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@ The Edge: Can 8000 academics make a difference?

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June 1-8 brought 8,000 Canadian and International academics mostly from the Humanities and the Social Sciences to the University of Victoria, in the city of Victoria in British Columbia.  The Congress of  the Humanities and Social Sciences, (this year’s title “@The Edge”) is a Canadian tradition that allows the entire spectrum of academic societies from those studying co-operatives, community development and adult education to history, political science, socialist studies, ancient and modern languages to meet in the same location.  The Congress rotates amongst the various Canadian universities each year allowing Canadian scholars to get to know virtually all parts of the vast geography that is Canada over a period of years.  What is more important is that this arrangement makes it possible to perform one of the most difficult of academic tricks…to cross over the disciplinary mountain tops!  It is possible to hear and present research and ideas in several different academic ‘societies’ while remaining in one location.  Canada’s relatively small academic population allows for this to happen, but in a world where breaking down the disciplinary boundaries in the solution to complex real world issues is necessary, this is a model worth examining

Rajesh Tandon, Budd Hall and Crystal Tremblay wearing our UNESCO Chair hats were able to present sessions in the Higher Education society, the Adult Education society, the International Development Society, the Non-Profit and Social Economy society and to take part in conversations with the Governor-General of Canada on Knowledge Democracy. 

Launch of the Institute for Study and Innovation in Community University Engagement

We were also witnesses to the launching of the new University of Victoria Institute for Study and Innovation in Community University Engagement, which represents the maturation, and evolution of the former Office of Community-Based Research.  The Director of the new Institute is Dr. Leslie Brown, one of Canada’s most respected community based research scholars who has a deep commitment to and background in Indigenous research.

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