The Launch of CASIC

The Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre-CASIC was launched on March 16th in the presence of more than 60 participants from academia and the local community. Professor David Shepherd, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomed the participants and gave a short overview of CASIC, re-iterating the centrality of community based research and knowledge co-production, to the strategic plan of the University. His welcome address was followed by a talk given by CASIC Director, Professor Mihaela Kelemen (KMS), who emphasised that the main ambitions of CASIC are to dissolve the boundaries between academia and its wider community and to embrace a way of working and researching that recognises that common-sense, experience and day to day creativity are as important as academic expertise in the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Sue Moffat, Director of New Vic Borderlines, invited participants to experience Cultural Animation Methodologies of knowledge co-production and community engagement.  Some groups wrote and performed cinquains about community and research, whilst others worked together to create an installation by using ordinary objects, items, small frames and large frames to explore ways “to improve the social conditions of individuals and their communities through the application of knowledge that is co-created”. Participants were also invited to contribute haikus that expressed their own personal aspirations regarding CASIC to the ‘Tree of life’ while other participants experienced the ‘Button exercise’.   Buttons that represented The University and its Community had to be sorted as finely as possible, categorised and labelled with the view to create a map of the relationships that currently existed and then participants had to redraw an ideal version of the relationships and a CASIC charter. The CASIC launch ended with a collective reflective process and a discussion about plans for future events.

If you would like to join CASIC, please email support.casic@keele.ac.uk.