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Skill sessions

Topics include: 

Boundary spanning:  Creating the enabling conditions for engaging in the science-policy interface - Angela Bednarek and Katie Curran

Many students and researchers are interested in contributing their expertise to the science-policy interface. But they are often operating on conventional assumptions about the role of science in society that don’t hold up well when tackling complex social problems such as sustainability. In this skills session, we provide training tools that can help provide a more realistic and nuanced view of the role of science in policy. By encouraging students and researchers to be more reflective about their own assumptions and values, we aim to help sustainability leaders be more effective at navigating the complexity of the science-policy interface.

Designing a Meaningful Career - Kristi Kremers, University of Minnesota

We invest much of our time, talents and passion into our work. And, many students (and faculty) are looking for deeper meaning and purpose in this area of our lives. This session will help you identify ways you can encourage your students to prototype multiple career paths, identify what they want, and develop a plan so that they can have the kinds of impact that originally led them to pursue an advanced degree in the first place.

Facilitation 101:  Strategies to Support Active & Collaborative Learning - David Syncox, McGill University

In this workshop we will explore strategies to enhance students’ engagement, promote dialogue, and encourage deep learning. We will discuss the rationale for active and collaborative learning, and examine methods for design and implementation in different types of courses. During the workshop, you will experience a range of new strategies through demonstrations and peer sharing, and develop a plan to incorporate selected strategies into your courses.

Leading interdisciplinary collaborations: What's "Team Science?" - Margaret Krebs, Leopold Leadership Program

What needs to be in place to avoid the derailment of academic collaborations? Research in team science has identified critical factors that include:  developing a shared vision, promoting disagreement while containing conflict, and setting clear expectations for sharing credit and authorship. Another important dimension is self -awareness of various actions that harness the collective wisdom of the group.  In this session you'll be introduced to tools and approaches toward facilitating interactive collaborations.


Network mapping - Kate Knuth, University of Minnesota

Acting as a leader requires working with others, which makes understanding relationships and essential part of leadership and impact. This session will introduce the idea of network mapping and its use as a tool that allows you to see and think through how various actors are connected to an issue, context, organization, or person. Participants will have the chance to practice mapping a network important for their own work.

Scenario thinking: How to involve the community in future planning - Elena Bennett, McGill University and Simon Donner, University of British Columbia

Scenario thinking is a tool for enabling people to think broadly, or get better at doing so, by asking “What if?”  It's a disciplined way that allows you to rehearse the possibilities of tomorrow, and then to take action today empowered by those provocations and insights. Elena Bennett co-designed a scenario thinking approach with community planners in an area north of Montreal in the midst of a transition.  Simon presented this technique with his graduate students.  Through their experiences, they will demonstrate how to design a scenario thinking approach and enable you to apply it in your situations.

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