Dr Dan Podjed
COFUND Policy & Enterprise Fellow at Ustinov College (April -June 2016)
Dr Podjed is coordinator of the Applied Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) and initiator of the international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists.” He is also a co-founder of the “Telematics Conference SEEurope,” an international event on traffic and fleet management, annually held in South-eastern Europe since 2011. He was recognised by the Slovenian Research Agency for his research work in anthropology and ethnology in 2011 and received an award for exceptional achievements from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, in 2008. His current professional activities and research interests focus on an interdisciplinary applied research project “DriveGreen: Development of an Eco-driving Application for a Transition to a Low-carbon Society” (2014–2017), in which he is a Principal Investigator.
Green driving in Newcastle: Encouragement of eco-driving habits by mobile application. Eco-driving is a new concept that applies to a driving style that minimises the negative consequences of automobility. Eco-driving significantly reduces harmful carbon emissions while improving road safety. The mobile phone application, Drive Green is a technology devised to support eco-driving and is the first such application to take into account the social and cultural factors that shape driving habits. DriveGreen is in the late stages of development after a three-year, interdisciplinary applied research project, carried out on a basis of an ethnographic study. The plan of work for the 3-month Fellowship involves researching the application of DriveGreen in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to add to studies conducted in Ljubljana, Belgrade, Budapest and Istanbul thus contributing to a cross-cultural comparative examination of DriveGreen’s capacity to encourage eco-driving habits in diverse locations. Research focuses on the socio-technical practices entailed in driving and alterations resulting from the application. The same research methodology and recruitment mechanisms tested successfully in SE Europe will be applied in Newcastle. The findings will reveal elements of the application requiring adaptation to make it more efficient and amenable for UK drivers.