University of the Highlands and Islands: University launches new initiative to connect Islands’ researchers worldwide

Island-based researchers at the University of the Highlands and Islands, are inviting likeminded researchers from across the world to join a new free seminar series starting on 7 October 2021.

The ‘Islands Matter’ collaborative programme has been set up to strengthen the university’s world-leading pan-island research activities and nurture global networking connections. Each seminar addresses a range of island-based economic and cultural topics and questions to facilitate new ways of thinking and collaborations by sharing learning and research between island communities.

Speaking about the new initiative Dr Andrew Jennings from the University of the Highlands and Islands Institute for Northern Studies, based in Shetland, said:

“It has been a pleasure to work with colleagues Professor Frank Rennie and Dr Beth Mouat to bring this new series to life. As the only university with a physical base within each of Scotland’s main islands groupings we have a unique ability to serve our island communities, and this includes playing an active role in connecting researchers who are based on Scottish islands with others.

“The seminar series builds on the university’s connectivity with other island groupings around the world and reaffirms the growing importance of research-driven island culture and historical contributions to global issues such as climate change, repopulation and sustainability.”

The first webinar takes place on Thursday 7 October at 12 noon and features guest speaker James Ellsmoor, an entrepreneur, writer and sustainability expert who is one of the world’s leading island voices.

Since graduating in 2018 with an MLitt in islands studies from the University of the Highlands and Islands Institute for Northern Studies, he has founded and is the director of Island Innovation, a global media platform which offers unique insights into island sustainability and is the creator of the Virtual Island Summit, which this year welcomed over 14000 attendees from over 500 islands.

Further speakers in the series include Dr Laurie Brinklow from Prince Edward Island, Professor Owe Ronstrom from Gotland and Professor Chik Collins the Principal of the University of the Faroe Islands.

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