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Social Charter Podcast

Charter podcast cover, with statue of Gallileo

The Charter video and podcast series features interviews with students, staff and partners involved in projects making a great contribution to our communities here at home and farther afield. Follow these links for the episodes, and read more about them below.

Downloadable audio podcasts available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

The Charter Series Three

Common Health Assets: Charter Pod Episode 16

Dr Liam O’Hare and Dr Karen Galway of Queen’s University’s Innovation Zones discuss the Common Health Assets programme, a collaborative project with researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University, Bournemouth University, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, the University of East London and community-led organisations in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Ep. 15 - Carbon Literacy, with Dr Will Megarry

Dr Will Megarry of the School of Natural and Built Environment outlines the Carbon Literacy Training programme being developed at Queen's in partnership with 'Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful'.

Find out more here.

Ep. 14 - Share Uganda: Community Based Health

With Dr Chris Jenkins and Dr Lorna Montgomery

To contact Dr Jenkins and for more on Share Uganda follow this link.

The Charter Series 2: Code Red for Humanity

Code Red for Humanity, part 1: The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, with Dr Donal Mullan.

Code Red for Humanity, part 2: The Transition to Clean Transport, with Professor Juliana Early

Code Red for Humanity, part 3: Renewable Energy, with Dr Aoife Foley, Reader in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Code Red for Humanity, part 4: Peatlands as Nature-Based Climate Solutions, with Professor Graeme Swindles, School of Natural and Built Environment

Code Red for Humanity, part 5: Marine and Tidal Power, with Dr Carwyn Frost and Dr Louise Kregting (CASE) and Sue Barr, UK Marine Energy Council

Please note: Views expressed by participants in these programmes do not necessarily reflect the position of Queen's University Belfast.

Season One - latest episode

Ep. 8 - Syrian academics and academia: Interactions through Cara

Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi of Queen’s University Belfast, and Dr Fateh Shaban of the Academic Centre for Development and Peace Studies, in Turkey discuss the work of the Council for At Risk Academics (Cara) and a potential project in Northern Syria in this, the last episode of Season 1 of The Charter Podcast. Audio downloads available on Apple, Spotify, or Google podcasts, or watch the video on YouTube (click CC for subtitles).

Dr Shaban, originally from Syria, has been unable to return to the country since the outbreak of the war there. Now based in Turkey, he has been liaising with the Cara Syria programme for several years, and along with other Syrian colleagues set up the Academic Centre for Development and Peace Studies (ACDP) in Turkey.

Dr Belluigi and Dr Shaban met in 2019 at a round table that was facilitated by GRCF funding secured by Dr Parkinson of the University of Kent and Cara. They have subsequently worked together on academic papers (see below for details), a blog post, and a larger project, to establish a global partnership, Living Systems, to study and develop networks to address the crisis in the Syrian Higher Education sector.

This larger project, however, has just been dealt an unexpected blow, as Dr Belluigi addresses in the episode.

Follow these links for further details:

Cara Syria programme

The Academic Centre for Development and Peace Studies

Shaban, F. (2020) ‘Rebuilding HE in Northern Syria’. Education and Conflict Review. Issue 3, pp. 53-59. [Download available here]

Abdullateef, S., Ajaj, N., Anis, R., Shaban, F., Belluigi, D. Z. and Parkinson, T. 2020. Sharing the burdens of responsibility for a better future in transnational academia: Reflections of displaced Syrian academics on an atypical academic development event.  ETL Learning and Teaching Journal, Vol 2. No 2, pp. 393-396. [Download available here]

Dr Shaban and Dr Belluigi are contributors to the Advancing Critical University Studies network (of which Dr Belluigi is a founding member).

Belluigi, D. Z., Parkinson, T. and Shaban, F. 2020. Academics in exile: The blindspot in CUS?, in ACUSAfrica website, section 'CUS around the world, 13 October.

See also:

Belluigi, D. Z. & Parkinson, T. 2020. Building solidarity through comparative lived experiences of post/conflict: Reflections on two days of dialogue. Education and Conflict Review - Special Issue: Rebuilding Syrian higher education for a stable future 3, pp.16-24

Please note: Views expressed by participants in this programme do not necessarily reflect the position of Queen's University Belfast.

Episode 1: Shared Education

In February 2020, a team from Queen's University Belfast made their way to Buckingham Palace to collect an  award - the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize - for their work on Shared Education.

The Prize was a recognition of the excellence, innovation and public benefit of their long years of work in bringing children (and extended communities) together, for all their differences, in a traditionally divided education system.

