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Creating a healthier and more sustainable future


We are used to observing things in isolation. It is a result of specialized knowledge – our own “discipline” or “area of expertise”. Despite our best efforts, this approach has limitations. The environment we live in is much more complex and interconnected.

At the Active Living Laboratory, we try to do things differently. We take a multi-disciplinary approach that embraces multiple specialized areas of knowledge and reaches out to different sectors. The result? A more complete and deeper understanding of the world around us and a greater potential for translation of research into practice and policy.

On 28-30 August 2017, we hosted our inaugural symposium to facilitate and grow an international, multidisciplinary and multi-sector dialogue related to Active Living and Environment.

Symposium themes included Health, Transportation, Environment and Sustainability.

The multidisciplinary and multi-sector symposium was a great success with 85 delegates from 7 countries, 18 invited speakers (7 international) and delegates representing academia, government (city, regional and national), public health, transport, urban design, regional sport trusts and other sectors.

The symposium also featured:

  • 40 research-focused and practice/policy abstract presentations
  • The Ministry of Health New Zealand working lunch to initiate discussion of the New Zealand Physical Activity Plan
  • A public lecture “ A Community‐Academic Research Partnership that Works: The BEATS Study” and
  • A panel discussion “How do we work together?” 

Check out symposium programme.

Download symposium proceedings (2 MB).

Browse through ALE 2017 Symposium presentation slides and podcasts - Now available here.

Why did delegates attend?

  • To learn from international and national experts from multiple disciplines and sectors
  • To exchange ideas and engage in an interdisciplinary and multi-sector dialogue
  • To showcase your research findings, programs, interventions, case studies or impact of policy or advocacy
  • To extend your networks
  • To engage in facilitating the change towards a healthier and more sustainable future, and
  • To explore what the University of Otago, Dunedin and New Zealand have to offer.

Check out comments from symposium delegates

Working together we can take new steps towards a healthier and more sustainable future.

Sign up for future ALE Symposium updates

We look forward to seeing you and your colleagues again for our next symposium in 2019 (dates to be confirmed)!

Dr Sandra Mandic (Chair)
Dr Christina Ergler 
Assoc Prof Antoni Moore

Symposium sponsors:

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