Luke Owen

Luke Owen is Senior Research Assistant based in the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. He is a social scientist with a background in human geography, and specialises in a range of qualitative research methodologies and data analysis techniques.

Luke’s research interests include Alternative Food Networks and Short Food Chains and how they contribute to rural development and the livelihoods of small-scale food producers. Since 2011, he has presented extensively on these subjects at various conferences throughout Europe, and submitted his PhD about Short Food Chains in the UK and The Gambia, West Africa in 2014. Luke will be awarded his doctorate in 2015.

Luke is currently working on an EU FP7 funded project called TRADEIT, which is about knowledge brokerage, entrepreneurship and innovation amongst European Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the traditional food production sector. Moreover, Luke and his colleagues at Coventry University are developing a novel research agenda about the transformative role that digital spaces and technologies can have in creating and consolidating Short Food Chains, Civic Food Networks and localised food systems.

  • Bos, E. and Owen, L. (forthcoming) ‘Exploring ‘Civic Food Networks’ through the lens of online space: a content and discourse analysis.’ Area.
  • Owen, L., and Kneafsey, M. (2014) ‘Sowing New Seeds: Supporting Change Evaluation report’. Centre for Agroecology and Food Security and Garden Organic. 
  • Owen, L. (2014) ‘Alternative Food Networks and Food Sovereignty: UK perspectives’ Erasmus Intensive Programme Conference Paper. From Farm to Fork: Food Self Sufficiency as a Social Right, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Owen, L. (2013) Book Review: 'Researching Sustainability: a Guide to Social Science Methods, Practice and Engagement' (2011) edited by Alex Franklin and Paul Blyton, London, Earthscan.’ Journal of Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses 1 (2), 156-157.
  • Owen, L. (2012) ‘Doing Short Food Supply Chains in the global South: evidence from The Gambia, West Africa.’ XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Conference paper.
  • Owen, L. (2012) ‘Experiences of working with NGOs: Reflections from qualitative fieldwork in The Gambia’. Impact, Exchange and Making a Difference Conference Paper: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham.
  • Owen, L. (2011) ‘Gambia is Good and Short Food Supply Chains from production to consumption.’ Key Findings and Initial Observations Interim Report for Concern Universal, The Gambia.
  • TRADEIT: Support for the Traditional Food Sector: TRADEIT (2013-16) is collaboration between researchers, food networks, traditional food SMEs, academic institutions, SME clusters, technology providers, food associations and entrepreneurial networks. The main objective of TRADEIT is to strengthen regional economies and the competitiveness of SMEs. 

Support is being provided through a structured programme of events for SMEs and food researchers and through the development of a strategic research and innovation agenda for traditional foods to inform policy makers in the area. 
  • Exploring Social Media, Short Food Chains and Civic Food Networks: The aim of this 12 month project (2013-14) was to explore the extent to which social media facilitates (re)-connection amongst food citizens and promotes food citizenship for those engaged in various Alternative Food Networks. The project involved content analysis of social media sites such as Twitter, questionnaires and interviews with Alternative Food Networks in Coventry and Warwickshire. The final project report contributes towards emerging debates around the nature and application of Short Food Chains and Civic Food Networks. Preliminary findings were presented at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience Seminar Series, Coventry University, February 2014, and final results presented at the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference, London, August 2014. *Project funded by Coventry University Faculty of Business and Law. Early Career Researcher Pump Prime Fund at Coventry University (August 2013)
  • Sowing New Seeds: Supporting Change and Supporting Impact: Building on previous evaluations, this research phase (2013-14) was especially designed to evaluate the social impacts of a project called Sowing New Seeds facilitated by Garden Organic; the national charity for organic growing in the UK. The final report evaluated the Sowing New Seeds: Supporting Change phase of the initiative with particular focus on the social, cultural and health impacts that this has had on participants.
Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021