The name responds both to the objective of naming the scope of the event of August 2021 and to the possibility of sustaining this exchange over time as well as the constant organization of future activities or events.
Likewise, the name emphasizes the idea that it is a global initiative and its transdisciplinary nature. Finally, the choice of the term observatory corresponds to the fact that it enhances the idea of offering a general panorama of the context and that it does not have the institutional rigidity of an entity such as an institute or a hub.
Now that GCAS is accredited with more degree programmes about to be accredited over the next few months and years it is vitally critical that GCAS continues to revise our organizational collaborative structure and architecture. This is to prevent GCAS from being determined strictly by and through the accreditation apparatus. It is, in short, a way to keep GCAS committed to its transnational collaborative, horizontal, and organizational model on the one hand, and on the other, continue to be recognized as a top-quality institution of higher education via EU accreditation.
To that end, The Academic Council, Alberto Pacheco Benites, in consultation with Creston Davis have worked together to launch “GTRO” – the Global Transdisciplinary (transnational) Research Observatory.
This is the first step in designing an architectural proposal that creates a space in which GCAS can collaboratively think through and create our future structure across the globe in and through our centres in a decidedly decentralized yet cohesive way. This is an invitation for all researchers, members, staff, and faculty to thinking together in designing a de-centralized global organization. It doesn’t mean that the “centre” part of GCAS will be replaced but it does mean we need to situate the “centre” among other equal centers (nodes) in a horizontal relation that gives each node autonomy and yet collective cohesion. This also gives us a unique opportunity to de-centre (and decolonialize and contextualize the global North and West and it’s language (English) as equal partners with the global South and East with its multiple pluralized languages and practices). This objective is one that takes time and part of that is named as the space and conference/congress we are calling “GTRO” which will be held in August (as like our Summer Institutes). Others have recommended the term “GRAS” (the Global Rhizome for Advanced Studies). The name can be established in time organically and democratically, but the key here is for us to meet and organize ourselves through our network of intellectual and academic exchange across the globe.