Energy and Equity: putting the WGSI in context
The OpenAccess Energy summit wrapped up its agenda of activities yesterday.
The summit is held every other year by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) — a partnership between the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. It brings together a multidisciplinary, multigenerational and multinational group of about 40 people for four days of intensive working sessions.
The focus of this year's summit was the open access to energy. Many of the keynote addresses from the OpenAccess Energy summit and the #PowerShiftWR conference that precededed it are archived on YouTube.
The participants, including researchers, representatives of energy-poor communities, lawyers and government representatives gathered to identify those high-impact actions that could universalize electricity access.
President Hamdullahpur spoke on the topic of energy and its implications for equity during his opening remarks earlier in the week that helped launch the summit:
"I think it’s important to develop scholarship in the context of real-world challenges and opportunities — there are millions around the world who could benefit from our efforts," wrote President Feridun Hamdullahpur in a post on his blog. "That’s as exciting as the scholarship itself."
The group’s recommendations, based on their discussions and meetings this week, are contained in the OpenAccess Energy Communiqué, released yesterday at the close of the summit.
Scholarship and leadership go hand in hand
This is the latest in a series of #UWStratPlan stories that profile some of the initiatives that are part of the robust efforts to implement the Strategic Plan.
Tahnee Prior’s passion for the Arctic is as vast as the land itself. And the conversation the world has about it, she says, should be larger than minerals and oil.
"It's a big goal of mine to shift that narrative more towards the people and the environment, and what it takes to properly govern both of them," says Prior, a University of Waterloo PhD student who earned a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2015.
Her doctoral research at the Balsillie School of International Affairs proposes a better model of care for the Arctic region — one that sets aside the national interests of the eight countries in the Arctic region in favour of a transnational approach to help the people most affected by climate change and resource opportunities.
This isn't top-down governance, where a body of decision-makers writes the script for northern people to follow, she says. It's a process of policy-building that involves Arctic residents, and respects the traditions of the region’s indigenous peoples.
Committed to the connection between strong scholarship and strong communities, Prior stands out as an example of the leaders emerging from the University of Waterloo. In academic programming, the University doesn’t take a top-down approach, either.
It provides an incubative environment, bringing faculty and students together to collaborate on regional, national and global challenges.
Read the rest of the article on the Strategic Plan website.
Teaching and Learning Conference kicks off today
The University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference, OND 2016, takes place today in Hagey Hall.
This year’s Conference theme is "Learning from Challenge and Failure," an opportunity to "open up discussions with colleagues, our students, and ourselves around the beliefs we hold about challenges, setbacks, and failure in the context of teaching and learning at the University."
The conference begins with a welcome address by Associate Vice-President, Academic, Mario Coniglio and introductory remarks by Conference Chair Julie Timmermans of the Centre for Teaching Excellence.
The event features a keynote address by Professor Michael Starbird of the University of Texas at Austin, entitled "Make Mistakes: Fail to Succeed".
"Creative success is often built on the ash heap of failed attempts," says the keynote's abstract. "Mistakes are great teachers—they highlight unforeseen opportunities and gaps in your understanding. They also show you which way to turn next. Instructors can embrace the power of failure by consciously inspiring students to learn the productive potential of making mistakes as important steps toward understanding and creativity. Being willing to make and acknowledge mistakes and to learn from them is a liberating habit of effective thinking."
Over the course of the day, more than 30 sessions will be held throughout Hagey Hall, including an "Igniting Our Practice" panel presentation featuring Waterloo professors Greta Kroeker of History and Troy Vasiga of Computer Science.
The session's closing address will be delivered by Dean of Environment Jean Andrey, with a wine and cheese reception to follow.
Human Resources will be relocating to East Campus 1 (EC1) as of Friday, April 29. HR is aiming to keep disruption to services as minimal as possible, but does ask for your patience beginning today through to Tuesday, May 3 as they settle into their new space.
Colleagues of Maureen Nummelin are inviting members of the University community to a celebration of her retirement from the Office of Research Ethics. The celebration takes place on Wednesday, May 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the University Club. RSVP by Friday, April 29.
"The last New Faculty Social of the Winter term is taking place this Friday, April 29 between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.," says a note from Monica Vesely of the Centre for Teaching Excellence. "We will gather at the Grad House board room for conversation and noshing/libations (provided by your hosts: Glenda Rutledge, HR Onboarding, and Monica Vesely, CTE). Our hope is to have all new and newish faculty (re)connect with other new and newish faculty colleagues from across campus and celebrate the successful conclusion of the Winter term. No RSVP required – just drop by!"
The Staff Appreciation Buffet at the University Club continues today and tomorrow. Savour the flavours of spring while saying thanks to those colleagues who "make our lives a little easier all year round." Reserve your spot today!