top of page
  • Writer's pictureNeža Krek



Neža Krek: Today, I have not only one guest but two. I feel extremely privileged to be able to have this conversation with two insanely inspiring educators who saw a void in the university they work for and created an experiment that took off better than they had hoped.

Meghann Ormond is an associate professor in cultural geography at Wageningen University and Research. Her work focuses on how shifting visions and practices of citizenship and belonging impact transnational mobility, heritage, Health, and Care relationships. She places great emphasis on societal engagement and regularly develops initiatives together with nongovernmental organizations, policymakers and industry actors on issues related to migrant Heritage Health Equity, and accessible tourism.

She is the author of over 35 peer reviewed publications as well as curator and co founder of initiatives like roots guide and migrants, Utrecht. Meghann Ormond also tries her best to bring about a more humane kind of university in which people of diverse backgrounds can learn from one another and thrive. It's no surprise that she also teaches and coordinates, Masters and Ph.D level courses in philosophy of social science and transformative and participatory qualitative research methods.

And next is Anke de Vrieze. She works as a researcher and teacher at the Rural Sociology group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. In addition, she is the engagement coordinator at the Center for Space, Place, and Society. Recently she started a really exciting role as a knowledge and learning officer at the Center for Unusual Collaborations.

Whether focusing on education, research, or enabling collaboration across disciplines, Anke de Vrieze is interested in creating and supporting nurturing learning environments that tap into the full potential of individuals and groups. Anke de Vrieze and Meghann Ormond initiated the transformative learning hub, which will be the main subject of our conversation.

Why are you two educators? What brought you to education or why are you still in education?

Meghann Ormond: There's actually another podcast that I love. It was a radio program called “On being”. It was hosted by this fantastic woman, Krista Tippett. The first two questions that she always asked were: “What is your spiritual background and how were you raised in relationship to spirituality?”

I bring that question up because I think about education in similar terms. Both of my grandmothers were teachers or principals. My mother was a teacher and a curriculum consultant working with teachers. I wasn't raised religiously, but I was raised in schools. The academic year rhythm is the most comforting and familiar to me.

I went out for dinner last night, and we got to see a lot of students coming back to the university. Coming in to celebrate the beginning of the academic year and the beginning of their studies. That just felt so exciting, but also sacred. This moment of entering into something new, of putting yourself in a position. Being open to learning, and being vulnerable to other ways of thinking and perceiving the world around you.

I went into education because I saw it all around me. I loved those rhythms and seeing how people could change from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I'm an educator because I want to continue to be part of that magical or sacred experience.

Anke de Vrieze: That's a beautiful story, Meghann. I ended up as an educator by coincidence. I wasn't raised in a family of teachers and didn't particularly like school. Especially high school. I was good at school, but I didn't particularly like it. When I finished my studies in anthropology, I felt I needed a break.

I felt I really needed to do something with my hands and started to work on farms. Then I took a very long route, like selling cheese at an organic market, working in a cafe, working on an organic farm, and doing all kinds of things. At some point, this route got me back into academia. I would almost say that I'm more of a facilitator than an educator.

Facilitating took me into teaching. When I got hired at Wageningen University, I was hired as a coordinator of a European Research and Training network. Within that role, I received training in facilitation. Then I realized: “hey, wait a minute, as a coordinator, I'm also a facilitator of a learning process.” That really inspired me.

What I realized was that we talked a lot about co-creation, collaboration, etc. Doing co-creative types of research, and participatory research. If I looked at the way we were doing it, we were not doing that as a consortium of academics and of early-stage researchers. I got inspired to see how you can create environments in which people can actually flourish. For me that is key in education. That took me into education.

The person that stands in front of a classroom, or lecture hall, is supposed to be the expert. That makes me extremely nervous. I don't see myself as an expert. I am unsure if I have enough to share or to tell. Or if I know enough.

The role of the facilitator creates a space where people can find their own voice. They can tap into their curiosity and create this interactive environment.

I am in education to create these types of learning environments. Ten years ago I had a conversation with a career coach where I had to imagine myself ten years ahead. I painted a picture of teaching at university. So the thought was already there. But I didn't plan to be an educator, I ended up doing that.

Neža Krek: Here you are, and you're a great educator. It was so great for me to see you stepping into the program that we did together and really going for it. I'm really happy that you mentioned that there was a difference for you between teaching and facilitating. Let's make a top on that one.

What is the difference between teaching and facilitating? What can facilitation bring to environments such as universities? What can be the added benefit in a position of standing in front of the classroom and delivering your knowledge?

