Can universities change the world?
Professor Coles discusses a vision of the university as a hub of catalytic change and the modes of collaborative leadership that can bring it into being.
Provost Lecture Series
Intensifying ecological, political, social, and economic crises are sweeping the globe, threatening to converge into a ‘perfect storm’ that poses existential challenges to humanity and the planet. An urgent task of our times is to forge transformative and resilient responses to these dynamics.
Publicly engaged universities can embrace their unique untapped potential to play a major role in bringing together communities across sectors to generate the knowledge, moral courage, and creative powers that our times require. However, to do so, they must overcome the limits imposed by many standard practices of contemporary academia—including compartmentalised knowledge production, disconnection from broader communities, institutional inertia, and a lack of imaginative problem-solving.
Visiting Professor Romand Coles, a global leader in political theory, civic engagement, and democratic social movements, argues that universities are ideally situated to catalyse the necessary knowledge, relationships, and civic capacities. Drawing on research and engagement initiatives in the United States, Professor Coles discusses a vision of the university as a hub of catalytic change and the modes of collaborative leadership that can bring it into being.
The Provost Lecture Series is hosted by Victoria University of Wellington Provost Wendy Larner and brings together local and international speakers to discuss the world of academia—interesting research, personal journeys and the future of universities.
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