Some of the Centre's research areas:
Epistemologies, Ideologies and Culture:
Concerned with the nature and justification of human knowledge, the need to embrace the right of multiple forms of knowledge to co-exist is growing ever more evident. This plurality recognises the diversity of knowledges not only as methods, but as ways of life. How individuals come to know, the theories and beliefs they hold about knowing are a part of, and an influence on, the cognitive and cultural processes of thinking, reasoning, belonging and acting. Achieving the SDGs must be done in a manner that both contributes to the exercise of human rights and refrains from having negative impact on their full realization. Cultural rights, as an inherent part of the human rights system, should be considered in this process to leverage the implementation of the SDGs, and processes to achieve any of the SDG should not have negative impact on the realization of cultural rights.
Sustainability, Well-Being, Tipping Points:
UN 2030 Agenda and SDGs include thriving lives and livelihoods, food and water security, and governance for sustainable societies. However, we live in a time that has become synonymous with energy scarcity, climate change, and loss of ecosystem services. The limitations of neoclassical economics, coupled with human settlement patterns and maladaptive policy interventions, have shifted the social states globally. As we move towards SDG implementation, human development and security becomes a key research entry point to understand the links between dynamic environmental, social, cultural and economic landscapes and human wellbeing. People’s freedoms and opportunities, socially and psychologically co-constituted in social, political and cultural contexts, provide insights into the interplay between poverty, vulnerability, power and inequality.
Equity, Justice and Governance:
Equity and justice considerations have always been central to understanding past and current forms of global governance as well as the motivations and goals of different actors. Governance incorporates the formal and informal architecture (i.e., rules, rule-making systems, institutions and processes) and agents (i.e., actors and networks) at all levels of decision-making, from global-to-local. Can we shift towards new policies, approaches and methods that achieve greater equity, from working with underserved communities to removing barriers to equal participation? Policy development and government action have an important role to play in achieving equity with respect to race, ethnicity, income, geography, gender and disability.
Inclusive, Equitable Quality Education:
SDG4 has brought a global level of attention to a range of educational quality issues that extend far beyond literacy and numeracy and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. A lack of education often limits access to information and disadvantages the livelihoods of people. From the perspective of acquiring knowledge and skills, along with developing human resources, it is clear that the elements of education are present across all of the SDGs. Current understanding of quality education includes fostering knowledge and skills for global citizenship and competence, cultural intelligence and sustainable development. In addition, knowledge exchange activities that involve collaborative learning methodologies provide greater focus on softer skillsets that, when missing, often restrict learners, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, from excelling during and following higher education.
It is generally accepted that digital life has mostly change humans’ existence for the better over the last 50 years. However, warnings about the future are caveated with the need to embrace reforms allowing better cooperation, security, basic rights and economic fairness. The possibilities of greater surveillance and data-abuse practices by corporations and governments, porous security for digitally connected systems and the prospect of greater economic inequality and digital divides all have the potential to push societies in different directions. As more of our lives moves online, and we all have digital representations of ourselves, do we endanger the way we perceive ourselves and lose track of how power is mirrored and created throughout digital platforms?