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Intergalactic Islands of Innovation 2023

The Intergalactic Islands of Innovation event was held on 9, 10 and 11 May 2023.

This year’s Islands of Innovation 2023 took the team and participants into space, once again hosted by the University of Liverpool and CIE. Building on the triumph of the 2022 conference, we proudly hosted three unique synchronous events across three consecutive days, with one to suit different time zone regions. 

Islands of Innovation is organised 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 three 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 co-create their educational mission whilst considering cultural lenses. 

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. The event put a strong emphasis on collaboration and openness, fostering creativity and teamwork.

SpatialChat Challenge Quarters

Prior to the event, attendees completed an interactive ‘space quest’ to familiarise themselves with the SpatialChat platform. Upon attendance and team allocation, participants had to agree on a mission narrative and educational context, identify potential challenges related to their chosen context, and come up with pedagogical strategies and tools to support their mission. Cultural elements such as music, art, or artefacts were incorporated to enrich the narrative and support team wellbeing. 

Teams were also prepared to adapt to unexpected developments, as they could receive surprise transmissions during their mission necessitating an immediate response and adjustment. These had to be reflected in their narratives. 

To share their narratives and progress, teams used Padlet, a digital platform where they could post text, images, multimedia, links and other resources. Teams had 3-4 minutes to present an overview of their narrative using this tool, with a nominated spokesperson addressing questions from the group. The event highlighted the importance of flexibility, collaboration, and global connectivity in the future of education. You can view the mission narratives and exploration pods here:


Exploration Pods

Day 1 Teams

Day 2 Teams

Day 3 Teams

SpatialChat Tools and Support Store

Our free remote event was successfully hosted on the immersive online networking platform, SpatialChat, for the second year in a row. For anyone interested in using Spatial Chat for educational purposes, please look at our video guide to SpatialChat which will give you an idea of the platform and possibilities.

We have also secured funding for a year’s license for SpatialChat, so if you are an educator from the University of Liverpool interested in using it, please contact us at:

SpatialChat Presentation Deck

Testimonials from the day

"Brilliant event. I attended last year and really enjoyed it and this year was just as fun and informative. Hope you continue this as an annual event. Enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from across the globe and the theme was very effectively implemented. Clearly a lot of time and effort that goes into planning and hosting the event so thank you very much to all involved." (Festival Participant

"Great event, great opportunities to collaborate in a playful way with colleagues across the sector. I explored the platform before the day to see what it was like, and found that useful. In terms of the content, I was almost overwhelmed by the sheer amount of quality content on the Padlet’s; it felt like this session could have been a two-parter to take advantage of this excellent resource."  (Festival Participant

"I thought the content of the event was fantastic, and the galactic theme was pitched at exactly the right level (there was a risk that it could have come across as being childish). I didn't make any new connections, as there wasn't really space included in the event for ‘networking’ (maybe a separate part could be added on for that next time), but that was kind of a good thing, as the moderators all kept us on task to achieve something rather than chat away about how annoying the cat is, or similar!" (Festival Participant

"A really interesting and thought provoking event.  I love the platform.  It was fun and interactive." (Festival Participant

Members of the Organising Committee (also known as Islanders)

Aga M. Buckley Alice Kim Becky Atkinson
Charlie Reis Charlotte Stevens Chris Loxham
David Watson Dawne Irving-Bell Erika Smith
Gustavo Espinoza Ramos Joel Haddley Mary Jacob
Natasha Taylor Nokuthula Tlalajoe-Mokhatla Olivia Yiqun Sun
Phindile Shangase Rob Lindsay Tunde Varga-Atkins
Vicki Dale Virna Rossi Wei Yan
Yu (Lissy) Wang    


Back to: Centre for Innovation in Education