Let’s Re-Think Research and Focus on Community Impact: Prof Lessem

Let’s Re-Think Research and Focus on Community Impact: Prof Lessem

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Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences (MSUAS) hosted an internationally acclaimed academic Professor Ronnie Lessem,a Co-Founder at Transform Centre for Integral Development, in a public lecture which ran under the theme, “Re-Thinking Research For Innovation – An Integral Approach,” on Thursday 23 June 2022.

The Lecture which came as part of operationalisation of an already existing Memorandum of Understanding between Transform Comuniversity Associates (TCA) and MSUAS, was punctuated with presentations from various students, graduates and members of TCA.

Speaking during the lecture, Prof Lessem, a prolific writer of over 50 Academic books, graduate from Harvard and Oxford University; and proponent of the Integral Worlds Approach said, “For education 5.0 to be fruitful, it needs to be hinged on our strengths and capacities and as Africans, our strength is in building and maintaining relations. New knowledge should be generated, tapping from our indigenous knowledge systems. Scientific research should come in to add value to the story that us Africans would have told the world.”

The MSUAS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Albert Chawanda also emphasised the centrality of research at MSUAS. “Our core business is to be a valuable partner in the co-creation of knowledge through cutting-edge research and innovation. Through education 5.0, we will not tire until we create innovations that drive and modernise the industry,” said Prof Chawanda.

In a presentation during the lecture, the Executive Dean of Students, Mr Isheunesu Chaka said, “The Lecture is hinged on the Four World Approach, an approach which is a product of over 30 years of research, which seeks to create a systemic balance in everything, from a micro to macro level. Research should be primarily centred on creating lasting impact and solutions to the communities we exist in hence the need to shift from just publishing papers and shelving them, to creating models, prototypes which are scalable and are part of solutions to the challenges being faced by communities.”

In his remarks, the Executive Dean of Innovation, Research and Postgraduate Studies, Dr Chrispen Bhukuvhani reiterated the commitment of the University to intensify of partnerships and operationalising MOUs. “Our pre-occupation at the moment is to see to it that we create value-adding linkages and partnerships and seeing to it that the respective MOUs we enter into are operationalised. This public lecture is a testimony of our pursuit of this cause. We really appreciate this team spirit and look forward to high impact researches and collaborations in the communities we serve,” said Dr Bhukuvhani.

The Lecture further saw Chairpersons of Departments giving their input in the development of future transformational programmes to be jointly offered by MSUAS and TCA.

The Director of Ko-Idea, Engineer Smart Zongololo, also gave a presentation on knowledge documentation and preservation. In attendance were Chairpersons of departments, staff and students from various departments.

Manicaland State University Of Applied Sciences website