The event took place on the 21st of February as part of The University of Edinburgh's Innovative Learning Week. The theme of the conference was Thinking in Abundance. This theme encompassed the scarcity and abundance of resources, new definitions of want and need, and fresh perspectives upon problematic issues. Thinking in Abundance was about looking again at problems and instead of seeing them as a deficit, using what we do have to make connections, find inspiration, and solve issues.
You can watch all the talks from the event, here:
Speakers who shared their ideas at Thinking in Abundance 2014
He has been avidly following the impact of technology on society since the late 90’s and he’s convinced that the cat’s out of the bag when it comes to digital currency. As well as working as Product Marketing Manager at Skyscanner, he writes on how digital networks continue to influence the modern world. Oh, and he’s pretty sure the robots are coming, but doesn’t want to give an exact date.
Richard is now the Health and Safety Manager for the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. He has looked after safety at the "sharp end" of research into infectious diseases and cancer in the public, private and charity sectors. He is a practitioner who strives to understand the human condition and why we get it wrong so often and so easily.
Catherine Heymans is a Reader in Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh and a European Research Council Fellow. She specialises in observing the Dark Side of our Universe, witnessing the two dark entities, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, play out a cosmic battle of epic proportions. Catherine co-leads the European Southern Observatory KiDS analysis team, using deep sky observations to test whether we need to go beyond Einstein with our current theory of gravity.
Stephen Lawrie is a Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Division of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. He is also Director of the Scottish Mental Health Research Network. He has published around 250 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, co-authored/edited six books, serves on the editorial board of six journals.
Jac founded The New Earth Works for people who know our current system is not working and who are willing to be brave and engage in positive actions that will collectively contribute to a better world for all of us. She spent 6 years wandering around the world and trying to understand our current situation, and 12 years working on global strategy issues for multinationals in the US, Europe and Asia.
Michael is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh where he leads the Agents Group at the Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications. His past research has been in the area of multiagent systems. Recently, he has become more interested in social computation systems where humans and artificial agents work together to solve hard societal problems.
Siraj Sabihuddin - Student Speaker Choice
Siraj is an Electrical Engineering Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. He works on research connecting magnetic levitation and electrical machines to nano-materials. In the past, he's worked on a wide range of projects involving Autonomous Robotics, Computer Vision Systems, and Power Control all the way up to Metal & Resin Casting and 3D printing.
Fi is inspired by the value of making, local production and craftsmanship, and is fascinated by materials and machines. She is the founder of Make Works, a design-led organisation that facilitates and celebrates local making and manufacture, which recently completed a 90 day road trip across the whole of Scotland finding and filming 120 factories to develop a digital directory of industry in Scotland.
Paulina Stachnik - Student Speaker Choice
Paulina is a postrgaduate International Development student at University of Edinburgh. She was born in Poland, grew up in New York, was educated in Thailand, and have spent the last four years teaching, volunteering, and working on four continents. Her passion is education, youth empowerment, and sparking creative thinking along the way. She wants to be an ambassador of peace and compassion.
Interactive spaces at Thinking in Abundance 2014
Artist Julia Barton created an intriguing interactive installation relating to her littoral sci-art project which she set up in 2013 to investigate and raise awareness to the increasing volumes of litter which we find on our beaches and its implications for the environment.
The ASCUS Art and Science Salon was an informal environment with spaces for each art science activity to showcase their work and engage in small groups.
Students committed to fair trade at the university have asked, ‘What does fair trade mean to you'? This exhibit was an exploration of various understandings and answers to this question in the lead up to Fair Trade Fortnight. Alongside this exhibit, you could bike alongside the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability to make your own delicious smoothie!
The Welcome to the Web of Life interactive installation encouraged people to explore what can happen when we connect and contribute to the interconnectedness of life.
LGBT Art by Lisa Kalayji and Sarah Moffat
The Artwork was comprised of prints of LGBT Pride drawings, and paintings. With art supplies to hand, this exhibit encouraged attendees to look over the displayed art and contribute a novice drawing of whatever words, images, or symbols express what pride means to them, either as members of the LGBTQ+ community or as allies.