Venturing into the unknown
Wednesday 16th October 2016 was an auspicious day at Dundee University. All nine Schools from across the campus came together for the first time, committed to looking at new ways of working to solve some of the most pressing health and social care challenges of our time. With 36 fresh thinking students from Art and Design, Dentistry, Education and Social Work, Humanities, Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Science and Engineering, Social Sciences, and support from six local organisations – Amino, Deaf Hub, DialOp, Hearing Voices, Homeless Populations and PAMIS – we ventured forward as a new, ambitious collective!
We pitched up at the School of Art & Design in the heart of the campus, and used the BarCamp method to kick-start our work. Why BarCamp? It is an ‘unconference‘; a meeting where everyone can contribute, where everyone can present a topic and generate a discussion (Azzimonti et al, 2015). Mindful that people would be meeting each other for the first time, and had no previous experience of working together, our aim for Day 1 of the project was simple: to enable everyone to develop an understanding of the project, as well as an understanding of each other and the creative process about to be undertaken.
The subject demands agility, critical thinking and teamwork; the project is time sensitive (with only four sessions out with the induction) and so, in setting the scene we talked about the importance of curiosity – of accepting we don’t have all of the answers, of venturing into the unknown together, and leading the navigation into unchartered waters with questions.
With jazz playing in the background, 6 hours of dynamic conversation and questioning pursued, ending in six self selecting teams to work on an issue of their choice and with an organisation of their choice. Here’s a visual snapshot of Day 1 #UoDGHC16 :