Vanessa Andreotti

Interim Director




Educational Studies





Geographic Location

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Dr. Andreotti was appointed Interim Director of the Institute in September 2021.

Dr. Andreotti is a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, a research fellow at the University of Oulu, where she was chair of global education from 2010 to 2013, and a research fellow at the Centre for Global Citizenship Education at the University of Alberta. Dr. Andreotti’s research examines historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of inequalities and how these limit or enable possibilities for collective existence and global change. Her publications in this field include analyses of political economies of knowledge production, discussions of the ethics of international development, and critical comparisons of ideals of globalism and internationalization in education and in global activism, with an emphasis on representations of and relationships with marginalized communities.

Her work in teacher education conceptualizes education as an expansion of frames of reference and of fields of signification with a view to expanding possibilities for ethical solidarities. Her academic work is committed to protecting the public role of the university as critic and conscience of society and as a space of independent, multi-voiced, critically informed and socially accountable debates about alternative futures.

Primary Recipient Awards

Vanessa Andreotti – Virtual Roundtables – 2021

The discipline of education, in its different modalities (formal, non-formal, informal, higher, alternative, etc.), has historically been tasked with steering learning towards objectives that could secure human survival as well as the reproduction of cultural norms and ideals. However, this double mandate becomes paradoxical when the reproduction of dominant cultural ideals poses a threat to human survival.  With a more recent history, the trans-disciplinary area of social innovation has taken up the task of addressing this paradox by tackling “wicked” social problems systemically, in ways that can also rapidly shift cultural norms at the root of social problems. However, research demonstrates that unless innovation is informed by a deep understanding of the historical complexity of both eco-social systems and the politics of social innovation itself, it risks reproducing harmful theories of change and practices that gave rise to the very crises they seek to manage.  This project brings together a group of 24 collaborators in the areas of education and social innovation to explore the challenges of preparing different groups in society for the “end of the world as we know it”. This group of researchers, professionals, policy advisors, NGO practitioners, and UBC students all cooperate separately, and in different ways with the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Future arts/research collective based at UBC (

Vanessa Andreotti – Theme Development Workshop – 2019
Vanessa Andreotti – Wall Scholars – 2014

At the Institute Dr. Andreotti will create the foundations for a trans-disciplinary ‘Centre for Social Accountability in Global (local and global) Engagements’ through a number of initiatives:

  1. an extensive literature review on ‘social accountability’;
  2. a pilot study mapping initiatives and understandings of social accountability across UBC faculties;
  3. a series of events prompting discussions related to social accountability for academics and the wider community, including NGOs;
  4. an intensive workshop with Canadian and international scholars specializing in the area of social accountability focusing on a common research agenda to secure the sustainability of collaborations and
  5. international visits to similar centres.