People-centred development: a resilient approach to Global Challenges
Maria Salaru (University College London)
Simone Abram (Durham University)
Elizabeth Fry 1.34
Thursday 5 September, 14:00-15:30

Short abstract:

Boundaries between academia and the rest of the world are fast dissolving, yet facilitating collaborative learning between academics, students, companies or other organisations presents significant challenges. How can anthropologists and other social scientists rise to these new challenges?

Long abstract:

In anthropology's engagement with Global Challenges, expectations around innovation in education entail demands on curricular development and the delivery of teaching and learning objectives. This lab provides a critical discussion of knowledge exchange across industry and academia - recognising how knowledge is co-constructed by students, teachers and non-academic partners in an "intersubjective dialogue of shared meanings" (Light, G., R. Cox and S. Calkins 2009, 30). The lab draws on an Erasmus + Project that brings together Higher Education Institutions from the social sciences with industries from the sustainable living and energy sector to jointly develop and integrate people-centred development approaches into their research, teaching and learning practices (people-project.net). New learning modules are embedded in degree programmes in the UK, Slovenia, Czechia and the Netherlands, enabling students to gain valuable practical skills to complement their theoretical education, while demonstrating the value of that education for industry and the third sector. Lab participants will gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of co-creation through the PEOPLE-centred development approach, covering how to: identify and negotiate relationships with potential partners, translate academic concepts for practical purposes, and managing conflicting priorities. In our lab, we will be open and honest about the difficulties this kind of learning presents, how to prepare and how best to avoid the most common pitfalls, while also highlighting the significant rewards for all participants, not least the striking responses from students involved in such projects. Lab participants will work through case studies, using mind maps and moderated discussion.