By Dr Barbara Bompani, Co-Deputy Director (Global Development Academy)
Earlier this month, the Global Development Academy (GDA) staff, steering committee and associates gathered together for an Away Day to reflect on past achievements and discuss future plans and targets in a friendly and sociable environment. The GDA Away Day was held in Summerhall by the Meadows, and while it was not really ‘away’ from Edinburgh, it was far enough from campus to inspire us.
The day was organised in association with the Global Justice Academy (GJA) and there was a mix of joint activities, as well as work dedicated purely to the goals of the GDA. It was great to share the day with our GJA colleagues and getting the chance to know them better and develop shared projects for the future. Most of the work of the GDA is framed by ideas of justice and development work is strongly connected to the work of our sister academy.
Although it was an extremely rainy and grim day, 50 members of staff involved in the two academies arrived by 9:30am. The day kicked off with an introduction and welcome by the directors of the academies, Prof James Smith (GDA) and Prof Christine Bell (GJA).
The day was broken up into small group work focused on discussing how we might take the work of the academy forward in the areas of teaching, research, communication and events. We agreed on ideas for future activities and collaboration, and we are very excited about we are planning to deliver in the next academic year in terms of teaching, events and research.
The current academic year has been incredibly productive for the GDA. Along with the revamped website and this new blog, we have organised a seminar series, several public lectures and practical workshops. We have also launched a new undergraduate course in International Development, as well as a new PhD in International Development (the first in Scotland!). New members of staff have joined the GDA community, and many scholarships and grants have been allocated to postgraduate students for work in the field of International Development.
Last but not least, the achievements and new plans were generously celebrated at the end of the day in the Summerhall pub, a very unique and friendly old pub. Highly recommended for stimulating ideas!