In this, the first episode of The Charter, Maurice Macartney congratulates Professor Tony Gallagher, Professor Joanne Hughes, and Dr Gavin Duffy of the Centre for Shared Education (visit the website here) about how the project grew from small beginnings to make such an impact in Northern Ireland, and now in other post-conflict societies around the world.

Listen to the episode here (click 'CC' for subtitles):


The Vice-Chancellor receives the Queen's Anniversary Prize, on behalf of the team, from Prince Charles

Episode 2: Building sustainability with CityZen and CASE

Queen's students and staff have undertaken much great work in the area of sustainability.

In this episode of The Charter, Maurice Macartney talks to Professor Greg Keeffe of the School of Natural and Built Environment about his CityZen project, and to Sam McCloskey, Director of the Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE) about her team's work in pioneering new technologies.

Listen to the episode here:

Or search for 'The Charter Podcast' in a podcast platform and subscribe to the series.

Episode 3: Climate action with the PCAN Network

There's more on sustainability in this episode, as Maurice talks to Professor John Barry and Dr Amanda Slevin about the work of the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN), an ESRC funded network that brings together researchers and decision-makers from the public, private and third sectors across the UK.

Prof Barry and Dr Slevin have been involved in setting up a Belfast Climate Commission, along with Belfast City Council.

To find out more, listen to the episode here: Episode 3 - Climate Commission and PCAN

Or search for 'The Charter Podcast' in a podcast platform and subscribe to the series.

Or visit the PCAN website for further information


Episode 4: Knitstanbul and the power of social enterprise

In this, the fourth episode of the series - and the first recorded during the Coronavirus lockdown - we look at the potential of the social and solidarity economy as a way of empowering marginalised people and of achieving goals that go beyond the realm of the economic.

In the second section we hear from Professor Brendan Murtagh (pictured, right) of the School of Natural and Built Environment, who outlines his research into these issues, and looks in particular at social enterprises in Belfast.

Before that, we hear from Dr Fiona Murphy and Dr Evi Chatzipanagiotidou, of the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, about their anthropological research, and not least about their work with a social enterprise project involving Syrian refugees in Turkey - Knitstanbul!

Listen to the episode here: Episode 4 - Knitstanbul and Social Enterprise

Or search for 'The Charter Podcast' in a podcast platform and subscribe to the series.

To find out more about the work of Knitstanbul visit their site here.


Episode 5: Cancer research and mental health

In this episode of The Charter, we focus on health, both physical and mental.

In the first section, Professor Mark Lawler (pictured, left), from the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s, outlines the history of the All-Ireland Cancer Consortium, created in the wake of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement, and talks about a paper he and his co-authors published recently, showing just how effective the body has been.

In the second section, Dr Karen Galway (right) of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s tells us about how students and staff in the School have risen to the challenge of addressing mental health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and addresses the need for all of us to look after our mental health in this time of crisis.

Listen to the episode here:  Episode 5 - Cancer collaboration in Ireland, and mental health care in a crisis

Or search for 'The Charter Podcast' in a podcast platform and subscribe to the series.

For more on the All-Ireland Cancer Consortium follow this link.

For more on the School of Nursing and Midwifery follow this link.

Episode 6: Geography at Work - Mapping greenways and urban regeneration

In Episode 6 of The Charter, Dr Niall Majury gives us an insight into the evolution of the ‘Geography at Work’ programme, an initiative that sees Geography undergraduate students working in collaboration with partners in the community and local government on projects with a positive social impact.

View a version with subtitles here (click CC for the subtitles):

The episode also features students and partners who worked this academic year (2019-20) on two key projects.

Laura Thompson, Rebekah Gibson, Kirsty McLeod and Sarah Magee share their thoughts on their ‘Connecting Communities with Green Pathways’ project. 

Niamh Moggan, Naomi Martin and Eimear Rodgers talk about their project, Mapping Urban Regeneration in the South Belfast Corridor.

And we hear from Dr Azadeh Sobout of the Forward South Partnership, a community partner of the team, as well as Sabine Kalke of Belfast City Council’s Department of Infrastructure.

Find out more about our Geography courses here.

And for the audio-only podcast, search for "Queen’s University Belfast – The Charter" on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or other podcast platforms, or follow the links below.

Episode 6 on Spotify

Episode 6 on Apple Podcasts


Episode 7: Disability Rights - How to Build Back Better

One of the key principles of the Social Charter is a commitment to equality and social justice, so in this episode, Maurice talks to Dr Bronagh Byrne, of the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s, about disability rights.

In particular, he asks how, after the Covid crisis, we might be able to ‘build back better’ for disabled people.

For more on the work of the Disability Research Network, visit this site.