On September 27th, 2018 the IHDW hosted their first Think Tank: “Reflecting Forward 2018.” This event invited professors, graduate students and community leaders from Montreal and beyond to discuss the promotion of well-being at McGill and in the broader community. Dean Dilson Rassier of the Faculty of Education opened the event with a welcoming speech, then left the floor to the panelists to present their work on well-being. Then Dr. Ingrid Sladesvek, a co-director of the IHDW, introduced the featured panel: "Institutes at McGills – Lessons and Inspirations.” This panel consisted of the Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development Dr. Sonia Laszlo, Director of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies Alanna Thain, and Director of the Institute for Global Food Security Dr. Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez.
The Think Tank was then carried out across several conversation groups. The McGill Community Group discussed ways to make McGill a more inclusive campus, especially for racialized, Black and Indigenous students, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ2+ students. On this topic, the Teaching and Learning Group raised the importance of McGill faculty and administration not assuming what is best for the students they are trying to help, but instead asking them and including these students in conversations.
The Transdisciplinary Research Group sought out how to bring together researchers with a wide variety of expertise together to tackle the interdisciplinary area of well-being. Also on the topic of research, the Community Partnerships Group envisioned ways of pushing university research on well-being outside of the bubble of academia and into the communities where ideas can be put into practice. Finally, the Funding Panel brainstormed ideas for making all of this work possible financially. The variety of perspectives represented at the Think Tank lead to discussions that were eye-opening and fruitful. The IHDW plans on continuing these conversations in the future in order to holistically approach the concept of well-being.