“Integration”, “collaboration”, “interdisciplinarity”, and “convergance” are all really big words and sometimes called “buzz words”. They basically mean that people have to work together to fix things or make things. People who may not normally work together really should when they do things that have to do with where we live and the world around us. But even though people use these really big words and talk about how important they are, a lot of people don’t know what these words really mean, or what to do with them. They just sound really important. So this talk uses stories from far, far away: from Asia to Africa and explains how people, communities, governments, doctors, farmers, religious leaders and media have all worked together using the same ideas that engineers use to build things, like a bicycle. When you pedal your bike, it moves a chain that moves wheels. This is a system. The stories that the two doctoral students will tell are stories that they know a lot about and are about systems. They will explain how when things are designed like a bicycle with connected parts, they can be used to get citizens involved in government; to understand how water, food, and agriculture are connected; and how health clinics can be built that puts people at the center of the design. So hopefully by the end of the session people will understand not only what the big words mean but how to use them and make them work.
Susan Howard, MPH, Phd (student), Doctoral Student & International Development Practitioner, George Mason University, College of Science, Environmental Science & Policy Department
Syed Mustafa Hassan, BS Electical Engineering, MS Information Techonology Engineering, PhD (student) Education, Doctoral Student & Practicing Engineer/Instructional Designer, George Mason University, College of Education and Human Development