Knowledge Labs: Developing Epistemic Insight through interdisciplinary collaboration

Higher Education is a pivotal time for students to develop their capacities to contribute to human flourishing in their life and work. The multidisciplinary environment of universities represents an unprecedent opportunity for building the epistemic insight needed for this.

It is well established that creativity, thinking critically and problem-solving are some of the most ‘in demand’ skills – both for the jobs market and in projects that aim to increase human flourishing. These skills call for expertise and skills in multidisciplinary reasoning. Students and society will benefit if graduates are ready to question, work with and apply different types of knowledge.

A vision for a multidisciplinary education

However, creative dialogue across disciplinary perspectives can be hindered by course and subject silos. ‘Knowledge Labs’ are spaces for encouraging dialogues between disciplines that don’t often come together – like Dance and Computer Science. These spaces mean that students can gain insight into how disciplines work, learn about another discipline and reflect anew about their own discipline – seen in a new perspective. Students then work together on a collaborative project with the aim of producing products that can make the world a better place. And with the parallel aim of becoming wise and compassionate epistemic agents, better equipped to co-create holistic solutions to global and local opportunities and challenges.

We are seeking funding to develop ‘knowledge labs’ in 10 partner Higher Education Institutions across 5 nations. Alongside guidebooks, website, scholarly papers and books, this proposed project will produce a portfolio of short videos by students published and shared online. Encouragement to participate will be provided through competitions and virtual spaces to join up with others and share ideas and expertise.


Knowledge Labs: An innovation in HE to bring apparently disparate disciplines together

Presentation by Lee Hazeldine