Simons Computational Neuroscience Imbizo: Eyabantu, Ngabantu
January 11th, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate how we learn and connect with each other.
From tragedy, there is the opportunity to rethink our approach to computational neuroscience pedagogy. For example, online conferences and summer schools have provided access to knowledge at an unprecedented scale with limited restrictions on money or location. By transferring local seminars to online platforms, world-wide access to cutting-edge research is becoming globally democratized.
While the move online has made knowledge more accessible, reproducing live-event social experiences with online methods has proven difficult. Although there are innovative solutions, the results are distinctly different from a live experience. The Imbizo prides itself on the focus it gives to the human connections formed through an intense summer school journey. Thus, the Imbizo organisers do not believe that an online edition of the traditional Imbizo would replicate the magic for new students. To maintain the high standards of knowledge while promoting a strong community ethos, the official Imbizo will be postponed until 2022.
Although the magic of the Imbizo cannot be created in 2021, we believe that it can be re-lived by past cohorts. A virtual edition of the Imbizo will strengthen existing connections by revisiting shared lived experiences rather than growing new nodes. Furthermore, this format has the opportunity to connect Imbizo cohorts across years. With four “generations” of alumni, each imbued with their cohort’s unique experiences, taking the time to grow connections between these groups brings with it a stronger and more intimate Imbizo community.
We propose to organize an alumni-wide gathering to share projects, updates, connections, and plans.
We aim to form bonds between alumni across cohorts to develop and enrich collaboration among the Imbizo community. This aligns with the goals and visions of the “greater” Imbizo.
Other online resources
Neuromatch conference/academy - https://neuromatch.io/
Bernstein Conference - https://www.bernstein-network.de/en/bernstein-conference/2020
World Wide Science- https://www.world-wide.org