Anke de Vrieze: You can perceive teaching in many different kinds of ways. Talking about teaching as uni-directional teaching. Let's say there's an expert in front of the classroom, and it's delivering knowledge that is supposed to be received by the students. It's a narrow definition of what is teaching that you encounter a lot in higher education.

Although I don't consider it the best way of learning. I don't want to say it's not good or not right. This type of teaching highlights that the teacher is the one who possesses the knowledge. The student is supposed to receive it right. It paints a quite dark picture. I am not saying that everyone in higher education is doing this kind of teaching. Many people are innovating and doing different kinds of things.

For me, what I loved about facilitation, is that you think about how you can design a process.

The role of a facilitator is less central, I see it more as standing at the back and holding the space. Allowing people to find their own questions and answers, while you are guiding them during that process. Rather than standing in the front and making the show.

Neža Krek: You were talking about education and innovation. When I started my business as a facilitator, people were saying: “that's great, but not yet, please come back in 10 years.” I kept on coming back and back to certain organizations and they go like: “thank you. That's awesome. But please, we're not ready yet.” It's interesting.

For me, this is common sense for every university, every adult education facility has the capacity to facilitate learning processes. I believe that facilitation needs to play a role in the future of how we teach and how we learn.

Thankful that you started this conversation, and I'm really curious about what Meghann Ormond has to say.

Meghann Ormond: I wouldn't draw a binary between teaching and facilitation. Instead, I would draw a contrast between facilitation on the one hand, and lecturing. Which I think is very different from teaching. Teaching is much more of a holistic enterprise, it involves facilitation and involves lots of different kinds of approaches and techniques.

When we are talking about a higher education setting, lecturing is a form or technique that we have inherited. Many of us never questioned it. Its been understood to be the most effective way in terms of time and resources for teaching large groups. It's a very passive way of engaging learners. It trains learners to value specific voices and specific kinds of content over others.

That's what I think is problematic. What's important is to not downplay the role of someone who is in a position of teaching, as someone who is only there to facilitate the space for learning processes. The role of a teacher and an educator is to also bring in stories. Not just to create exercises, activities, etc.

Oftentimes when you think about facilitation, we think about in those terms. To create a story, to create a narrative in which the educator is themselves involved, where their stakes, commitments, passions, and knowledge are made visible. That's really important to bring into it.

The classical way of lecturing is to only hold the space for that lecture or for the dead white men, mostly that we study. The transition that we have to work towards, and that's hard for us to do, because we've been trained in other techniques, is to work towards bringing in other kinds of voices. To expand the curriculum in terms of voices included in readings, and engagement with different kinds of people.

Facilitation brings in the voices of those who are learning and sees everybody in the space as co-learners. It does not replicate certain kinds of hierarchies, knowledge and power.

This limitation beautifully brings those techniques for enabling different kinds of voices to be present. Enabling people to recognize they have voices. That they have knowledge and experience to bring to the table. That they can learn not just from somebody who is standing up on stage, but also from one another.

Neža Krek: For the listeners to understand us three, we've been together in a six-month program, that you invited me to bring to Wageningen University, about transformative learning. There we've been talking about these things. First to dissect what teaching and facilitation are. So that at a later stage you can blend these techniques and approaches to create education that fits the learner, the planet, and everything in the future that we're building together. Thank you so much for bringing the terminal lecturing in, because I think that makes it so much clearer.

Is there anything else that came up that you want to share?

Anke de Vrieze: What came up when I was listening to Meghann Ormond is what I realized as well. In higher education, we created an environment in which there is a lot of fear of failure. Putting so much on the plate of the lecturer, needing to be the one that knows. Needing to be the one that teaches others.

Also for students to not necessarily have a voice, makes them doubt. A fearful environment of failure. That's not very conducive to learning. In this environment, where we're continuously afraid to not perform well enough. Where we're actually quite afraid to learn. We see that in students, but we also recognize that in ourselves. This is one of the things that Meghann Ormond and I have been struggling with as well.

“How do we deal with our own fear of failure? How do we become the facilitators of transformative learning that we would love to be? Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable as well?”

As Meghann Ormond said: “so can we recognize everyone as a co-learner, including ourselves?” That's been quite a struggle. Once we allow ourselves to be co-learners there is relief. It becomes playful and allows us to do things that we otherwise wouldn't dare to do. Because we wouldn't know the outcome, or we feel we have a responsibility to perform in a certain way or to deliver a certain quality.

