Dr. Mark Otieno
What does sustainable work and research mean to you? (not only in the ecological context)
In my view, sustainable work means creating a conducive environment for working and living so that workers can balance between their work and private life to remain productive throughout their working life. It entails providing incentives that encourage workers to enter and stay in the workforce taking into account individual needs and circumstances.
In your opinion, what needs to be done to make the world more peaceful?
The world can be made peaceful in a number of ways;
- Ensuring gender equality by shortening the gap between men and women by ensuring equality in democracy, religious identity and other opportunities to ensure equal participation in peaceful processes and endurance of peace.
- Promoting relationships between the youth and old people by stamping out established corrupt systems mostly run by the older generation. This will encourage youth to play an active role in decision making and governance.
- Combating climate change to reduce conflicts over resources made limited by global warming.
- Embracing inclusion that ensures trust, access to justice (including electoral justice), and developing a culture free of corruption. The government and the people should work together and avoid a “them and us” mentality.
- Fairness in wealth sharing among different ethnic groups, regional blocs and political factions to reduce the likelihood of rebel groups emerging to agitate for equal wealth sharing.
How do you plan to share the results of the forum in a lasting way?
Upon my return to Kenya, I will transfer the skills and knowledge gained during the seminar and my stay in Germany through my teaching and research work. I will incorporate the latest trends, and technologies in teaching global change themed courses. I will also assist my masters and Ph.D. students to better design their projects and develop effective and efficient data collection programs incorporating skills learnt from this seminar.
I will also transfer my skills to the new projects that I will be involved in either individually or in collaboration with other researchers.
As a standard practice, it is a requirement that upon return to the University I give a seminar at the department on my experiences and knowledge gained during my visit abroad. I will use this opportunity to package relevant communication and deliver the key lessons learned and the skills acquired specifically targeting junior researchers and postgraduate students.
Which animal would you consider the better human?
A bee – this insect would be a better human in my opinion because it symbolizes hard work, dedication, teamwork, focus, generosity and prosperity. Bees, like humans, live in all continents except Antarctica. But despite all the hard work, unlike humans, bees also embrace the sweet things in life symbolized by the production of honey for honey bees, stingless bees and some carpenter bees. These are all good qualities of a better human.