Members Advisory Board

Dr Digna Couso

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Dr Digna Couso is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) teaching teacher education both for primary and secondary teachers at undergraduate and master level, being also the director of the secondary school teachers’ master programme. As a researcher at CRECIM, she has collaborated in EU research projects (STTIS, IKUITSE, PTTIS, Materials Science) and the Comenius programme (EUDIST). She has also been national leader of the EU projects CROSSNET on teacher education (Ref: 129358-CP-1-2006-1-DE-C0MENIUS-C21), GIMMS on mentoring and gender-awareness in Science and Mathematics teaching (Ref: 128749-CP-1-2006-1-IE-COMENIUS-C21) and currently the TRACES project on transformative science education research.  She has been keynote speaker at the GIREP 2008 International Conference and the ESERA 2011 pre-conference talking on the idea of Communities of Practice and she is referee of the international journals TATE and IJSE, among others.

Sophie Duncan

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, United Kingdom

As deputy director, Sophie manages the overall work of the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) including communications, partnerships and NCCPE projects. A physicist by training, Sophie started her career at the Science Museum in London where her work included exhibition development and public programmes. She became a programme manager with Science Year, before joining the BBC, where she managed the creation and delivery of national learning campaigns. Highlights included People's War and Breathing Places, a campaign which led to the creation of over 1000 new community wildlife spaces. When not at work you may find her enjoying her own wildlife garden, or battling with her vegetable patch.

Prof Dr Budd Hall / Dr Rajesh Tandon (alternating)

UNESCO chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Canada / India

Prof Dr Budd Hall is a Professor of Community Development in the School of Public Administration, the founding Director of the Office of Community Based Research and the former Dean of Education at the University of Victoria. He has been honoured by a Community Leadership Award from Victoria, with the International Innovation Award from the Canadian Bureau of International Education, and is a member of the International Adult Education Hall of Fame. He was recently granted an Honorary Doctorate from St. Francis Xavier University. He has been working on issues of knowledge and democracy since 1970 and has served as the Director of Research to the National Institute of Adult Education in Tanzania, the Secretary-General of the International Council for Adult Education and the Chair of Adult Education and Community Development at the University of Toronto. Budd Hall is a highly sought after speaker and one of the best known global scholars in areas of adult education, community-based research and community- university engagement with over 40 years of publications.

Dr Rajesh Tandon is the founder and President of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), based in New Delhi, India. Over the past 35 years, Dr Tandon has contributed to the promotion of participatory research as a methodology of learning, knowledge and social transformation, and built a vast network of practitioners and academics who are actively engaged in such community-based research approaches. He is an internationally recognised leader who has tirelessly championed the cause of citizen participation, especially socially excluded and economically marginalised citizens around the world. He has served on the governing boards of many international NGOs and academic think tanks, and on a number of advisory committees of the World Bank, the UNDP and the Government of India. Recently, he served on the Committee to Strengthen Community Engagement by Institutions of Higher Education, set-up by the Planning Commission of India. Rajesh Tandon has written extensively on participatory research, citizen participation, civil society, democratic governance and social responsibility of higher education.

Peter Levesque

Institute for Knowledge Mobilization, Canada

Peter Levesque is the President of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization. Based in Ottawa, Canada, he has 20 years of experience working with governments, research institutes, and professional associations on issues of knowledge mobilization, including exchange, management, social media, transfer and translation. His career has included serving as Deputy-Director of Knowledge Products and Mobilization at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as Knowledge Exchange Specialist at the Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and as Chair of KMb at Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. Peter Levesque is an experienced speaker, facilitator, and writer on knowledge mobilization, education, innovation, community and other complex social issues. Among other affiliations, he is a Fellow at the British Columbia Law Institute at the University of British Columbia and an Associate Practitioner of Social Innovation at SIG at the University of Waterloo. He lectures at the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Ottawa.

Janice McMillan

Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Janice McMillan is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Her teaching, research and development interests centre on adult learning; higher education and social responsiveness - with particular emphasis on service learning, critical citizenship and university-community partnerships more broadly. Her current projects and areas of interest include working with academic departments on service learning research and practice; developing a better understanding of social responsiveness in higher education; and forms of citizenship education, social justice and service learning higher education. Since 2010, she has been convenor of the UCT global citizenship: leading for social justice programme. From 2010-2013 she was the principle investigator on the national research fund funded research project aimed at analysing and understanding university-community partnerships through the UCT Knowledge Coop.