Allowing us to be a co-learner in this space, trying things, acknowledging that we're also learning as we go along, and then learning from our students opened up a lot. That has been really a great learning experience for us. And it still is because we continue to face it.

Neža Krek: You face your fears really well because you started a really cool program and initiative within the University. You started the Transformative Learning Hub. From what I understood, it was an idea and experiment. Probably, to all of these starts, there's more to it than meets the eye.

I would love you to tell us: why this particular idea? What is it? Why was this the one that you really wanted to bring up? And what are the hurdles on the way to getting it going?

Anke de Vrieze: You realize that a start is never just a point in time. It's like seeds that were planted. Suddenly they're ready to grow or to flourish. I would say that there is a history that I cannot share fully in this podcast. But my very first seat was one where I was introduced to theory U. This is a framework developed by Otto Sharmer from MIT.

It's a framework for Social Innovation and change. You can use it to design processes for groups to go through. That's why I like it. It's a U shape and has different phases. The key is that we usually think we know the problem and quickly move to think of a solution. In theory, you need to take much more time to observe the problem.

The first phase is to observe and talk to many different stakeholders. Include the voices that you might disregard or are most marginalized in a specific issue that you are working on. To take a lot of time for that and to reflect on it. That means reflecting on your own values. Where's your motivation to actually be part of this? Where does it come from? We often ignore ourselves in it.

Then when you act, you're much more effective, you know what to do and why you're doing it. The energy almost starts to flow by itself. I was introduced to this years ago during the training I received on the facilitation of multistakeholder processes. I kept being inspired by the theory U.

At some point, I filled out this massive online course on theory U. A local group who were also following this program was meeting up in Amsterdam. It was facilitated by Dave Bendel. Who is now, a good friend of mine, and I joined it. In this lab, we discovered our common passion for education.

We talked and both wanted to do something in education. I thought we could just do it in Wageningen. I didn't even think about it much. I just thought this was a great opportunity to organize a lab in which we go through a U process with a group in higher education. The question that was central, for me was how to integrate head, heart, and hands in higher education.

Neža Krek: Why was that the most important question for you?

Anke de Vrieze: In higher education, we focus a lot on the hats. On thinking of knowledge as cognition, as learning and as a cognitive process. We were missing out a lot on the heart in terms of our values and motivation. Also on the hands as in taking action. To involve different ways of knowing. To know that we can learn in many different ways. We're reducing it to a very tiny part of our brain.

That was something I struggled with and I also saw students struggling with it. At the end of your studies, you know how to be critical, and how to ask critical questions. But what to do and how to act in the world?

Many of our students are very concerned about all issues, current-day challenges, environmental challenges, and social injustices. They sometimes struggle to know what to do after finishing their degree. We're missing out on a part that could be nurtured in higher education. For me, that was the key.

Neža Krek: From what I understand this was the key question that you were pursuing. For a year, you and Dave facilitated the U lab within Wageningen university.

Then this idea of continuing and certain other ways with transformative learning happened. What happened there?

Anke de Vrieze: I think Meghann Ormond can pick up on that. But it was a half-year process, that we organized in which 15 educators participated in roughly five or six meetings that were mostly online. Because we started in 2020. We had the first meeting in person and then COVID hit. We took it online and I just want to highlight it was key for me that I realized I was not alone.

They were experimental and included meditation. It involved different techniques that some people were not familiar with. I realized there were more people out there who would like to see a change. People felt really inspired and connected. We tapped into an energy that was available. That's why we didn't stop there.

Meghann Ormond: I would like to start with how I came into the process as well. I had a burnout in 2018. That led me to take off significant time from my job. It coincided with a midlife crisis, but also the transition from moving from assistant professor to associate professor. Just asked myself: “what am I doing? Why am I doing it? And for whom am I doing it?“

I've always been good at following rules and checking boxes and being a good student. I never really let myself ask: “what do I do this for? And what am I what am I actually doing? What am I actually creating?” I'm putting so much energy into things, when are my core values aligning themselves with the kind of work that I'm doing?

I went through a very interesting process during the burnout, one that very, fortunately, brought me to Neža and working with nature. Out of that experience, one of the outcomes was that I was able to participate in a project for the European Union Neža was part of, on transformative learning. That coincided timewise perfectly with the beginning of the U lab, that Anke de Vrieze was speaking about earlier.

