Senior Research Associate, Department of Psychology
Co-Director, ICthinking Research Group
As Senior Research Associate, Co-Director of the IC Thinking Research Group, Department of Psychology, and a Director of IC Thinking (Cambridge) Ltd. (a social enterprise company formed to help disseminate IC research and practice), Dr Eolene Boyd-MacMillan has helped to pioneer the fields of integrative complexity (IC) educational programmes and professional practices using the IC concept and measure (Suedfeld and Tetlock, 2014; Conway, 2014). Based on forty years of research, with a mature, extensive literature (Suedfeld, 2010), IC refers to our thinking style in the face of difference and disagreement: a closed, inflexible thinking style that polarises against difference and disagreement or a more open, flexible thinking style that is able to respect and work pro-socially despite disagreement. In partnership with governmental bodies, organisations, charities, and other Universities, Eolene researches new contexts and designs, develops, and tests new IC interventions and organisational practices using co-production and participatory action research methods for sustainability (Boyd-MacMillan, 2016; Boyd-MacMillan, Andrews Fearon, Ptolomey, Mathieson, 2016; Boyd-MacMillan, Campbell, Furey, 2016; Andrews Fearon and Boyd-MacMillan, 2016). Her research explores IC management experiences via cognition, affect, and social processes at work among individuals and groups when facing difference and disagreement with the aim of promoting public mental health across sectors. Research aims include equipping structures and systems, as well as individuals and groups, to encourage and support IC management. She seeks to encourage and support new IC researchers, including the introduction of new measures (e.g., resilience), research approaches, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. She supported one new researcher to introduce resilience measures in IC projects, with very strong results. Current projects include the development of a national IC curriculum for schools in Sweden (in partnership with the Policy and Dialogue Institute, Stockholm, and the University of Uppsala), on-going professional development of faith community leaders to promote conflict transformation within and across communities, creation of an IC learning eco-system for organisations and schools in Scotland (Graeme High School, Scottish Prison Service, Youth Scotland), and the development of a secondary schools programme for Northern Ireland in partnership with researchers at the University of Ulster, NICIE, and single identity schools, and exploring the philosophical foundations of IC to advance, theory, research, and practice. Working at the intersection of research, practice, and policy, she has addressed the EC Education, Youth, and Training civil society, RAN (Radicalisation Awareness Network) events, Netherlands Department of Education and Culture follow-up to the Paris Declaration, eTwinning gatherings, UK Educational Psychologists annual gathering, the Denmark Learning Festival, and the European Forum for Urban Security.