Dr Henk Mulder

University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Dr Mulder is a chemist and environmental scientist at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Groningen. He teaches Science Communication and co-ordinates the Science Shop, a University research-brokering service to civil society organisations and non-profits. For those, students perform research under staff supervision, without additional costs since the work is part of the degree program. Dr Mulder led the EU-FP7-project PERARES which advanced civil society participation in research agenda setting. He is a partner in the Engage2020 project, which collects and disseminates examples of public engagement in responsible research and innovation.

Prof Dato' Dr Omar Osman

Universiti Sains Malaysia, Asia-Pacific University-Community Engagement Network (APUCEN), Malaysia

Prof Dr Omar Osman is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). From 2005-2007 Prof Osman was the Director of the Corporate and Sustainable Development Division, a division in the university entrusted with the coordination of USM’s strategic moves in the field of higher education including the secretariat for the Regional Centre of Expertise Penang on Education for Sustainable Development. Moreover, he is a Professor in Project Management at the School of Housing Building and Planning, USM and teaches and supervises students in construction project management at postgraduate level. Omar has published a number of books, among others on the topic of education for sustainable development in higher education institutions. Prof Osman is the President of the Asia-Pacific University - Community Engagement Network (APUCEN).

Ben Roche

Sustainability, Partnerships and Community Engagement, Southern Cross University, Australia

Ben Roche is the Head of Sustainability, Partnerships and Community Engagement at Southern Cross University (SCU), Australia. In this position he has responsibility for a suite of portfolios that focus on connecting SCU’s research and teaching strengths with the sustainable development needs of its communities. He provides leadership and advice to drive engagement strategies and cultivate key relationships and networks to realise the University’s strategic priorities whilst optimising community benefit, impact and exchange. As a human geographer, Ben is passionate about participatory approaches to sustainable development and the role that education and engagement can play in creating resilience, capacity and well-being in communities. He has taught, researched and practised in the areas of community-based learning, participatory planning, sustainable development and community engagement. He continues to provide advice to a range of organisations and governments on strategic approaches to education, engagement and development. He is a Director of the Boards of Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers, Regional Arts NSW and Engagement Australia. Ben Roche is Chair of the Regional University Network’s Engagement Group.

Josep M. Vilalta

Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi), Spain

Josep M. Vilalta is Executive Secretary of the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP). He is also Executive Director of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi), composed by the UNESCO, the United Nations University and the ACUP, where the permanent Secretariat relies. Before this he held the following positions and responsibilities: Deputy Director General for Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Head of the Evaluation, Studies and University Cooperation of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Head of the Strategic Planification Unit of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair for University Management, Deputy Director of Management of the Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima (Ocean Engineering Laboratory) (UPC) and Executive Secretary of the International Centre for Coast Resources. He has lectured in the fields of public management, public policy and university and research management in different universities and centres. He also promoted and coordinated a Master in University Management and Policies. Josep M. Vilalta holds a degree in History and Geography (Universitat de Barcelona), a Master in Public Management (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), a Master in Political and Social Theory (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and a postgraduate degree in Higher Education Management (Open University at Universiteit Twente). He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of London (Great Britain) and the University of Twente (The Netherlands).

Prof Dr Arjen Wals

UNESCO Chair Social Learning and Sustainable Development, University of Gothenburg & Wageningen University, Sweden & The Netherlands

Prof Dr Arjen Wals is a Professor of Social Learning and Sustainable Development. He also is a UNESCO Chair in the same field. Moreover, he has an adjunct position at the Department of Natural Resources of Cornell University (2011-2016). Since 2013 he has been appointed as the Director of Wageningen University’s Center for Sustainable Development and Food Security. His research focuses on transformative social learning in vital coalitions of multiple stakeholders at the interface of science and society. A central question in his work is how to create conditions that support new forms of learning that take full advantage of the diversity, creativity and resourcefulness that is all around us, but so far remains largely untapped in our search for a world that is more sustainable than the one currently in prospect. Prof Wals has written over 200 articles and chapters in books and has given keynotes on topics like community problem-solving, biodiversity education, sustainability in higher education, transdisciplinary research and social learning and system transformation.