The University of the West Indies recently hosted the ‘One-UWI Postgraduate Student Conference,’ a three-day virtual event that highlighted graduate students’ significant contributions across diverse programmes on its five campuses.
Held under the theme “Preparing for the New Global Era: Voices of Future Leaders,” the conference explored 10 pivotal focal areas, addressing climate resilience, food security, universal good health, nature-based solutions, and the implications of 21st-century digital transformation.
The conference also explored issues related to governance and labour market challenges in small states, social and cultural aspects in small island developing states (SIDS), legal frameworks in sustainable development, and various perspectives on current educational issues. Additionally, it scrutinised transformative aspects concerning empowerment, activism, and representation within the context of identities.
In his address, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the vice-chancellor of The UWI, underscored the conference’s emphasis on interdisciplinary research, highlighting its pertinence to global challenges such as climate change, resilience, culture, food security, health, technology, and pedagogy.
He also emphasised the pivotal role of Caribbean society in global affairs.
Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, the pro vice-chancellor for graduate studies and research, expressed pride in students’ cutting-edge research, aligning with the university’s strategic goal to enhance both the quality and quantity of research, ultimately cultivating highly skilled researchers.
Professor Marcia Roye, representing campus directors for graduate studies and research, extended heartfelt congratulations to the presenters, acknowledging their contributions as emerging researchers.
On the inaugural day, Dr Tyrone Hall, the keynote speaker and strategic outreach advisor at the executive Office of the Secretary-General, United Nations, highlighted students’ readiness for careers in sustainability.
He emphasised the crucial role of interdisciplinary education in adept problem-solving, encouraging humility, and upholding ethical values.
On the second day, Kyle Maloney, co-founder and director of Tech Beach Retreat, highlighted the non-linear trajectory of the Caribbean’s future and provided four key strategies for researchers: dreaming big, embracing failure as part of the journey, fostering collaboration, and infusing positive energy into the world.
Delivering the keynote on the third day, Rosina Casserly, former director of strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi, Dubai, stressed the significance of soft skills such as empathy and intuition in leadership, particularly within diverse spaces and backgrounds.