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The University Project

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Saved by Dougald Hine
on September 17, 2011 at 5:09:34 pm
 

Welcome to the University Project

 

A whole set of forces are coming together to disrupt higher education as we know it - here in the UK, and all over the world.

 

Pressures within institutions, economic crisis, staff morale, student debts and graduate unemployment challenge existing models. Out of necessity and out of a desire for something better, these pressures are provoking new experiments around the edges, in pockets within existing institutions, or on the outside.

 

All of this is taking place at the same moment that we're discovering the social potential of networked technologies, and seeing the emergence of new kinds of collaborative productive spaces - coworking spaces and accelerators, hacker and maker spaces, fab labs and media labs.

 

The University Project began with the idea that it might be possible to reimagine and reinvent the university, out of the coming together of these forces. We've been invited to make use of Hub Westminster - a new collaboration space for changemakers in the heart of London, a block away from Trafalgar Square - as a base from which to explore these possibilities.

 

After a blogpost from Dougald Hine (co-founder of School of Everything, the Dark Mountain Project and Space Makers Agency), a group of us started meeting regularly to talk about these ideas. Start talking publicly about the future of the university and the strength of people's desire for things to change easily becomes overwhelming. But what we've found is that there are also hundreds of projects and experiments going on which share our desire to create new pockets and pathways for the cultivation of knowledge.

 

So we've decided to start by using our base here in London to offer a platform, to make this flourishing of experiments more visible and help tell its stories.

 

Universities: Past & Future

14-16 October, Hub Westminster, London

 

Please join us for a weekend of conversations & encounters, exploring the past and the future of the university.

 

The idea is to bring together people involved in all kinds of projects and experiments in creating new pockets and pathways for the cultivation of knowledge, within or outside of existing institutions. Let's share our stories and experiences, find places where we can collaborate or support each other, and remember the long history of the invention and reinvention of the spaces in which we learn.

 

The weekend will run from 7pm on Friday to 4.30pm on Sunday and you're welcome to join us for all or part of it. We'll use an informal unconference structure, so the schedule will take shape over the weekend itself. 

 

People: If you're coming to the weekend, please add your name and (if you like) a bit of information about yourself here. (There's also a "Present in spirit" section, for people who would like to be there but can't - we'll do our best to link you up to what happens.)

 

Sessions: If there's a discussion you'd like to host, a project you want to talk about, or anything else - a performance, a game, a debate - then please post a short description here, including your contact details. There will be further opportunities to propose a session over the weekend itself.

 

Reading: Share articles, books, blog posts or any other recommended reading that's relevant to the theme of the weekend.

 

Projects: Add projects, experiments or organisations which you think of as relevant to the theme of the weekend.

 

Accommodation: We're already hearing from people from around the UK (and beyond) who want to come to the weekend. If you live in London and you're able to offer crash space, please post on this page (including some kind of contact details). If you're coming from elsewhere and don't have anyone to stay with, you're welcome to post a request.

 

We'll also be looking for a few volunteers to help us with practical stuff over the weekend, so please get in touch if you'd like to help.

 

 

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