SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Symposium on the critical role of Interdisciplinary thinking

Professor Cristina Dondi (Oxford), Dr Dan Plesch (SOAS), Dr Matti Pohjonen (SOAS), Feja Lesniewska (SOAS), Dr Awino Okech (SOAS), Dr Dr Annabel de Frece (SOAS), Dr Manjeet Ramgotra (SOAS), Virginia McLean (Learn2Think), Rhian Sellier (Learn2Think)

Date: 12 November 2019Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 12 November 2019Time: 4:00 PM

Venue: Birkbeck Room: G10, 26 Russell Square

Type of Event: Symposium

10.00 – 10.15     Introduction to the importance of interdisciplinary research

The importance of a combined archaeology of knowledge, enabling academics, practitioners and policy makers to move beyond siloed responses to modern challenges and understand the importance of critical thinking and learning in context

Dan Plesch, Director, Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy

10.15-10.45        The art of asking questions

Critical thinking is necessary in society and in education, but having a critical approach is a skill that can be learned like any other. It’s possible to learn to ask better questions, more in-depth questions, in a way that helps identify what we don’t know (Rumsfeld’s known knowns to unknown unknowns).

The Learn2Think Foundation

10.45 – 11.15     Is art a science or science an art?  

Interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, computer scientists, technologists and researchers.

Dr Matti Pohjonen, Lecturer in Global Digital Cultures, SOAS

11.15 – 11.30     Coffee

11.30 – 12.00     Information, knowledge and the modern world

What we can learn about the impact of printing on the economic and social development of modern Europe and on the creation of a common cultural heritage, and parallels with the digital information revolution

Cristina Dondi, ERC Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages and Oakeshott Senior Research Fellow at Lincoln; she is also the Secretary of the Consortium of European Research Libraries

12.00 - 12.30      The role of governance in a globalised and digital world

Governance has impact across government, company law and individual rights. How do we manage the digital evolution across borders and unequal power structures? How do we address issues of privacy, equity and control?

Dr Feja Lesniewska, Senior Teaching Fellow, SOAS

12.30 – 13.15     Lunch

13.15- 13.45       Decolonising the Curriculum

Why is it important to decolonise the curriculum? What are the normative implications of a colonised curriculum?  What a decolonised curriculum looks like?

Manjeet Ramgotra, Department of Politics, SOAS

13.45 – 14.15     Gender and Power 

The interaction between gender and power, how it influences (or fails to influence) thinking and research.

Awino Okech, Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS

14.15 – 14.45        Resource challenges: from fossil fuel to water wars 

Access to resources is a fundamental driver of individual and state actions. As the dynamics of the global economy change, and control of fossil fuel sources becomes less important than access to energy, food and clean water, what will geopolitics look like?

Dr Annabel de Frece, Centre for Development, Environment and Policy

14.45 -15.15       Sustainable Development in a 2 degree world

Climate change trajectory, industrial business as usual, the Sustainable Development Goals and the role of finance.

Felicia Jackson, CEO,  SUFINDA

15.15 - 15.45 What next?

Using the tools identified in the art of asking questions, students will be asked to come up with central research questions that need to be answered, across a broad arrange of disciplines, if we are to meet the challenges facing us in the 21st century.

The Learn2Think Foundation

In order to attend please sign-up here.

Organiser: School of Interdisciplinary Studies

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