Deep Sea Islands of Innovation

Deep Sea Islands of Innovation 2024

The Deep Sea Islands of Innovation event will be held on Friday 10 May 2024.

This year’s Islands of Innovation 2024 is Deep Sea Islands of Innovation, once again hosted by the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Innovation in Education (CIE) and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s Educational Development Unit (EDU). Building on the success of the 2023 conference, we will proudly host a day-long series of events to ‘follow the sun’ for global inclusivity to suit different time zone regions in an exploration of learning and teaching in higher education.

An overview of the innovation islands in the deep sea

Islands of Innovation is facilitated by a diverse global community of organisers, which bases its collaboration on collegiality and respect, promoting various interactions and level of participation while improving our cultural awareness, resilience, and compassion.  We schedule all events across several time zones to cater for a global audience and we promote empathy and willingness to learn from colleagues with different backgrounds and specialisms by asking participants to experience games for learning, puzzles, workshops and papers, and then to interact asynchronously to see about further co-creation.

In Intergalactic Islands 2023, participants were grouped into diverse teams and tasked with crafting a digital narrative of an educational mission set across the universe. In 2024, we are changing the format to a timetable where people can attend in a more flexible way whilst maintaining our emphasis on collaboration and openness, fostering creativity and teamwork.


  • Deep Sea Dive: This theme suggests an in-depth, collaborative exploration into a specific topic in the educational context, much like a deep-sea dive where divers go into the depths of the ocean to explore and uncover new insights.
  • Learning the Ropes: This phrase typically means to learn the basics or fundamentals of a particular field or activity. The 'ropes' metaphorically refer to the essential skills or knowledge needed in a certain area. In an educational setting, this could relate to an account of learning basic skills or understanding fundamental concepts.
  • Oiling the Sails: Historically, sailors oiled sails to protect them and improve performance. Metaphorically, this theme could be used to discuss how educational practices protect and support students, helping them to perform well in the 'turbulent seas' of contemporary higher education.
  • Hidden Treasures: This theme suggests discovering valuable insights or knowledge that isn't immediately obvious. In education, it could refer to uncovering hidden talents in students, or exploring subjects that reveal unexpected and valuable lessons.
  • Diversity of Life: This theme draws a parallel between the rich diversity of life in the deep sea and the diverse range of ideas, cultures, and people encountered through education. It emphasizes how education broadens our understanding of the world by exposing us to this diversity.
  • Stinging Jellyfish: This could symbolize the challenges and hazards that one might encounter in the educational journey. Just as swimmers must be wary of jellyfish in the ocean, students and educators might need to navigate through difficult or tricky situations.
  • Shipwrecks: This theme might be used to discuss failures or setbacks in an educational context, much like shipwrecks are remnants of failed voyages. It can provide a platform to explore learning from mistakes and overcoming obstacles.
  • Pearls of Wisdom: Pearls are valuable and are often seen as symbols of wisdom. This theme could be about sharing valuable insights, lessons learned, or wise practices in education.
  • Preserving the Coral: Corals are vital to marine ecosystems but are sensitive to environmental changes. This theme could be about maintaining core values and principles in education amidst rapid technological changes and disruptions, similar to preserving coral reefs in changing ocean environments.

Session format and length

We are flexible as to the session formats you intend to submit and suggest the following session lengths:

  • 45 mins for an active workshop
  • 30 mins for a presentation or an active task
  • 15 mins for a lightning talk

Deadline for expressions of interest:  Friday, March 15 2024. Results of the applications will be announced in mid- April 2024.

Please use this link to submit a proposal for the event.

Post-conference output: you will be invited to contribute to submissions to the National Teaching Repository.  

If you have any questions about the conference, or to register your interest in attending, please contact:

Back to: Centre for Innovation in Education