I was primed for getting involved in the work that had begun in the lab. Because of that experience and desire to try to find greater meaning in what I was doing. To find like-minded individuals. Maybe you're familiar with Where's Waldo, or Where's Wally. That guy with a little beanie and black glasses and a stripy shirt. If you can't find him, it's really hard to find, and in the midst of these enormous crowds. I think we really saw ourselves as these Wally's or Waldos within the university, and the transformative learning hub.

First, the U lab was a space in which we could find other Wally's and Waldos. That was really meaningful. What Anke de Vrieze said about not feeling alone was essential. Then you feel like you have somebody else to play with, to bounce ideas off, and to create in a space that oftentimes is very inhospitable to other ways of thinking, being, and doing. Because in the academic atmosphere the cognitive is prioritized and most highly valued.

People compete with each other for attention and funding. Genuine collaboration is very hard to come by. The U lab and then the Transformative Learning Hub, which was an offshoot of the U lab, really enabled us to do that. The transformative learning curve actually came as a prototype from the U lab. A number of people within the lab said:

“We want to continue this and we would like to bring this to others. We would like to create a space where the head, heart, and hands can be more greatly valorized and where we can bring in these approaches. Have a focus on the process and value of learning. Where we can begin to blur distinctions between teaching and research.”

By learning how we can do that in a way that can nurture us but can also nurture our colleagues? How can we do this enterprise differently? We started up the transformative learning hub as a research cluster within the Center for Space Place and Society. A lot of people were coming in from around the world to participate in regular monthly gatherings, organized around the experimentation with transformative learning approaches and techniques.

It was something that was valued by so many people, especially during the time of COVID, when we were already very isolated at home. It allowed people to really connect with each other in a very genuine way.

Neža Krek: can you shortly tell us what the Transformative Learning Hub is? What does it look like?

Meghann Ormond: The hub is a place in which people with diverse backgrounds, be they scholars, students, activists, and people from all backgrounds within academia and outside of academia are welcome to participate. The idea is that we are all co-learners. We're interested in breaking down boundaries and the walls that oftentimes separate us in terms of hierarchies, knowledge, and production consumption.

The intention within the hub is to create opportunities for people to come together and prototype the things that they are working on. To share things that inspire them. A few examples could be: we're familiar with sustainable development goals but what needs to happen within us as individuals and communities in order to work towards those goals? What about our inner development goals? We've explored questions of gains, the potential for gains and prey, and connection to nature.

Anke de Vrieze: We've explored anti-oppression and diversity in research.

Meghann Ormond: We've also looked at projects like the Roots Guide which I am also involved in. That brings in a travel guidebook as a tool for engaging with the world around us differently. We really try to engage with pedagogy in a very wide way that embraces participatory engagement, real listening, creative methods, and arts-based methods. Not just for teaching, but also for research.

Neža Krek: I wonder if you can hold all of these people in your head and heart that you've been working with through U lab and through the Transformative Learning hub.

Is there a commonality of what is the future of education that these people and you all together, envision, or what are you pursuing?

Anke de Vrieze: The first thing that comes to my mind is that my friend Philippa said that it gave her back the joy of teaching. We're in education because we love it. Otherwise, we would be doing something else. Sometimes we also lose that joy. It's about finding meaning and joy for us and our students.

It's so joyful to learn if you can be curious. When people get back to me to tell me what they did in summer school or in this course, they share it with so much joy and excitement. That they can teach in very different ways and see that being picked up by students as well. I want to highlight the joy and the energy it gives.

As someone that has been outside of academia for quite a while, it strikes me as extremely strange that it's an environment in which so many people, colleagues, and students, burn out. Why do we create an environment that makes us feel sick? And how can we create an environment that makes us feel alive? I want to feel alive, I want to have a job that makes me feel alive. And I want to create environments in which people feel alive. The joy of expressing yourself is very much part of the transformative learning hub.

Meghann Ormond: I love what you said. There's also this space for recognition and appreciation of the extraordinary amount of work and effort that goes into the caring practices we do as educators. In so many other spheres within the university, it's completely undervalued or ignored. We appreciate the beauty of the process. That creates space in which we recognize: wow, this takes a lot from you, from your students, but it gives so much. It's also a space to explicitly celebrate the work that we do. Within a system that generally ignores it.

Neža Krek: I'm so happy that you mention the celebration because when we concluded our six-month program you asked me to design a teacher training for Transformative Learning Hub. We had a celebration session and it was so beautiful when all the people who were in the program really stepped up. We had these bragging moments, and we were celebrating what was already implemented.

