The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.
SCIENTIA is a section of the United Nations University Vice Rectorate in Europe, based in Bonn, Germany. Our focus at SCIENTIA is to promote and create innovative ways to enhance knowledge processes as part of the work of the UNU, with a special attention to support development initiatives in Africa.
Working in a network of several research institutes and programmes, we know the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise. We try to make the approach of knowledge sharing an integral part of our work and since actions speak louder than words we decided to share our knowledge with you on this blog.
The Learning Hub is meant to be a place where we exchange experiences and knowledge in our various fields of work such as knowledge sharing for development, Open Education, e-learning, higher education in Africa, science for sustainability. It is meant to be a place where we put a special spotlight on innovative knowledge exchange as an integral part of our work.
Besides it is meant to be a safe place for experiments. Even though our field of expertise lies in both areas, our approach and believes can be best described with a Chinese philosophy saying:
“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.”
Our team consists of five permanent authors who will regularly share their thoughts and experiences with you. Every once in a while you will also find blog posts from guest authors who expressed their wish to contribute to a certain topic on the blog. The core team would like to use the opportunity to introduce themselves briefly to you:
An educationalist by profession, an advocate of innovative practices in knowledge sharing and collaborative learning by heart. Virginie holds a PhD in the field of education science and is head of the SCIENTIA section.
Having obtained a Masters in International Affairs (‘04) and a Harriman Certificate in Eurasian Studies (‘07) from Columbia University, Oksana found her passion in sustainable development and knowledge transfer. Oksana joined SCIENTIA as Research Associate in 2008.
On her journey through the world, she did not only learn how to master several languages but also achieved a Master degree in Entrepreneurship. Her affinity for social media brought her to UNU where she joined SCIENTIA in 2009 as an e-learning assistant.
Maike joined the SCIENTIA team as a Programme Associate in 2008. She has a passion for knowledge sharing through the use of engaging and participatory facilitation methods and social media tools. Her experience with international cooperation projects in higher education and lifelong learning makes her a great asset for the section’s capacity building activities.
After completing her bachelor degree in Language, Culture and Translation, Isabel started to use the pen not only for words but also for graphics. She joined the SCIENTIA team in 2009 ever since then her contribution to the section is of graphical, editorial and logistical nature.
As a certified interpreter with International Communications background and a Chinese National, Benjamin is working on programme implementation and communications, as well as Knowledge Management and Knowledge Sharing since 2009. He is currently enrolled in an MSc/MBA programme in International Management at the University of London. Benjamin also speaks several languages.
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