Circular economies and social services

Life in a modern, interconnected world has delivered miraculous advances in communications, technology and trade. It is also becoming widely acknowledged that the last few decades of globalised commerce and finance has, by design, transferred large amounts of power and profit out of small communities, towards distant and unaccountable actors, while the waste generated in manufacture and transport of goods has accumulated among the most undeserving of areas. The Circular Economy proposes an alternative to the current model of global trade, which funnels money out of communities, by keeping as many transactions within the local community as possible. Dr Kersty Hobson’s latest paper makes the case that theories of circular economics would benefit from incorporating a better understanding of the psychology of ownership.

Read more about Dr Hobsons work through her Cardiff University staff page.

Original publication:
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02480-z


Will:

Hello, I’m Will, welcome to ResearchPod. In this episode:

Life in the modern, interconnected world has delivered miraculous advances in communications, technology and trade. It’s also becoming widely acknowledged that the last few decades of globalized commerce and finance has, by design, transferred large amounts of power and profit out of small communities towards distant and unaccountable actors. Meanwhile the waste generated in manufacturing and transport of goods has accumulated among the most undeserving of areas. The circular economy proposes an alternative to the current model of global trade and keeping as many transactions within the local community as possible. Dr Christie Hopson’s latest paper that makes the case that theories of circular economies would benefit from incorporating a better understanding of the psychology of ownership. To discuss this, the CLEVER study looked into our relationship with our phones. More on that later, but first circularity and sustainability. Dr Hobson, hello. Could you start by telling us a little bit about your background and what led you to this paper.

Dr Hobson:

I’m a senior lecturer in the school of geography and planning. Been here for going into my fifth year now. My background is in anthropology and environmental politics and really I’ve been looking at and thinking about this topic of sustainable consumption and production since my PhD. That’s what my PhD was on. I did that UCL, the late nineties, so quite awhile ago now. Of course, even back then we had sort of discourses about, okay we can grow the economy and and be green at the same time. And we were swallowing that from a mainstream perspective. And my PhD was looking at, okay well what happens when people actually try and lift this? Like is this even livable? Can we even do this? Because an ordinary person in the street actually live a sustainable lifestyle. We don’t really use that term anymore cause it’s a little… Cause it’s been proven to be a little bit hollow.

Dr Hobson:

But that’s really what I was interested in. Since then, I’ve carried on asking questions about how do we as citizens actually start to do something about this that is meaningful and impactful. So it’s not a case of, Hey, I will use my shopping bags and I put out my recycling once a week. I’m all good. And I don’t mean that to sound snotty about people. I’m the same like we’re all in this together, but we’ve sort of created this space where we feel that we’ve done enough when we haven’t really done much. We’re getting to the point now where we have to move away from that.

Will:

As you mentioned, the idea of the personal ownership of your role and climate change and your role in a economy that is producing waste and that is producing changes in the world that we see around us. It’s hard to take ownership of that and it’s not to see yourself as part of this larger picture. Do you see that as something that’s changed given the more modern media perspective or modern media landscape in which we are all encouraged to recycle and reuse our coffee cups and so on and so forth.

Dr Hobson:

I don’t necessarily see that it’s getting better because the problems we have with climate change is that most of us, you know in in Cardiff today aren’t feeling it. We can’t get our head around what it is. Because a climate, you measure climate over a 40 year span. So if you go back 40 years, like I was seven years old, 40 years ago, can I remember what the climate was like? No, of course you can’t. So most people in their life, we don’t feel climate change. So it’s really hard to think about what you have to do in a day or the next two days and put that into the perspective of the next 40 years. And whereas I think, yes, we have more information, information doesn’t equal knowledge or action. And what is also allowed to happen is this severe polarization of political debates in terms of climate deniers and climate activists and the media are very complicit in this, in making it a very black and white story when it’s not black and white at all.

