The University of Dundee is currently presenting its new vision for the future, called ‘Transformation’.It is a positive, innovative and upbeat initiative with the ultimate goal of ‘transforming lives locally and globally through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge’. It emphasises five core values: valuing people, working together, integrity, making a difference and excellence. ‘Transformation’ sets out to tackle challenges and make a difference in three broad areas that are interconnected
– promoting the sustainable use of global resources
– shaping the future through innovative design
– improving social, cultural and physical well-being
It highlights the need for creative interdisciplinary working to achieve the highest impact and level of excellence.
SDHI fully embraces these principles and thus, we believe we are well positioned to support this agenda with our work portfolio around interdisciplinary research, knowledge mobilisation and capacity and capability building. In this newsblog, we recently reflected on progress since the adoption of our strategy ‘Building Bridges’. Many of the points discussed are aligned with the new vision of the university. Our focus on health, wellbeing and participation in the context of environmental, demographic, technological and economic developments largely reflects the three areas of ‘Transformation’. The local emphasis of engaging the public in our research (see upcoming ESRC Festival of Social Science/Dundee Science Festival ‘Taking control of wellbeing and social participation’ on the 3 November 2012 in the Dundee Central Library, Wellgate Shopping Centre), development of the institute and dissemination of findings is one example of our strong commitment to the local area. The increasing number of international speakers at conferences and symposia, the adoption of webinar technology, the use of social media, and the growing number of international collaborators in research reflects the global connectedness of SDHI. Finally, our research spans many disciplines across the two universities of Dundee and St Andrews, including but not limited to, human geography, environmental science, public health, nursing, primary care, social work, applied computing, art and design, health and social psychology, anthropology, which creates a unique vibrant learning, research and development environment. Some of our research examples involving SDHI researchers include the impact of environmental impacts on long-term conditions (asthma, stroke, dementia), assistive technology to support people with communication impairments, real time data collection using innovative mobile technology, and art interventions to support rehabilitation outcomes. They reflect how SDHI is already working across the three domains set out above.
The Principal of the University of Dundee, Professor Pete Downes highlighted in his presentation of ‘Transformation’ the need of creating interdisciplinary spaces for people to meet. We are very supportive of the new initiative and confident that SDHI will continue to serve as the creative, innovative environment that connects disciplines, forms relationships locally, and links people around the globe to make a difference and to transform lives.