Sara Taaffe is a recent graduate from Renaissance College, the Faculty of Leadership Studies at the University of New Brunswick. Sara is passionate about solving complex problems and is manifesting that through the development of RECODE Collaborate.
As a student with a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies, I can attest to the
importance and value of multidisciplinary collaboration. What I mean by multidisciplinary collaboration is drawing together individuals who all have different backgrounds to collectively work towards a commonly agreed outcome.
The story generally goes that a young person explores different subjects in primary education— science, social studies, english, math, arts, physical activity, drama, and music. From there, students are expected to choose one discipline: science, arts, engineering, or business, and are generally siloed into that discipline for their duration in it. Not only does this deter their natural sense of curiosity to explore other subjects, but it also limits co-creation across different disciplines and mentalities.
How are innovative and creative ideas born with only one mentality on the table?
I can confidently say that an engineer, business student, political science student, and english student can develop a much better solution to a problem, and learn a whole lot more in the process, than a group of four students from the same discipline or faculty.
With a multitude of complex problems, including climate change, food and water security, obesity, armed conflict, and poverty, the human race is situated in a very vulnerable position. Now is the time for brilliant minds to come together and develop meaningful solutions to these complex problems. And it’s time that post-secondary education enables students not only to learn, but to create meaningful action derived from teamwork, open-mindedness, and a willingness to collaborate across disciplines.