Dr Hobson:

So in one on one level, yes, we may know that they’d be able to access a lot more information, but it’s also information is quite far away from our everyday lives. It doesn’t really impact us, doesn’t necessarily land in a meaningful way in what you care about. There’s some interesting work that’s around this though. So various people thinking about, okay, well let’s stop talking about climate change. Forget that. Let’s actually stop talking about quality of life or wellbeing or you know, communities and that actually has more purchased and that’s why I think there are positive things happening. They tend to be in those kinds of spaces rather than the kind of, when you, once you link it to consumption, when we all go shopping, we’re not using the bits of our brains to make decisions that are about ethics and morals and climate. We’re using our financial and our habits and all those things. It’s very hard to bring these kinds of issues of intergenerational equity and fairness in the world until after, you know, they just don’t, they just don’t mesh together in our brains. So many ways. It’s perhaps thinking about, well, okay that doesn’t work. We will have to change our consumption. But maybe if we start over here thinking about, well, you know, do you know your neighbors? Do you care about where your food comes from? You start to get different kinds of lifestyle, the messages coming out of that, which eventually might impact people’s consumption.

Will:

And that is something that’s kind of stood out in your recent paper about to circular economies is that the small closed loop of these smaller stories about lending and sharing and very tight knit community seem to have possibly the most impact and possibly the most immediate impact.

Dr Hobson:

Yeah, absolutely. And there’s some really positive stories. Colleague of mine in Ireland has a project called ShareCity and they’re doing work on food sharing in Dublin. And it’s very interesting how you can connect with lots of different actors and lots of different organizations and stakeholders and start to create those, those small loops and connections that weren’t there before. The problem with the sharing economy that once you scale it up, it loses that. So, for example, Airbnb, et cetera. There’s lots of research now suggesting that all of the kind of intention that was behind it, which was very, very interesting and noble and it’s still there in some ways has this got lost is just another way of people earning money. Either they’re desperate or there’s you know the precariat as they say, or they’re people who already own 12 properties and they are just making some more money. So it’s, so it is a question of scale. Scale is very important here. I think once markets take over, once something becomes marketized, it’s very hard for it to stay within that space, which is the story of Capitalism 101 so I’m not telling you something you don’t know here.

Will:

I think this was defined in your paper as SPSS and I’m most familiar with that as a statistical suite.

Dr Hobson:

Oh yeah, of course.

Will:

If you could tell the listeners at home what a sustainable products service system is.

Dr Hobson:

Sure. So now we have a system of consumption where we buy stuff mostly. So I have a water bottle in front of me. I bought that water bottle and I see it as a water bottle. Well sustainable product service systems is doing is actually changing that frame and saying okay that’s not a water bottle, that’s a water delivery system. So it’s all about thinking not about the thing but about the service you get from the thing. So is there a better way for me to get water at this moment in time? Nope. Probably this water bottle does it. So that’s all good. But on many things that we do, there are better ways of getting things to us. The kind of poster child of this is the carpet company interface. So now rather than you go buy a carpet, you spill coffee on the carpet, you replace a bit of the carpet at the end of the day you throw all the carpet out, you don’t buy a carpet from these guys.

Dr Hobson:

You rent floor covering. So you rent tiles and when one tile is gone they’ll come and they’ll take the tile and they recycle it. They have their own recycling closed loop systems. So you don’t own it. You actually are just renting a service. So that’s the whole idea of sustainable product service system is that when we look at the way we consume things now, can we do it differently? Can we take out some of the materials? Can we actually think about delivering a service without so many materials? Some people talk about de materialization don’t like that word.

Will:

It does sound like a Dr Who ray gun…

Dr Hobson:

It does! It is a bit Dr Who-ish… But can we actually get a very similar service with much less materials? So that’s really what an SPSS means in in this context. So lots of people are doing lots of experiments thinking, okay, well it could be simple things like child seats for cars, would you rent one?

Dr Hobson:

How would you rent one? Who would you rent it off? Who takes ownership of that? And it’s challenging because we all have gotten used to owning stuff. There’s still a bit of a hangup about renting. It’s still considered a little bit, you know, a little bit of social that a lot of people aren’t willing to kind of admit that’s still there. But it is. But I think with younger people coming through that don’t have that social stigma necessarily. Like I, I still know about it cause of my grandparents and parents, but they’re coming through in a different time where maybe there’s not stigma attached. So there’s hope that then maybe more open minds towards thinking, okay, well I don’t need to own a car, I’ll just call it Uber’s for example, or however it goes.

Will:

This also ties into something that I’ve seen changing on the software side of things, which might be of a digital version of this where you don’t own software, you license it. I have a license for Microsoft Word or Photoshop and then I’m kind of paying in for access to the service. But does that lead to any conflict about wanting to have the ownership and the reliability of our product? Like knowing that your car will be in your driveway and you can drive it and it’s been serviced if you don’t have ownership and the certainty does that in any way detract from participating in this borrowing and lending society?

