[rohrpost] Teaching for the Future: Grand Challenges in Twenty-First Century Higher Education, panel discussion at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, October 31

Ingeborg Reichle ingeborg.reichle at kunstgeschichte.de
So Okt 28 10:56:08 CET 2018

Teaching for the Future: Grand Challenges in Twenty-First Century
Higher Education

October 31, 2018 at 6 pm

PANEL DISCUSSION at the University of Applied Arts Vienna

Venue: Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7 (FLUX 2), 1030 Vienna, Austria


Gerald Bast, Rector of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria

Ingeborg Reichle, Chair of the Department of Media Theory, University
of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria

Guna Nadarajan, Dean of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at
the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Shalini Randeria, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna,
Austria and Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the
Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland

The panel discussion Teaching for the Future will provide an
opportunity to set out a debate on how the rise of Grand Challenges
will affect the requirements and standards of twenty-first century
higher education. Our societies are currently facing tremendous social
challenges and ecological threats, such as climate change,
environmental collapse, mass migration, violations of human rights,
social inequality and poverty, the slow erosion of democratic systems
and constitutional structures or mass unemployment in times of digital
transformation and the rise of robotics. Grand Challenges touch upon
many facets of human existence, be it in a material, economic,
environmental, social, cultural, technological, political, medical,
aesthetic or moral sense, and cannot be tackled by single disciplines

Today an increasing number of universities seek to contribute to
solving major societal and ecological challenges — demonstrating the
value of university research and education. However, the nature of
Grand Challenge programmes is most notably cross-disciplinary and
requires collaboration across sectors and disciplinary boundaries and
is therefore not in tune with the social and administrative contours
of our modern disciplines and their subsystems, which exhibit a high
degree of specialization. Disciplines have established themselves as
efficient systems of knowledge production and dissemination of
scientific knowledge acquisition over the past two hundred years and
are the driving forces behind those administrative structures that
foster the fragmentation of curricula in our systems of higher
education. Yet if highly specialized, disciplinary studies will be
able to meet the demands of a world in transition is increasingly
called into question today.

Actually, a whole range of alternative models is being explored in the
field of higher education, ranging from interdisciplinary courses to
solid holistic approaches that aim to bring the full diversity of
human ways of knowing and capabilities together in an integrative
educational approach. Integrative study models consciously seek to
bridge the gap between different forms of knowledge and understanding,
as well as the different pedagogical approaches of a variety of
disciplines, such as the humanities, the arts, the natural sciences,
engineering, mathematics, and medicine, as well as new technologies to
prepare students better for work, life, and twenty-first century
citizenship. Learning outcomes associated with integrated education,
such as critical and holistic thinking, communication, and teamwork
skills and abilities for lifelong learning, are more and more favoured
in a world that is confronted with enormous strides in technology,
including artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and

However, integrative education can take many forms and has many
different faces, but it always requires an intensive analysis of
diverse didactic models, which places far-reaching demands on the
teaching staff. These new requirements can range from the development
of a fundamentally new didactic-methodological framework of
cross-disciplinary curricula to the selection and evaluation of
external content as well as cooperation with new (external) sectors or
dealing with the rise of education technology. This development places
new expectations on teachers, changing their role from a provider of
specialized knowledge to an innovator and mentor, who is primarily
building bridges between different epistemologies and diverse fields
of knowledge and aims primarily to foster holistic student development
in a global and progressively disruptive world.

Gerald Bast is the Rector of the University of Applied Arts Vienna,
since the year 2000. He studied law and economics, worked between 1980
and 1999 at the Austrian Federal ministry for Higher Education and
Research, responsible for university law and university reforms. As an
author and editor, he has published on various subjects of university
law and university management, cultural policy, artistic research and
the role of higher art education in 21st century societies. He held
numerous lectures on cultural policy, higher art education and the
mission of art schools for creative innovation societies, e.g. Johns
Hopkins University (USA), University of Auckland (NZ), TongJi
University (Shanghai, China), TsingHua University (Beijing, China),
Lalit Kala Academy – National Indian Academy of the Arts (New Delhi,
India), University of the Arts Belgrade (Serbia), Maholyy-Nagy
University of Art and Design (Budapest, Hungary), European Cultural
Forum (Brussels, Belgium), European Forum Alpbach (Austria). He serves
as Representative Board member of the European League of Institutes of
the Arts and editor-in-chief of the book series “Art, Research,
Innovation and Society” at Springer International Publisher.

Ingeborg Reichle is the Chair of the Department of Media Theory and
was the Founding Chair of the Department Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
(2017-18) designing the integrated curriculum of new BA study
programme Cross-Disciplinary Strategies: Applied Studies in Art,
Science, Philosophy, and Global Challenges at the University of
Applied Arts in Vienna. She is a Board member and co-founded of the
German Association for Interdisciplinary Image Science (Deutsche
Gesellschaft für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft) and an active
member of the US-American College Art Association (CAA), the
International Association for Aesthetics (IAA), and the International
Association of Bioethics (IAB). In Vienna she serves as co-host for
Leonardo’s LASER Talks (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous), an
international programme of gatherings that bring artists and
scientists together for informal conversations. Her main area of
research and teaching is the encounter of the arts with cutting edge
technologies like biotechnology and synthetic biology, taking into
account artistic responses as well as the respective discourses in the
sciences and our societies, in order to develop a critical
understanding of the role of the arts in the twenty-first century.
Another field of research is the rise of new cartographies of
contemporary art that are evolving through the process of
globalisation - fostering unattended post-colonial constellations in
the art world.

Shalini Randeria is the Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in
Vienna, Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate
Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, as well
as the Director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy. She is
currently a member of the Editorial Boards of the American
Ethnologist, Public Anthropologist and The Oxford Research
Encyclopedia of Anthropology as well as a member of the Advisory Board
of the journal Comparative Migration Studies. She serves on the Board
of Trustees of the Central European University (CEU), the Academic
Advisory Board of the Wien Museum as well as the Advisory Board of the
Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations. Her
research foci include the anthropology of law, state and policy,
particularly the transnationalisation of law, normative pluralism;
reproductive rights, population policy and gender; displacement and
privatisation of common property resources; the anthropology of
globalisation and development; post-coloniality and multiple
modernities; and civil society and social movements.

Guna Nadarajan, an art theorist and curator working at the
intersections of art, science and technology, is Dean and Professor at
the Stamps School of Art and Design, University of Michigan. His
publications include five books and over 100 book chapters, catalogue
essays, academic articles and reviews translated into 16 languages. He
has curated many international exhibitions including in China, Japan,
Korea, Indonesia, Germany, US, Singapore and Mexico. He is active on
the advisory boards of several organizations including ArtScience
Museum (Singapore), New Media Caucus, and Virginia Commonwealth
University Qatar. He has advised UNESCO and the Smithsonian
Institution on creative aspects of digital arts and culture. He worked
on establishing a National Science Foundation funded Network for
Science Engineering, Art and Design, and recently served on the
committee for the Integration of STEM, Humanities and Arts in Higher
Education Report convened by The Board on Higher Education and
Workforce of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and

Venue: Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7, 1030 Vienna, Lecture Hall FLUX 2/246,
second floor.

Please check the website medientheorie.ac.at
regularly for further lecture announcements and updates.

Registration is requested at: info at uni-ak.ac.at

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