DIS welcomed colleagues to DIS to celebrate learning and study abroad at our IEC, which is hosted every fifth year. Under the theme For the Love of Learning, IEC participants engaged in five topics throughout five days: Lagom, Dislocation, 55°N 12°E, Trust, and Footprints. The topics approached integral aspects of Scandinavian culture as seen from the inside.
One keynote presentation was held at the Danish Architecture Center by Jan Gehl, world-renowned architect and urban design consultant, and Jeff Risom, DIS alumnus, former DIS faculty member, and current Chief Innovation Officer at Gehl Architects. Together they discussed Gehl’s life work, which has focused on the quality of public life and public space through people-centered planning, and how the city of Copenhagen was built so that citizens have a “sense of place” where livability, sustainability, and creativity are prioritized.
Participants then engaged in a range of interesting field studies on the 55°N 12°E day . These included a boat trip to an off-shore wind farm called Middelgrunden, where, alongside students, they were able to climb a 200-foot wind turbine.
The IEC offered a number of discussion sessions meant to inspire, spark curiosity, and explore high-impact learning practices, challenges, and cultural aspects that make study abroad in Scandinavia unique. Sessions included
- Pressure Points: How Today’s Challenges Wil Shape the Off-Campus Study of Tomorrow
- Intellectual Footprint vs. Carbon Footprint: The Moral Dilemma
- Welcome Home! Don’t Steal My Salt: An Interactive Workshop on Trust and Co-living
- Contentious Encounters or Teachable Moments? Cultural Sensitivity and Freedom of Speech in Academia
DIS was honored to have multiple participants from our partner institutions co-present alongside DIS faculty and staff. A big thank you to Emily Marlton, Gerard Athaide, Kate Patch, Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Marie Helweg-Larsen, Martha Johnson, Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Nancy Kelley, Nanette Hanks, Rob Straughan, Stacey Thebodo, and Susan Rose, for your contributions! Special thanks to Andrew Gordon from Diversity Abroad who co-presented with DIS in a session titled Diversity and Inclusion in a Scandinavian Context.
DIS hosted several events throughout the conference, including a spectacular midsummer celebration on the Swedish archipelago to kick off the week, as well as a magnificent breakfast to celebrate the 60th birthday of DIS. DIS had the honor of recognizing Joan Gore for her tremendous contribution to DIS and international education.
The conference was a huge success on so many levels. Thank you to all participants, DIS staff and faculty, and presenters for such a wonderful, thought-provoking conference! DIS is fortunate for the opportunity to collaborate with such amazing colleagues from so many different institutions. We are excited by the inspirational dialogues that took place throughout the week. We look forward to continued collaboration. Our next IEC will be in 2024, but we hope to see you at one of our biannual International Educators Workshops (IEW), starting again in March 2020.