Sustainable Prosperity Ideas | CUSP Summer School 2017
15-17 September 2017
The challenges of sustainable prosperity require the insights of a wide range of thinkers and CUSP is supporting those new to research to explore some of the most challenging questions related to sustainability and wellbeing. The first CUSP summer school brought together 24 PhD students at Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity near Windsor, over three days to share ideas, build friendships and have conversations that cut across the academic disciplines and experiences of all attending. CUSP is lucky to have a wonderful cohort of PhD students and this was complemented with other students from UCL, Leeds and Cardiff Universities.
A PhD tends to focus researchers on narrow topics, but this gathering allowed us to explore the breath as well. Each researcher shared their work to others from different disciplines while at the same time exploring common themes and different ways of looking at the same topic.
While the conversations were focussed on specific research and practical topics, we wanted the summer school to give as much attention to the personal experience of doing a PhD. A PhD can be a lonely ride. Just as CUSP seeks to research ideas of the ‘good life’ and ‘good work’, so as a community we were looking for ways to provide support at some difficult times. The inspiring stories of those who have recently finished as well as the warts-and-all discussion of the challenges was part of building this community. A research centre is all about relationships so the chance to reflect with others, walk together, share meals and have fun is a vital part.
The research questions remain challenging, but we look forward to the flourishing of the research of the PhD students, the strengthening of the ties in our community and many future collaborations.
Cumberland Lodge is an educational charity tackling social divisions by promoting creative thinking and inclusive dialogue. For more information, please have a look at the charity’s website.