Conference Dinner Address

Chad Gaffield, Social Sciences and Humanities Unit, Research Council of Canada
New Horizons for the Study of People: Interdisciplinarity, Internationalization and Innovation in the Digital Age
During recent decades, researchers in many parts of the world have launched unprecedented initiatives to enhance our knowledge and understanding of human thought and behaviour in the past and present. These initiatives in the Social Sciences and Humanities have increasingly crossed conventional campus boundaries as well as engaged community partners and international collaborators. Moreover, scholars are developing new fields that embrace the potential of new media to enable, accelerate and then influence profound intellectual, economic, social and cultural innovation. The early results suggest the potential for improved learning, prosperity, resilience, justice, and life satisfaction. At the same time, the changing research landscape has revealed major obstacles and challenges that now drive a multi-dimensional debate about appropriate policies, practices and funding on campus and beyond. By discussing some of the promising steps forward taken in recent years in North America and Europe, this presentation will reflect on the new horizons for the study of people in the context of interdisciplinarity, internationalization and innovation in the Digital Age.