Dr Hobson:

Absolutely. That’s one of the main challenges of getting this to work. And I think we have to admit it won’t work for everything. And it depends where you are. So for example, if you are living in the center of London and you’re in your 20s and you’re flat sharing with friends and why would you own a car? I mean in that sense it makes sense. And if you’ve never had one, you wouldn’t miss it. So having a car club nearby where you can rent one quite quickly is not bad for other people. As you say. That would be massively problematic. You know, if you lived out in the countryside up here in the valleys or something and you had to get to work, what do you do? But it’s not just about circumstances. Again, it’s also about that sense of if you’re renting something, you have a whole different relationship with strangers.

Dr Hobson:

So it’s not just the company who now owns it, it’s other renters for example. And there’s been all kinds of problems with car clubs where people have turned up and the car, you know, isn’t there or the petrols gone or it’s filthy or something. And actually there was, um… My partner is Parisian so we spend a bit of time in Paris and there was actually a system there with cars. We could just pick them up and drop them off. And the reason they stopped doing it is that people are pooping in them. Probably don’t want that on there, but this is the kind of level of, it’s kind of the level of, you know, you can’t really think this kind of stuff is going to happen? And it does. So there’s a lot of trust. You have to start trusting other people and when you buy something, you take your home from Argos, it’s yours. You don’t have to interact with anybody ever again about that. When you have to start interacting without the users or the interface who comes to your home once a year, whatever. Do people want that? There has to be some very upfront and notable benefits to this new sustainable product service to get people on board. And at the moment we’re not there yet.

Will:

this was something that seemed to be tested by the CLEVER study.

Dr Hobson:

Yeah. So that was a project called the closed loop, emotionally valuable e-waste recovery project. We actually spent ages trying to get it into a clever acronym and we managed it. So that was actually a lot of work. It was a very interesting, so there was very multidisciplinary engineer, chemist life cycle analyst, designer, and me as a social scientist. And basically we were thinking, coming back to that question of a service we were thinking about electronic devices, what do you get from your mobile phone? One, you get the actual material thing itself and there’s kudos and street cred for some people around that. Some people there isn’t at alll, it’s just a functional thing, but some people it is a cultural object and we can’t ignore that. But for most of us we get connectivity. That’s the service that you really want. So we were thinking of can we actually come up with a different kind of SPSS for a mobile phone that still delivers connectivity but deals with some of the issues behind it.

Dr Hobson:

And some of the big issues, as I’m sure you know about mobile phones, is the number of precious metals inside and are not being recovered to the level that is required. So tantalum et cetera. These are resources that we don’t have in greater abundance that there all some issues around conflict minerals, especially coltan, but where they’re coming from, the recycling rates are very low. A lot of people are still putting their mobile phones in landfills or just putting them in a sock drawer and thinking I might need that one day. And when they are recycled, some of the recycling processes are so inefficient. You can’t really pull the material out in a quality that then can be reused in electronics. And this is, this is what people misunderstand a bit about recycling. I’m going off track there, but a lot of things aren’t recycled downcycled.

Dr Hobson:

So if you, if you get gold out of a mobile phone, it’s not always of a quality that then you can be use in another mobile phone. It has to be used for lesser… standard. So we’re at a situation now, we’ve got, we’ve wraps that you’re flooded with mobile phones and we are not handling them very well in terms of post use. So our project was basically saying, okay, what if we need to get the stuff out of the phones better? So this is what the chemists were doing. They were actually looking at the sort of real blue skies chemistry about that. What if we used printed circuit boards of cellulose actually dissolve. So rather than at the, at the moment when you recycle metals, they’re exposed to very, very high temperatures and that’s what reduces their quality, their conductivity. What she was doing was actually using enzymatic degradation, which is basically it’s stable, you introduce enzymes, it breaks down and the metals flip to the top like a soup and you sort of pull them off the liquid.

Dr Hobson:

Quite successful from a chemistry perspective. That’s an alternative way of actually creating the inside of the foam. But how do we get people to return them? That’s the problem. You can do all this wonderful chemistry. You do all these wonderful experiments, you put it on the market and they still just disappear into landfill. So that’s where myself and the designers, et cetera, we’re thinking about, right? We actually need to deal with how people interact with this firm. So what we suggested was a product service system that actually you don’t own the influence of your phone, you meant them. So you’re basically renting the bits inside your phone. What we were experimenting with, and this was more the designer than me, was actually you would own the outside of your phone. The option was you could rent the whole thing. That model already exists and it works in global South countries.

