Reflections on T2015 Jennifer Rao-Williams:

The opening speech of the Transformations 2015 stated that it would be a conference which would challenge us and as a PhD student, it did exactly this. Across the three days the event, like no other that I had been to previously, took my learning into new places. This was through a variety of inspiring talks, interactive sessions, and through the making of some ‘unlikely alliances’ – a phrase that I first heard during T2013, from John Colvin and Mehjabeen Abidi-Habib, and is a phrase which I continually find new relevance for.

This was especially the case during the T2015, where the event focused on interaction and provided waves of deep embodied learning, particular during the Seed of a Good Anthropocene session where I was role playing as a good social seed looking for investment from a group named business as usual. Whilst entertaining, this interactive session really brought through the reality of how powerful unlikely alliances can be, but it also highlighted the challenges that progressive change is so vulnerable to. In this respect, this conference had so much personal contribution invested in it which really helped to shape the big picture on transformation, which is that we are all learners in and of a rapidly changing context. However challenging this positionality is, I think that the Transformation conferences (Oslo, Stockholm and Dundee in 2017) have all appropriately framed the choreography of how are our understanding of this topic and its role in addressing complex challenges is unfolding. As a PhD student, I am really excited for T2017 and its focus on Transformation in practice which will be held at the University of Dundee, I think that this will be a really complementary and inspiring event which will build on the learning from the previous two conferences.


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