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King's talks peace and leadership in Latin America

Principal, Professor Ed Byrne, and Vice President & Principal (International), Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, highlighted issues surrounding global peace and women in leadership in TEDx talks held in Sao Paulo this week whilst visiting international partners.

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Latin America trip

Principal, Professor Ed Byrne, and Vice President & Principal (International), Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, highlighted issues surrounding global peace and women in leadership in TEDx talks held in Sao Paulo this week whilst visiting international partners.

The talks were part of a visit to the University of Sao Paolo (USP) in Brazil and The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where King’s set out to strengthen its relationships with senior leaders, academics and funders across the region.

The Principal spoke on the topic of ‘Gender inequalities in universities – a perspective from the UK.’ He gave a candid talk on the underrepresentation of women in senior leadership roles, how some disciplines have woefully bad levels of gender balance beyond lecturer rank and what King’s is doing to address these issues.

The Vice Principal (International) spoke on the topic of ‘Thinking about Future Peace’.

Renewing partnerships

During the visit to USP, an agreement was signed to continue a joint International Relations PhD between King’s Brazil Institute and USP’s International Relations Institute, and to share office space in both countries.

To date, there have been nearly 850 joint publications between USP and King’s researchers and the new agreement opens the door to many more being developed.

The trip also included a visit to UNAM, where King’s renewed its commitment to promoting academic and cultural exchange between the institutions, including with the UNAM Centre for Mexican Studies at King’s. The Principal also opened a symposium which brought together more than 50 participants from King’s and experts across Mexico to discuss major challenges in public health.

Tania Lima, Director of Global Engagement at King’s, says: ‘Brazil and Mexico have been priority countries for engagement for King’s for the past six years; now, with the renewal of our agreements with USP and UNAM we will develop even deeper ties with these outstanding universities.

‘I am delighted that we will have an academic office at USP in addition to our office at UNAM; we have ambitious plans for academic and student exchanges, joint programmes and working together on high-quality research to address global challenges. We look forward to the next five years of collaboration.’

Service across the world

During the trip, local alumni took advantage of King’s delegation visit to Mexico City and organised an activity for Global Day of Service at the British Embassy with a topic of ‘Wellbeing’. The activity involved donating reusable water bottles to help promote health and well-being in the country.

In 2018, King’s was the first university in the UK to run a service event at this level for alumni, students, staff and friends of the university – internationally, locally and on an individual level. There are now many more planned for 2019.

Funding new research

The Principal met with the President and Scientific Director of FAPESP, the largest state funding body in Brazil, to renew our agreement to fund joint research calls between King’s academics and researchers from the state of Sao Paulo. This joint funding call, established in 2009, has supported 30 research proposals to date and has facilitated collaborative research workshops, fellowships, networks, and projects. The ‘Urban Brain’ project is just one of the research programmes that has received this joint King’s-FAPESP grant so far. This project investigates ‘urbanicity’ – the connections between the social and the neurological lives of urban citizens, with particular attention to mental health.

The TEDx talks will be available to view here in the coming weeks.