I had the pleasure of being invited to be involved in today's Energy-Water-Food Nexus Workshop organised by the UWA Geography Department. The Workshop acted as a brainstorming session to discuss the vulnerability of access to energy, water and food in the West Australian wheatbelt region, and in particular the interdependency between energy, water and food availability.
At first I thought I would have nothing to add to the discussion, but in fact much of my public sector knowledge was dredged up from the recesses of my brain and proved to be very useful. Suddenly I was talking about limitations to WA's liquid fuel supplies, exposure to international LNG prices and weaknesses in the Western Power grid!
The session taught me two important things. The first is that having knowledge in a wide range of topics can be useful, and I don't get enough of that in my research. The second is that I love these kinds of workshop/brainstorming sessions. All in all, the session made me realise how much I missed the cooperative nature of the public sector, and the broad range of projects you have the opportunity to be involved with.
However, there's no point moaning about it, when something can be done! For this reason I intend to start a PhD human geography reading group in 2015 so that I can once again learn from the work of others, contribute to group discussions and feel like I'm part of a team. Keep an eye out for details on how this progresses!