Researchers working to address the SDGs convened in Thailand to explore decoloniality in research and education

15.03.2023 – Dr. Harvy Joy Liwanag of ISPM convened a workshop of 20 researchers working to address the various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to explore meaningful pathways for decoloniality in research and education as part of the Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) Conference 2023 in Thailand last February 28 to March 3. The NERPS Conference 2023, which was organized by Hiroshima University and hosted by the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, served as a platform for inter-disciplinary research and policy conversations among students, researchers, and practitioners working on issues related to peace, sustainability, and their nexus. The conference theme was “Bridging Peace and Sustainability amidst Global Transformations”. The workshop was organized in the context of decolonisation as an essential element of peace and sustainability. Although many countries in the Global South have attained independence, coloniality persists in practice in the research, academic, and the development sectors. Power differentials shape which knowledge and traditions and whose expertise are valued. Coloniality shapes the curriculum and educational approaches, as well as the conduct of international collaborations. With global health as the entry point, the workshop drew on the practice of dialogical reflexivity as a potentially useful approach to transform how researchers and practitioners think and act in their respective disciplines and areas of practice (Liwanag and Rhule, 2021). Aside from the SDG on good health and wellbeing, participants in the workshop were working in the SDGs for poverty and hunger reduction, quality education, gender equality, responsible consumption and production, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, peace, justice, and strong institutions, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and reduction of inequalities. The workshop sparked conversations to explore meaningful pathways for pursuing decoloniality in knowledge production, education, and international collaborations across the SDGs. The workshop was among the 37 sessions in the conference that all-in-all involved 187 participants from 69 universities in 24 countries. Dr. Liwanag worked with Dr. Dahlia Simangan of Hiroshima University (Japan) and Dr. Srinjoy Bose of the University of New South Wales (Australia) who co-facilitated the workshop.

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