Tara Todesco, RIR-UVic
Tara Todesco, KMb Coordinator at the University of Victoria,blogs about IdeaFest, an annual festival of research held at UVic.
Tara Todesco, coordonnatrice de la MdC à l’Université de Victoria, au sujet d’IdeaFest, un festival annuel de valorisation de la recherche qui se déroule à son université.
This spring, I had the privilege of helping organize IdeaFest, the University of Victoria’s annual festival of research that celebrates and mobilizes diverse ideas, creativity and passion for knowledge from across the university.
Running from March 3-9, this year’s festival attracted over 4,000 participants from our on-campus and off campus communities and showcased over 50 events, with topics ranging from renewable energy technology and global peace making to innovations in music composition and human health. IdeaFest’s comprehensive roster proved once again to be a unique opportunity to celebrate the breadth of research at Uvic—and most importantly— to make this research accessible to both public audiences and the greater campus community.
As a first time festival coordinator, I saw how the accessibility of this year’s event hinged on both the relevance of the ideas being shared, and most essentially, on the forms in which organizers used to convey their work. Students and faculty communicated new and emergent research in ways that transcended traditional modes of dissemination by presenting their work in a wide range of panels, workshops, exhibits, Pecha-Kucha presentations, performances, screenings and tours.
I found the most effective presenters were those that, regardless of form, brought their ideas to life through the power of their storytelling and a thoughtful engagement with the audience. Scholars who wove their research journey into a compelling story held the attention of festival- goers, incited intrigue and engaged participants’ in the exploration of new ideas and perspectives.
Over 300 faculty, students and staff, from over 50 of UVic’s faculties, departments, schools, centres and labs, took up the challenge of communicating their research and creative projects at IdeaFest. It was a huge team effort to organize the festival, but in the end, the achievements of this year’s event were a direct result of each of the participating scholars, artists and community experts. Their time, energy, passion and imagination- and courage- made IdeaFest 2014 a genuine success.
Tara Todesco, Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator, Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization Unit, Office of Research Service, University of Victoria
-IdeaFest is centrally organized by the Office of the Vice-President Research and the Office of Research Services’ Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization Unit at the University of Victoria.