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About the Sunkhronos Institute

 

Our mission

To develop and to promote a critical and complex understanding of everyday personal and professional challenges.

The Sunkhronos Institute provides innovative activities of teaching, training, coaching, consulting and research, as well as public events. It aims to reinforce the development of a critical capacity of analysis and interpretation, the exploration of creative processes and the adoption of complex ways of thinking in order to enable the negotiation of everyday personal and professional challenges. The activities developed by the Institute always articulate the scientific rigor of academic research – especially transdisciplinary ones – with the life experience brought by participants.

Our challenges

The recent evolution of higher education, continuing education and scientific research is grounded in an environment where it is more and more difficult to escape economical and political pressures. Such pressures influence the way knowledge is produced, the evolution of professional practices, and more fundamentally, the development of our capacity to understand and apprehend our environment. Thus, it is more and more difficult to give oneself space and time for reflection in order to take distance and give meaning to the way one apprehends the world, others and oneself.

To face these challenges, the landscape of mainstream research and continuing education is divided. On one side, initial and continuing education provided by most higher education institutions follows a model of professionalization oriented toward expertise and disciplinary specialization. Because they respond to strategic interests characterizing those institutions, such training cannot fully take into consideration the objectives and the real needs of their constituents. On the other side, continuing education provided by private organizations offers a space for personal and professional development taking into consideration participants’ experience. However, they do not necessarily have the scientific resources that would allow them to update their training practices or to evaluate the legitimacy of the most recent contributions. 

Our conviction

The Sunkhronos Institute was created in response to those challenges. Our conviction is that, in the contemporary context, it is crucial for individuals – as citizens – to learn how to act with a critical understanding of what is at stake in their everyday life. Expertise is not enough. It can even be counter-productive, if it does not allow one to take enough distance to challenge the assumptions that ground the way we interact with the world, with others and with ourselves. It is now essential to develop models of thought and action privileging a genuine intelligence of complexity. From an ethical point of view, what is at stake is the capacity to nurture and protect the resources required to develop high quality reflection that enables the reinforcement of one’s autonomy and one’s capacity to take position and act.

What does sunkhronos mean?  

Sunkhronos comes from the Ancient Greek "sun" (meaning "with", "together") and "khronos" (meaning "time"). In the contemporary context, we often experience time as a source of difficulty and tension. The name of the Institute stresses the importance of questioning the coherence of the temporalities and rhythms that drive our lives: How to live with one’s time? Sunkhronos is also at the root of the idea of "synchrony", which designates the relationship that exists when things occur at the same time. Thus the activities of the Institute privilege the development and the promotion of a capacity to (re)establish synchrony between people, ideas or actions: to be able to articulate and organize over time what constitutes the complementarities, antagonisms and contradictions inherent to complex situations.

What is represented by the logo of the Institute?

The Institute's logo represents a sextant. In navigation, a sextant is an instrument used to measure the angle between any two visible objects (e.g., the sun and the horizon). The angle and the time of the measurement can be used to determine a position (e.g., latitude and longitude). This artifact symbolizes the critical capacity required nowadays to orientate oneself and take a position in environments experienced as fluid and unpredictable. The sextant represents therefore the capacity to discriminate, interpret and evaluate the relative distance between different positions in order to argue, judge and eventually challenge the path adopted.