Ako Aotearoa are hosting a face to face workshop in Chrsitchurch titled “Te Tiriti o Waitangi – a visual history”.
By Professor Ekant Veer
The University of Florida’s Centre for Public Interest Communications seems to think so and they discussed this at their recent ‘frank’ gathering in Gainesville, Florida. The Centre’s Director, Prof. Ann Christiano, and Director of Programs, Ellen Nodine, visited Christchurch in October of 2019 to work with the city and UC on developing communications programs and practices that would benefit the city after the March 15 terror attacks.
During their short stay both Ann and Ellen gave a public lecture as well as held meetings with members of the UC faculty, students, mana whenua, local city officials, and practitioners all to discuss the role that public interest communications can improve social cohesion and well-being. On the back of this visit I was able to visit Gainesville and take part in the frank gathering as ‘The Curator of the Love Track’ (more on this weird title, later). Gabrielle Huria from Ngāi Tahu was also in attendance to speak on the role that she and her iwi were able to play in bringing people together after the shootings.
The frank gathering aims to bring together an equal proportion of practitioners, activists, academics and funders to all share their own ideas about how communications can improve society. So, while I would normally go to a conference and get excited about sitting next to a prominent professor in my field, here I was sitting next to the person who started the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, then have dinner with a Muslim hip-hop activist, followed the next day having breakfast with a professor from Cambridge, then giving a talk alongside creator of The Daily Show. It was an experience that was completely out of my comfort zone, but showed how important it is for us, as academics, to engage with the full gamut of influencers out there.
The gathering is in its 7th year and this year all the talks were split into different tracks based on an emotion. We heard from people talking about anger, hope, pride, love etc. Each track had a curator that would coach the speakers and tie together each talk together with an opening. This is where I became the ‘Curator of the Love Track’ and was given the privilege to open the set of talks with some experiences of working in Christchurch after the shootings and what the role of love plays in driving action forward. In between all these very inspirational talks were breakout sessions where we were able to put some of the experiences into practice in a more hands-on fashion.
Both Gabrielle and I were there to see what we can do better back in Christchurch and whether a similar gathering could work here. Perhaps a local collective of people from all walks of life sharing their knowledge and experiences about public interest communications and what things we have learnt in our own journeys that others may benefit from. Watch this space as we develop plans in this area.
Many thanks should be extended to Bruce McTaggart and his whānau, whose passion and vision for seeing betterment in our society funded both Prof. Christiano and Dr. Nodine’s visit to Christchurch in 2019 as well as Gabrielle and my visit to frank last week.
Dr Ekant Veer is a professor in marketing in the UC Business School at the University of Canterbury. His area of expertise is in social marketing and social well-being. Follow Ekant on Twitter here>
First published on the UC Business School blog>
2020 course dates are now available on the new look Learning and Development intranet page !
Make sure you get in quick and book arrange your development as the courses can fill up fast. Health and Safety courses included.
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Food for Thought was a series of lunchtime events in the city in which UC academics delivered 15-minute talks covering a range of topics from biology in space to the importance of volunteering in schools.
The events have been a fun way to engage with people in the city and share the exciting research taking place at UC that’s making an impact across Ōtautahi Christchurch and beyond.
There will be a video released shortly capturing the highlights from the events. Thank you to those who took part, and to those who made it along to the events to enjoy some inspiring talks (and delicious food) on your lunch break!
A great example of working together as one – Kotahitanga – to pull off a successful series of events showcasing exciting projects and research taking place at UC.
The University of Canterbury is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). Our membership provides access to a number of exciting, interesting and challenging opportunities such as conference grants for early career academic staff, academic fellowships, and grants to support initiatives that will boost gender equity and equality.
There are opportunities to “Get Involved” – collaborations across the Commonwealth e.g. “Global challenges”, “Access and inclusion”.
There’s also a range of opportunities for our students including scholarships, summer school grants, and fellowships.
Current opportunity promoted on the ACU site
“A Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship is a unique opportunity to study for a two-year Master’s at an ACU member institution across the Commonwealth.
Through cultural exchange and academic collaboration, Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholars help bring about positive change and find solutions to the shared challenges we face – both in their home countries and those that host them. Applications are open until 15 January 2020. Find out more on our website ”
Newsletter “acu syntHEsis”.
I will endeavour to publicise opportunities as they arise but the best way for you to be sure of current rounds in a timely way would be to subscribe to their newsletter.
The newsletter is monthly. The current issue is available via the ACU Synthesis link. To subscribe and keep in touch with news and opportunities, email email@example.com.
- The Association of Commonwealth Universities is an international organisation dedicated to building a better world through higher education.
- International collaboration is central to this ambition: by bringing universities together from around the world – and crucially the people who study and work within them – the ACU helps to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds, and improve lives.
- The ACU champions higher education as a cornerstone of stronger societies, supporting its members, partners, and stakeholders as they adapt to a changing world.” (ACU homepage).
Liaison and our information page
- See our intranet page to access the ACU site
- I am the liaison person for ACU so talk to me if you want more information.
Karen Mather, Organisational Development Manager, Human Resources.