It was such a beautiful way of celebrating and acknowledging the amount of work, love, and care that you already bring into your work as educator. It makes me so happy and emotional!

There's so much that educators can do to create a better future and a better now, and I do believe that educators are leaders that have the potential to bring this world to a better place.

What is the leadership that you needed to step into to be able to create Transformative Learning Hub? You are also rocking it with a course for your Ph.D. students about transformative and participatory research. That takes guts, determination, and commitment. This is your bragging moment. Go for it. And if you're angry about something, go for it as well.

Anke de Vrieze: Now we go quiet. What did you tap into? Megan?

Meghann Ormond: One bragging moment has to do with the work that Neza did. As part of the teacher training program or the educator support program. To be together with your colleagues in a vulnerable space, where you are co-learning and experimenting is a rare opportunity within the university.

Most of the time, within a university setting we are competing or hiding our vulnerabilities because we want to be strong and all knowledgeable beings. We want to seem infallible. What I loved about the hub is the power of creating a space in which people can feel vulnerable and willing to explore themselves and others in a meaningful way.

When students come into the university they're already primed to be open to new things and exploring. When you're working at the university for a long time, you've stopped being a student, you stop seeing yourself as a learner. These opportunities enable people to see themselves as learners again. That's a big bragging moment.

Another bragging moment has to do with the Ph.D. course that Anke de Vrieze and I have run together for the last two years. It's very important for us to knock down the barriers between teaching and research. In the course that we've put together, we've been able to do that. It recognizes that everyone is a learner. Everyone has something to learn from one another. We have to express ourselves, but also learn how to listen. Be radically vulnerable to what we're hearing and experiencing in the lives of others.

Over these last couple of years, we've been able to see the Ph.D. students involved in the course, adapt things in their research, daily lives, and teaching.

It makes me extraordinarily hopeful that we have been able to reach this group of people who are just at the very beginning of their careers. That they see it's possible to do things differently.

Neža Krek: I'm jumping here because this is important. But what you mentioned about being radically vulnerable.

What do you understand behind vulnerability, sometimes people understand vulnerability as I need to share everything about myself. But that's not what it is about. What's radically vulnerable in your case?

Meghann Ormond:

To be radically vulnerable is to put yourself in a position where you ask why you do certain kinds of things. Where do those certain kinds of beliefs and behaviors come from?

It's about trying to dive into the stuff that we don't let ourselves explore often. To ethically take a real commitment to understanding your own positionality. The ways in which you create knowledge, disseminate knowledge and acknowledge that everybody is actively creating and disseminating knowledge and consuming it. That, for me, is the radical part.

Neža Krek: Many times I heard from my clients: “you need to be vulnerable. It's almost like you need to tick a box.” It's not about ticking a box. It's really about daring to explore what you haven't explored before. For me, that's my way of defining vulnerability. And that takes guts.

What other bragging moments do you have to share?

Anke de Vrieze: I am thinking of this question that you asked about leadership. “What was the kind of leadership you stepped into to make this possible?” So I started thinking: “Okay, so how did I start at U lab as already mentioned, the academic environment is very competitive and hierarchical.

There is a certain career ladder that you can walk, and you have to prove you're good enough to make those steps. I'm not on the ladder, I don't participate. I didn't do my Ph.D., I'm not in a position of being an assistant or associate professor. Sometimes that makes me nervous and doubt if I'm good enough to be part of that. I also realized that I'm in a position that's a bit of free space.

That role has given me the freedom to do things and I was able to take that freedom. It really started with enthusiasm and passion. With finding someone that is like-minded. That was Dave Pendel, who came outside of academia at that time. I know you're going to talk to educators who are outside of an institute or institutional setting. It felt like that gave me permission to do certain things because he brought in certain expertise also around mindfulness, etc.

And then finding Meghann Ormond as a partner in crime. You cannot do it on your own and everything starts with passion. Only after that, I thought: “What am I doing? Is that possible?” But I already had organized the space and put out an announcement. So I needed to do it. I don't know how you would describe that leadership.

You need a little bit of fuck it attitude.

Neža Krek: Hopefully, educators who have these brilliant ideas are listening to this, and they feel: “Oh, these ladies are awesome. If they did it, I can do it!”

Is there a piece of wisdom that you can give them to really help them go over that initial? Is there anything that you have learned in organizing this for a couple of years now?

