Seeking the Authentic: Grounding Our Approach to the Complex, Wild and Unfamiliar

I was invited to give a presentation titled ‘Seeking the Authentic: Grounding Our Approach to the Complex, Wild and Unfamiliar’ at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Amsterdam by Linda de Greef and Lucy Wenting.

Unfortunately I was travelling with a fractured wrist, a broken suitcase and during some kind of monsoon-type weather, but the welcome from the team in Amsterdam, and especially the fantastic hosting by Linda made the trip really enjoyable.

After a tour of the facilities at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Science Park, I gave a lunch meeting (brown bag) talk titled ‘Seeking the Authentic: Grounding Our Approach to the Complex, Wild and Unfamiliar’. This was a slightly more developed and theoretically related version of a talk introducing the curriculum and delivery of the Global Challenges field of Imperial Horizons. I was able to think a little more creatively about ideas like ‘authenticity’ – at the moment drawing a lot from the work of Carolin Kreber.

Following this I took part in some workshops, allowing me to meet a whole range of different members of the institute, hear about their programmes, and discuss many interesting and tricky issues such as prestige (in terms of the alignment of interdisciplinary learning within traditional disciplinary tracks of study – moving through bachelors, masters and PhD study), assessment, organisation and collaboration.

I came away with many new ideas for curriculum development within my own programme, and am stuck into reading the work of Jacintha Scheerder on the Horizon Scan 2050 project for the Netherlands.

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