Siargao Research Residency in Sustainability and Cognitive Innovation

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

I hit the ground running this 2020 with a research residency Siargao about Cognitive Innovation for SustainableDevelopment, where Nature was both our classroom and ultimate facilitator. The residency was jointly run by the University of Plymouth and the University of the Philippine Open University, with funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Learning about transdisciplinarity for sustainability as our natural surroundings inspire us. Photo credit: UPOU


This has probably been the most diverse residency I have attended. We had facilitators and attendees from all over the world representing a variety of fields: psychology, healthcare, the social sciences, art, community development, environmental management and STEM, to name a few. Ethnic minorities, LGBT, and older adults were also well-represented within the group. The diversity certainly made for very interesting discussions.


I was assigned to the research challenge on Reimagining Sustainable Partnerships. Our group discussed many of the things we felt were missing from widely read formulations of 'sustainability', such as the recognition of nonhumans as agents, as well as emic approaches in the Philippines that are based on local ideas of personhood, such as kapwa. The next stage in the residency is to fund and implement some of the interdisciplinary projects we discussed in Siargao. Planning for that is happening as I write so watch this space!


Thanks to the diverse group of people from all over the world who made this possible - truly it takes a village to make an unconference!


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