Dr Hobson:

We don’t like it that much here. We thought, what if you actually own the outside? Then you can customize it, it becomes yours and you may be able to change, et cetera, and you can age it, but you actually don’t own the insights. So that’s really, I mean it was a project where it was very blue skies. It was funded by the engineering, physical sciences research council. It wasn’t an intention to take anything to market. We just couldn’t, I mean that’s just a long, long lead up and also like interacting with some of the electronics companies earlier on, they were quite conservative really in terms of how they were approaching this issue. And also they were really concerned about you know, competitive advantage and we’re not doing it. Samsung is doing and we’re not doing it if you know whoever’s doing it or they in the room and we’re like okay, we’re not doing R and D for you, we’re just interested in the science of it.

Dr Hobson:

So then we ran interviews with members of the public talking them through this model, this, this SPSS and yeah they were interesting. But also as you would expect there were lots of problems with it. I mean the main problem was the data security, which I completely understand. Okay. I go in like if you my phone, I pop off for a cup of coffee. Who are you? What can you say? I’ve got my banking details, I’ve got pictures, I’ve got whatever. Do you have to wipe the data off your phone before you take it in? What happens? Fair point really. And that is one of the main problems with recycling. People worried about what happens to their data. Even if you clear your phone is it they’re looking somewhere on a part of the insights that you don’t really can’t access. The other one was just some people saying I won’t, I can’t be without my phone at the time.

Dr Hobson:

You will take it off me for an hour or two. Cause that’s all it would take to basically recycle the size the way we were talking about. So here we have this thing that people literally, I mean have got staple to them. We can’t remove it from them. And that was a whole sort of challenge. But I think actually I wasn’t too disheartened by that because I think it was just an interesting insight into thinking about, well then you have to up the advantages of this a little bit more to make it sellable to people. I don’t think it’s a dead idea. I just think in a hypothetical scenario where you’re not seeing the advantages, it wasn’t gonna necessarily come across as that exciting.

Will:

I was trying to think of how I would try and communicate that trust because the only way I could think of doing it would be to take the entire phone and dunk it in this vat of enzymatic fluid and I get to watch my own phone dissolve and if that’s what it took to convince people, then maybe a nice fizzy wall of phones could do the trick.

Dr Hobson:

Yeah, and that’s not a bad idea, I think. I think we do like to have transparency in these things. Well, sometimes people don’t like it when you go to restaurants and you can see the kitchen, but other people do. Depends, it could go either way, but I think not being secretive about it. Yes, that would. That was certainly, and you could see the whole handling process from when the person takes it to the what’s going on in the lab behind. Yeah, absolutely. That’s possible. I don’t know how else

Dr Hobson:

we could do it in a way that people would actually trust you as a stranger with their phone. Unless there was some kind of app we could come up with that somehow removed the data. I don’t know, I’m not technologically minded like that, so I’m not sure how you would do it, but it was definitely an issue. Yeah.

Will:

And I feel like that burden of trust is something that does still linger over the current SPSS model is that we see like Airbnb who’s flat are you’re renting, are they a landlord? Are they just someone with a spare room? There’s something ongoing in America at the moment about ownership of tractors where you don’t own the tractor, you let the tractor to a farmer and then they can’t repair it. They have to buy or rent a new tractor off you. And that does then seems to be a sticking point. So I guess the psychology of ownership is something that’s just gonna have to go.

Dr Hobson:

It is. And I think also if I can get on my ranty high horse, but I think, I think capitalism has led us to believe that somehow we have intrinsically innate in our DNA, the need to own. And I don’t agree that that is true. Like I studied anthropology. I know for most of our history and most of our time on this planet and a lot of places still today, there’s a lot of sharing that goes on or if you own stuff, you own the bare minimum and the rest comes and goes and you accept the fact that material culture is just that. You build it, you break it, it’s wood, it burns. That’s what happens and I think we’ve got into this sense that ownership somehow means, I mean we can get into that. There’s a fascinating psychology behind this and I am quite fascinated by it.

