Organising a conference to facilitate interdisciplinary interaction

Henri De Ruiter, Karolina Gombert, Education in the North

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Interdisciplinary research is increasingly valued but most early stage researchers do not have an extensive network or publication list that can be used to leverage interdisciplinary collaborations. Therefore, there is an urgent need for formats that facilitate interdisciplinary interactions amongst early stage researchers. Here we reflect on the usefulness of the conference format for interdisciplinary thinking by using a recently organised conference at the University of Aberdeen as an example. We conclude that the conference format has many benefits for interdisciplinary interactions, but should be seen as integral part of the academic curriculum and not as something “extra”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

The Facing the Future format was initiated by Professor Ioan Fazey at the Centre for
Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR) at the University of Dundee. We would like to thank Professor Fazey, as well as Louise Henderson from CECHR, Dr Anthony Hodgson and Dr David Beatty from the International Future Forum (IFF) for their continued support throughout organising Facing the Future 2016 in Aberdeen. We would also like to thank our supervisors for their support.


  • interdisciplinarity
  • early career activities
  • conference organisation
  • conference timing and format
  • systemic interaction


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