Meghann Ormond: What Anke was saying about being in a position outside of the hierarchy is really valuable. I'm also in a position, having moved from one rung of the ladder to another on the tenure track, to do more of what I want. Being given the space to do that. For early career people within University, who are aspiring to tenure track. This kind of work that we're doing, unfortunately, isn't recognized within the system. So if you want to move up the ladder, this isn't the way to do it, yet.

Neža Krek: But you are plowing the soil. So hopefully at some point!

Meghann Ormond: Within Dutch academia, there's a movement towards reimagining the ways in which we are recognized and rewarded. We're at the very beginning of that process. The work that we do and have done over the last couple of years, has been widely celebrated within different parts of the university and among our colleagues. Yet, we can't use it for anything because we don't get the points needed to rise on the scale. It's recognized, but invisible within the system. If you're going to do something like this, you have to be willing to dedicate time to it acknowledging that it's not going to reap conventional benefits.

Having said that, it does create an environment that feels a lot more exciting and more pleasurable to work in. You're meeting people who are also interested in asking hard questions. It opens up doors that you didn't know existed. Here is an example. In one of the transformative learning hub sessions that we put together, we did in collaboration with folks from the Center for unusual collaborations.

Jessica Duncan quoted Nana Meng. That's how we became familiar with each other's work. We've collaborated since and gotten more heavily involved with the Center for unusual collaborations. Now we're in the process of developing a program to support researchers who wish to engage in interdisciplinary research. They learn how they can work beyond the confines of their disciplines. The principles and the ambitions of the hub are recognized in spaces that wouldn't necessarily be aware of before. It's really beautiful to see the translation and flourishing of their values and passions in other spaces.

Our hurdle is the lack of recognition within the university because nobody knows what to do with it. It doesn't fit within any category that exists. We have to pioneer those things and have hard conversations with people along the way about how to get this kind of work recognized. People know that it's valuable, but don't know what to do with it, and how to accommodate it.

For us, that means that we haven't had our time compensated for the work that we do. We don't fit into the categories, so people don't know how to promote us or the TL Hub. They don't know how to talk about it. There are people who are trying. That demands a lot but also gives an enormous amount as well.

Neža Krek: One of the reasons why I wanted to make this podcast episode is because I want to be a part of promoting the Transformative Learning Hub and your work. Because it's so needed! I would love for you to invite people, whoever's interested, what are you inviting them into?

How can People connect? How can they get involved if they want to? And what are you inviting the people into?

Anke de Vrieze: We invite them to connect with us. That's key to what we've been saying. It's important to find like-minded people because you face criticism and cynicism. When I was listening to Meghann Ormond, this image came to mind that we had in one of the first lab sessions.

The image of holding a small, dark link in your hands. We weren't sure of what we were growing together. It was small and I have the image. I think of a small duckling or chick, that needs to be hauled carefully and needs to be cherished. Don't put it in an environment that's too unsafe. Create this environment where this little chick is safe enough to grow. You do that by finding like-minded people.

Please do reach out if you're sitting in your institute thinking:

“This sounds so inspiring. I would love to do something, but I don't know where to start.”

Reach out! There are many other people. Send us a message or connect through the website. And ask for our monthly hub sessions. We have been doing these sessions online for quite some time and are now trying to organize in-person meetings.

The next one will be in person at the Wageningen campus. It's always the third Wednesday of the month from 9:30 to 12:30. If you're not involved with Wageningen University, you're very welcome to come. If you're in the Netherlands, please come and join us. If we are doing the meeting online, everyone is welcome to join. We even have a participant from Australia joining us frequently. We also want to organize a peer coaching session so that you can bring in your own question and find support from people.

Meghann Ormond: The center for unusual collaborations is also known as CUCo. The icon is a wonderful octopus with lots of tentacles moving in all different directions. The ambition of it is to foster awareness, appreciation, and engagement with people who may not think like you. We're in the process of creating a space where like-minded people can come together.

We're also trying to create spaces for people within CUCo who are interested in interdisciplinary work. Who is coming from an extraordinary range of disciplinary backgrounds, But who are interested in transcending those disciplinary boundaries. Trying to connect with someone else or a group around a theme brings people together in very unusual and unconventional ways.

We're really excited to be involved in that. The CUCo center for unusual collaborations is providing funding for scholars to come together and engage in these interdisciplinary collaborations. Currently, it focused on four universities within the Netherlands. There are ambitions to expand the tentacles of CUCo. To reach out to all universities throughout the Netherlands to foster this way of thinking. Even though its under-appreciated and oftentimes invisible within normal funding schemes that focus on the development and honing of disciplinary knowledge.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page