Decentering Epistemologies for Global Well-being is a European University for Well-Being (EUniWell) Virtual Online International Collaborative Exchange (VOICE) with an overarching aim to foster collaborative learning processes that acknowledge multiple perceptions of well-being shaped by an entangled past, a common present and a shared future.
The goal of the project is to critically explore contemporary issues that promote well-being and distinguish effective support practices. The project has the objectives of 1) Collaboratively investigating local & global situations that impact on well-being from three different perspectives (knowledge, intersectionality and environment); and 2) Innovatively co-create awareness of findings that can enable individuals to take ownership of their well-being.
The project is carried out in partnership between Leiden University (LEI), University of Cologne (UoC), University of Birmingham (UoB), University of the Western Cape (UWC), Université Mohammed V de Rabat (MVR), University of Nairobi (UoN).
The virtual classroom creates a space to mobilise knowledge from global to local scales across cultural
boundaries. Through individual and group activities and assignments, participants will be facilitated to
translate theoretical knowledge into practice from various perspectives. This will be achieved through active participation in four distinct sessions
|Session 1||A kick-off week offering three synchronous events that entail an introduction to the platform, moderators, facilitators and participants, followed by an exploration of two critical cross-cutting themes; the decolonisation agenda and parachute science practice. The session concludes with presentations of the three themes during which the thematic team members get to know each other better and form sub-groups.|
|Session 2||In the sixth week, a creative writing workshop will be offered to all participants.|
|Session 3||In the sixth week, a creative writing workshop will be offered to all participants.|
|Session 4||In the last two weeks, the sub-groups finalise their end products and pitch their findings.|
Two months after the VOICE, the pilot will conclude with a hybrid one-and a-half day seminar hosted by the University of Cologne. Individual presentations will be given by the moderators, facilitators, and one student representative of each institution. Thereafte,r the entire seminar team will deliver a roundtable session at the European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) 2023, Conference in Cologne (Germany) on the topic “How to make academic cooperation work”.
Well-being issues are extremely diverse and require the acknowledgement of all individuals as equal and
valuable members of society in a national and international context. Unpacking some of the complexities that affect well-being, participants collaboratively focus on one of three themes. In recognition of their importance in academic collaboration, the notions of decolonisation and the potential dangers of parachute science are interwoven as cross-cutting themes in all three themes. Two months after the SPOC the pilot will conclude with a hybrid one-and-a-half day seminar hosted by the University of Cologne. Individual presentations will be given by the moderators, facilitators, and one student representative of each institution. Thereafter the entire seminar team will deliver a presentation at the African Futures ECAS Conference in Cologne, Germany
Intersectionality and Well-being Interwoven with diversity, equity, inclusion initiatives, intersectional
features of identity strengthen or weaken emotional well-being. In this theme, participants will explore how individuals are represented and function in education and employment systems that still generate and maintain intersectional divisions marginalising some and benefiting others.
Knowledge and Well-being Knowledge acquisition takes place in institutions that are increasingly
fragmented and exclusive. These differences create experiences of alienation or belonging. Through
identifying and comparing social inclusion and exclusion in and around museums and colonial collections,
this theme zooms in on the impact of heritage on local epistemes and well-being.
Environment and Well-being The natural environment affects people’s well-being and the interaction
between systems that contribute to its degradation is a key factor. Identifying and measuring
environmental and human vulnerability requires an integrated and interdisciplinary understanding of
global and local perspectives. This theme views these perceptions through the lenses of exposure,
susceptibility and adaptive capacity.