The Dialogue Centre at Aberystwyth positions the University as a catalyst and convenor for bringing together diverse groups to address local and global challenges. The projects we support produce impact by working in partnership with diverse communities, sharing and building on all forms of knowledge, and leveraging research to find lasting solutions to challenges of common concern.
The idea of formally establishing a Dialogue Centre coincided with two key developments – the campaign to transform the University’s iconic Old College building and the launch of the 2020 Research Wales Innovation Fund (RWIF) by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, aimed at supporting existing innovation activities and increasing universities’ capacity to support organisations across their region.
The Dialogue Centre was envisioned as a cohesive framework for consolidating and strengthening the University’s knowledge exchange activities. The concept gained further traction following a series of discussions and official visits between Aberystwyth University and Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, Canada.
The Dialogue Centre officially launched at Aberystwyth University at the end of 2022 with its Principal Lead, Dr Jennifer Wolowic, taking up her leadership role in early 2023. In summer 2023, a Research Dialogue Hub opens in the landmark Visualisation Centre on Penglais Campus. This custom-designed space will accelerate day-to-day business and research development opportunities as well as host accessible and inclusive signature dialogue events.
The Dialogue Centre’s future bespoke home in the Old College builds on the University’s long and strong tradition of civic mission by creating a physical home for diverse communities, business and researchers to meet and engage in creating positive change.
In the meantime, we are drawing on best-practice from around the world while also creating a centre which meets the specific needs of our own University and our local and global hinterland.
The Dialogue Centre is at the beginning of an evolving programme. In 2023, we are entering our growth phase and working towards developing our future base and activities.
Consolidating new and existing knowledge exchange activities within the strategic framework of the Dialogue Centre, establishing strategic hubs and running pilot demonstration projects.
Growing a sustainable model of skills provision, consultation services, and business development supports that develop a strong regional reputation.
When refurbishment work on the Old College is complete, the Dialogue Centre takes on a new physical presence on Aberystwyth’s promenade. The bespoke facilities, youth programmes, consultation services, and entrepreneurship support programmes will develop a global reputation.
4. Sustained Operation
This final phase focuses on consolidating the Dialogue Centre’s financial sustainability for the future while facilitating innovation and impact. Our long-term ambition is for the Dialogue Centre to become a global magnet for innovation in knowledge exchange and the practice and facilitation of dialogue.