Nyma Haqqani, Nathan Herrebosch, Jane Jackman, Ismat Juma, Faten Kanaan
The ‘IGP 2021-22 Master’s Dissertation Special Issue’ is a celebration of the exceptional intellectual achievement of ten distinguished students from the Master of Global Prosperity (MSc GP) and Master of Prosperity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MSc PIE) programs at the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP), UCL. This special issue is a testament to their academic excellence, showcasing a diverse array of research that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of prosperity. The ten dissertations, selected for their outstanding quality, innovative approaches, and insightful contributions, will be disseminated across two volumes, each serving as a beacon of inspiration for future students and a resource for further research in the field of global prosperity. However, this special issue represents only a fraction of the innovative and forward-thinking ideas cultivated among the students at the IGP.
The first volume explores the theories, practices and frameworks that contribute to societal prosperity and individual flourishing in diverse contexts. Nyma Haqqani’s dissertation delves into the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in urban greenspaces in the UK. By studying the initiatives of UK Friends Groups – local community groups of volunteers coming under The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS), Nyma identifies successful practices that enhance ethnic participation, emphasizing the importance of representation, access, diverse activities, youth engagement, and facilitation. The study’s recommendations, while acknowledging the need for local customization, provide actionable insights for improving inclusivity in greenspaces.
Nathan Herrebosch’s work on ‘welfarism’ seeks to clarify the concept and its implications for prosperity. By analyzing various definitions and characterizations, Nathan develops a semi-welfarist framework that refines the relationship between well-being and societal thriving. This conceptual advancement contributes to ongoing debates about the role of well-being in achieving social prosperity.
Jane Jackman investigates the impact of public engagement in urban and peri-urban agricultural farms on volunteers’ health and well being. Through mixed methods research, Jane reveals that volunteers report higher well-being scores and articulate multiple benefits, aligning with previous research on outdoor volunteering and human flourishing. The study underscores the potential of urban farms as therapeutic landscapes that promote health and well-being.
Ismat Juma’s research focuses on empowering spaces for women learners through a case study with London-based WONDER Foundation – a charity dedicated to provide education and vocational training for women and girls. By examining the built environment’s influence on learning and empowerment, Ismat provides an operational definition of ‘Empowering Spaces,’ differentiates it from ‘Safe Spaces,’ and highlights organizational challenges in their development. The thesis offers actionable recommendations for creating spaces that foster women’s empowerment through learning.
Faten Kanaan’s systematic review on transformative entrepreneurial ecosystems in post-conflict countries investigates the potential of entrepreneurship to rebuild economies and social capital. The study defines the characteristics of transformative entrepreneurial ecosystems, identifies their foundational pillars, and recognizes their contributions to prosperity. Faten’s work proposes further research directions to enhance our understanding of entrepreneurship’s role in post-conflict recovery.
Together, these dissertations present innovative research that informs policies and practices aimed at fostering inclusive, prosperous, and empowered communities. They highlight the significance of environmental, educational, and economic interventions in shaping a society’s trajectory towards sustainability, resilience, and prosperity.
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