10am - 6pm
Thursday 30 May - Friday 31 May 2019

Research with Impact: Creative Thinking in a Changing World

You are invited to a fully catered two-day workshop for postgraduate students, designed to get you thinking about how sustainability issues impact on, and are impacted by, your research.


Oak Suite 1 & 2
University of Surrey
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However grounded your project is within a specific discipline, all projects are ultimately situated in the context of the real world, in which challenges such as sea level rise, pollution from plastic waste and increasing inequalities (and many more) must be faced.

During the two days you will meet new people and build friendships by taking part in group activities focusing on how current and future socio-environmental challenges link to your research. The workshop will end with prize giving, and you will be subsequently invited to three coffee mornings to keep in touch with other participants.

The workshop is open to all postgraduate research students at the University of Surrey.

Registration is free and includes lunch, dinner, and refreshments through both days.

Please note that we only accept researchers that will attend both days of the workshop.

For any questions about the event or to register your place, please email n.rieg@surrey.ac.uk with the subject 'Sustainability & Research Workshop’.

Full Session Details

Day 1: Thursday 30th May, 10:00 – 17:00 followed by dinner and social


Introduction by Prof Chris France, Director of the Doctoral College.

Workshop: Socio-environmental Challenges and Megatrends

In this session, you will explore the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, poverty and inequality, and the question around infinite economic growth on a finite planet.

Facilitator: Ian Christie (Centre for Environment and Sustainability)

LEGO® Serious Play: Exploring Sustainability

While play is sometimes still seen as a distraction, this workshop will show that it is a necessary part of work, enhancing productivity and creativity. Through two LEGO® building challenges, you will explore social and environmental challenges from different disciplinary perspectives.

Facilitator: Rachel Stead (Library and Learning Support)

Group Photo Competition

To end the first day of the workshop, there will be a photo competition for the best representation of sustainability on and around campus. The winning group will be announced at the close of the workshop on the second day. The prize is a two-course lunch at Lakeside Restaurant for all members of the winning group.

Facilitator: Prof. Angela Druckman (Centre for Environment and Sustainability)


Day 2: Friday 31st May, 10:00 – 18:00 followed by prize-giving and social

Workshop: Climate and Energy

In this session, participants will explore within their groups the causes and impacts of global climate change. Special focus will be given on the energy sector, its contribution to climate change and the transformation it will experience in the near and long-term future.

Facilitator: Prof. Matthew Leach (Centre for Environment and Sustainability)

Introduction to the Strategic Research Themes: Urban Living and Sustainability

The University’s Urban Living and Sustainability Research Themes are looking towards opening a student led chapter, and the Theme Champions will give a brief introduction to how PGRs could widen the impact of their research by embracing one or both themes.

Facilitators: Prof. Matthew Leach and Prof. Richard Murphy (Centre for Environment and Sustainability)

Group work: What do the challenges of sustainability mean for my research?

In this session you will work in a group to explore what challenges of sustainability mean for your research, making the most of the knowledge across a broad range of disciplines and interests within your group. The best group work will be awarded tickets for the Wild Wood Adventure Course at Wildwood Guildford.

Facilitators: Prof. Angela Druckman (Centre for Environment and Sustainability) and Nicola Rieg (Sustainability and Energy Team)

Dinner and Prize-giving

All participants are invited to dinner at Wates House.

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