Dr Hobson:

Going back to Vance Packard’s work in the 1950s about the creation of false needs by the Mad Men, basically the early advertizers. And we still have that. We still have this sense of we shore up our own sort of existential insecurities by stuff. You see guys in flashy cars or whatever and you know, women covered in bling and it’s like we’ve allowed this narrative to kind of become almost like us or myth of who we are. I don’t think it’s correct. I think a lot of other people don’t think it’s correct. So I’m hopeful and I think it’s the hope that keeps you going, that we have the capacity as a species to realize that ourselves and rethink our stuff. And again, there’s more and more people writing about, you know, wellbeing limiting the working week. So we have more leisure time. There’s some really interesting work by a woman called Juliet Shaw, who’s an economist in the USA and she talks about the work-spend cycle and she’s done some really interesting, she’s an economist, she’s dyed in the wool.

Dr Hobson:

She knows her stuff. She’s not just making this up. She’s written several fascinating books to prove that when we consume more, we work more, we get more into debt so we consume more. So we weren’t more believable. And off it goes and it’s a miserable cycle. There’s more and more people just going, look, are you happy? This is what you want? You want this debt, do you want this? All this crap from Argos in your shed? Not really. But then it’s very hard to scale those conversations up that it doesn’t start sounding like paternalism. It doesn’t start sounding like, you know, telling people what to do and this, this is really, really where it gets very, very difficult. That how does one have these conversations in a respectful and a really dialogic way. Like really hearing people, how they feel about what’s going on and starting from there and the environmental movements been as guilty as this as anyone.

Dr Hobson:

They really preach it and that’d be very intolerant or people who don’t see the world as it is. And that’s why I’ve never associated myself as that kind of activist because I don’t think that’s really where it’s going to happen. Whereas I appreciate the extinction rebellion. We can, you know, that’s a whole nother different topic for as many people it brings on board, it alienates the same amount of people. And I’m not sure that really in itself is the solution. But yes, ownership, it will have to go because at the end of the day, whether we’re going to push ourselves all the way into some kind of apocalyptic scenario, we don’t have the stuff left to go round. We don’t have… If you times 11 billion people by a Western lifestyle, it just doesn’t add up.

Will:

Well the change in dialogue and framing and involvement and participation of people in this environmental and ecological message is something which from the science communication perspective has gone through the academic ringer there of moving from just the broadcast model of “Here are the correct people telling you the correct information and this is the vessel for that information. And if you don’t get it, that’s on you because we’re over here and we are right” to, like you said, it’s much more dialogic back and forth and, and lots of ways leading by example and inviting into the process. Having transparency there is working. And there was a case study from the paper, i’m going to try and say this right, Buiksloterham.

Dr Hobson:

Well I can’t speak Dutch so…

Will:

Too late, it’s happened. But there is this, there is a small community just across the river in Amsterdam who are trying to lead by example, it seems.

Dr Hobson:

Hmm. I think one of the things we also have to be cautious about here is thinking about who these people are. Highly educated, white, Northern European, well-connected, you know, wealthy, all that stuff. And so I think there’s also a bit of a danger of assuming everyone can do that. But that aside, you know, what they’ve done is very, very interesting and I think quite inspirational. So what they’ve done is collectivized from the word go. So rather than some council saying, we have a plan, we’re going to do this, what do you think? Yes or no? There was actually, you know, a group of them including some architects and planners who got together and said, you know, we could do something different with this space and proceeded to do so. And the process has remained a community dialogue ever since then. It is an interesting example, but it’s also in the context where Amsterdam’s economic board have themselves taken on ideas of the circular economy.

Dr Hobson:

So there was already that precedent. I think it’s hard to do in spaces and places where you don’t have the kind of blueprint there already to point to and say, “Hey, Amsterdam economic board, Amsterdam government, you’ve decided that we’re going to be a circular city.” That’s what they’ve said, basically. “So let’s do this.” And so they had that impetus there already. I think here in Wales, we’re starting to get that impetus. So we’ve had, you know, the climate emergency declared, the government here said no to extending the M4, which was a fantastic shock cause we really didn’t think that was going to happen. So there’s all these things starting to create. But yeah, I think you have to have that there as well. I think it’s not just a case of letting the people lead. I think it’s also the people joining up with those who are leading and creating that sort of.

Will:

A community.

Dr Hobson:

Yeah. And legitimacy as well.

Will:

I think that covers all my notes and questions about this paper and your work. Is there anything else you’d like to dig into more? Any current research that you’re doing that you think people might want to know about or get involved in ?

