2017 Global Challenges Conference

Transforming Vulnerablity

30 Nov - 1 Dec 2017

Transformative interdisciplinary research can help tackle the world's challenges and has the potential to transform lives and regions.

We look forward to welcoming you to the University of Wollongong for an international interdisciplinary conference on Transforming Vulnerability.

Vulnerability is, arguably, the leitmotif of our times. As the globe hurtles towards unknown futures, subject to increased climatic extremes, political volatility, unprecedented mobilities (both forced and voluntary) and rapid technological transformation, old axes of inequality and injustice are being refracted through new prisms of vulnerability to ecological, social and economic change. Who are the winners and losers from such transformations – both human and nonhuman? How are vulnerable communities, regions, ecosystems and industries faring? And, amidst heightened vulnerability and uneven exposure to risk, where are the possibilities for transformation – for empowerment, creativity, for productive disruption to the established ways of doing things? Are those people, places and environments assumed to be most vulnerable also the very places in which to discover new forms and expressions of resilience?

This interdisciplinary conference, coinciding with UOW's inaugural McKinnon Walker Fellowships, will bring together researchers from diverse fields to respond to the challenge to transform vulnerability. The two-day event aims to stretch disciplinary boundaries and provide a platform for the most innovative thinkers to reflect on how we can transform the most vulnerable lives, communities, regional economies, coastal and marine ecosystems through challenge-led research.  It aims to redefine the way we look at things and provide a platform to debate and discuss how we can approach the same challenge in a multitude of ways.

Held on campus at the University of Wollongong, one hour’s drive from Sydney on the South Coast of NSW, Australia, the conference will take place on Thursday November 30 - Friday December 1, 2017.

The theme of Transforming Vulnerability will be further explored on the second day of the conference to address the following sub-themes:

  • Transforming vulnerable lives
  • Transforming vulnerabilities through technology
  • Transforming vulnerable coastal & marine ecosystems
  • Transforming vulnerable communities