10bn: are you involved?

10 billion logoBy the end of this century, it is anticipated that there will be at least 10 billion people living on this planet. Achieve More Level 2 is inviting second year students to explore the challenges, opportunities and complexities that attend to living in a world of 10bn from an interdisciplinary perspective.

What's special about Level 2?

Achieve More Level 2 involves students from all five faculties working together. Do you know how many subjects this involves, and how we learn? 10 billion is an opportunity for you to gain first-hand knowledge of different approaches, interpretations and methodologies. Working collaboratively introduces you to an entirely new network of people, making contacts for life. Broadening and deepening critical awareness may also impact positively on your degree and also your career.

Register now at 10bn.sheffield.ac.uk.

Why an interdisciplinary perspective?

As Professor Wyn Morgan (our Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning & Teaching) explains: “Collaboration across different disciplines is a really important way of getting an understanding of a common problem. The notion that a single discipline has the answer to a particular problem is not right, we need to take different views from different disciplines to get a full and complete picture of the problem, and how to solve it.”

Take climate change, for example. As the UN Summit in Paris demonstrates, it’s not an issue that can be solved by scientists alone. To tackle it, we need to bring economists, engineers and law-makers, among others, alongside those working in culture, arts and social sciences to bring about social and cultural change.

A range of interdisciplinary initiatives exist at the University of Sheffield including Medical Humanities, the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth and the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures. The interface of perspectives means new responses can be explored to the challenges presented by food security, water scarcity, power, poverty, energy, economic and environmental resilience, and more.

Interdisciplinarity increasingly characterises the research, work and study landscape at the University of Sheffield and beyond. Achieve More level 2 is your chance to explore this and the issues that matter to you.

What will I be doing if I take part in Achieve More Level 2?

The first stage, Bronze, begins 15th February 2016 and lasts for 3 weeks. Second year students will be invited to participate in the Festival of 10bn and then share responses to the theme via a discussion forum. You will explore interdisciplinarity and critical thinking online, developing skills also required by final year projects and dissertations. At the end of the Bronze level, everyone will submit a contribution to the 10bn magazine, either as part of a group or individually, and this magazine will also be evaluated by an industry panel.

Silver, running from March to April, involves project management, with interdisciplinary groups researching and developing ideas for a project. You will explore elements of planning, project management software, understanding feasibility, costing, fundraising, and submit a proposal for a project output (such as a video, report, artwork or business plan, for example). Within Silver is the freedom to design your own project, or you may choose to work on scoping interdisciplinary project ideas that we’ve seeded with internal and external partners including Studio Polpo, Green Alley, Sheffield Woodlands and others.

You can choose to finish at this point and gain the Silver award on your HEAR, or you can put your project forward to progress to Gold.

The Achieve More level 2 team will help guide, mentor and resource your gold project. Production expenses are available during the semester (2016) and you may apply for a living cost bursary if you wish to work on your project over the summer too. Alumni and external partners will add that real-world dimension; they will help you produce something innovative and exceptional and in some cases will assess your product, design, solution or response for its artistic merit, community or commercial worth. The output is something you can highlight on your CV and we will showcase final projects at an exhibition in September 2016.

If you would like to join in, there’s still time to register, so get involved, shape the programme and design 10 billion.

10bn Piechart

Prof Jon Nicholl, Dean of ScHARR: “If you think you only need one discipline to answer a research question of the sort that I’m interested in, then that almost certainly means that you’ve pre-judged the answer. If you have an open mind to all the possibilities you’ll need researchers from a wide range of backgrounds to come and help you.”

Achieve More is the University’s interdisciplinary programme, aimed at developing the attributes of the Sheffield graduate, equipping you with vital skills, knowledge and understanding.