Dr Hobson:

Well, at the moment just got research leave. So I’m about to delve into some new research and I think one of the things that’s tasking me and a lot of people about issues like the circular economy are what we call rebound and displacement. And these are very, very important and not being talked about enough. So rebound: you buy a low energy washing machine, got a very high the energy efficiency star rating, and you go, woo, now I’m going to use it twice as much. We’re not paying enough attention to rebound. And there’s clear evidence that that can be anywhere between 20% of the energy gains you have got from the new object or whatever being lost. In some systems that can be as much as 100%. That’s direct rebound. But there’s also indirect rebound, which is where you go, “Oh, I’ve saved loads of money by switching to a green electricity provider. Let’s go to the Seychelles for Christmas”. And again, there’s evidence. That’s an extreme example, but there’s evidence that a lot of people do that in direct rebounding, you kind of start shifting around. Not only is there more money, but there’s a moral licensing that happens, which is where I’m doing my bit over here so I can do what I want over here. So that’s a real problem for this field. And one that’s almost treated like a hangover after a really fun night out. It’s like, Oh, it’s unfortunate, but you know, just the way it is, I don’t think that’s good enough because if we really do have to alter our practices in a way we now think we do, we could find ourselves as having all this stuff wiped out. The other thing is called displacement, which is where if we’re going to start creating a circular economy, it means more stuff that used to be wasted will now get reused, which is great.

Dr Hobson:

But the problem that we’re seeing is that the stuff that’s getting reused is not displacing it’s equivalent of virgin material. It’s creating new markets on top of it. So really people who we would hope would be buying up with goods. So rather than getting fresh plastic from somewhere, they’re getting recycled plastic. That’s not happening very much. What’s happening is “we’ll carry on making our fresh water bottles over here and then we’ll have a sideline of recycled bottles for the Greenies.” So what we’re actually seeing is for a lot of the circular economy, it’s adding new markets. It’s not replacing existing markets and actually it could very well push up consumption considerably.

Will:

So they’re just adding rather than replacing it.

Dr Hobson:

Adding rather than replacing. And again it’s something the circular economy has been taken up by the European union, people talking about it all around the world. China’s big on it and not talking enough about displacement and it’s a real problem.

Dr Hobson:

That does sound like the opposite of the solution.

Dr Hobson:

And there was an issue of trust again with recycled material, of people are a bit suspicious of its quality and, and it’s, you know, it’s Providence. I remember when I was doing my PhD and well it’s talking to people about their practices and they said, Oh, I don’t buy recycled toilet paper. That’s disgusting. And I was like, what? They actually thought it was recycled toilet paper.

Will:

A man from the council comes round every month and he collects it.

Dr Hobson:

So there’s a lot of

Dr Hobson:

misunderstanding about what about recycling in and of itself. Anyway, so that’s where my research is going and I think it’s actually really, really important. And from a social perspective as well, I think it’s really fascinating in terms of if we don’t realize this, we could be taking on a whole group of daily activities that we think is helping and it’s actually not at all. So things are being upcycled for example. So making some nice little Shishi hipster furniture out of, I don’t know, old tires. That’s lovely. But that’s just an additional purchase on top of everything else. You haven’t actually bought recycled tires. You’ve turned tires into some shishi furniture.

Will:

It hasn’t decreased the overall production of sofa.

Dr Hobson:

Yeah. So there are problems. There are real problems with the circular economy and I think we have to look them squarely in the face and think about what we’re going to do about this rather than a lot of what’s written about it now has a lot of hype. It’s an idea that’s being sold and a lot of people are buying it and the danger is we’re setting up systems now that actually could make things worse rather than better. So I want to dig deeper into that in my future work.

Will:

Sounds like it’s echoing with a very hype that led to the unsustainable practices of Airbnb, Uber,

Dr Hobson:

Quite.

Will:

At least that’s a neat circle.

Dr Hobson:

Exactly, exactly. And we found the Airbnb is actually pushing up international travel, not the other way.

Will:

Well, on that awful note, thankyou again for your time today.

Dr Hobson:

You’re welcome.

Will:

If people do want to stay in contact with your research and do want to follow what you’re working on, what would be the best way for them to keep track of that ?

Dr Hobson:

on the university website, we update any publications. Certainly anyone’s welcome to email me if they want any infomation. Or it’s always all on the Cardiff Uni website.

Will:

Thank you again for your time.

Dr Hobson:

Thank you.

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