and reflecting on modelling practices, which ultimately and in collaborative engagement might also lead to modelling differently.

The group brings together early career and senior researchers who study modelling practices from a Science and Technology Studies (STS), anthropological, human geographical and philosophical perspective and/or use (numerical) modelling methods in their research. Currently we engage with different modelling approaches on different scales: agent-based models in socio-ecological system research, hydrological models, earth system models, system dynamics and causal loop modelling and participatory approaches. We jointly organize workshops and summer schools, teach in graduate student seminars, write articles and learn across disciplinary boundaries.

Get in touch if you are interested!

Rossella Alba (), Anja Klein (), Krystin Unverzagt () (alphabetically ordered)