The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) hosted its first Academic Forum of the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) on Tuesday 8 March 2016. The workshop was attended by 80 delegates who represented various South African universities, research councils and government departments, among others. The purpose of the workshop was to initiate ongoing cooperation among academics researching on BRICS Thank Tank’s Long Term Strategy clusters and themes and to foster networks building among South African academics. Such collaborations would enable the SABTT to source relevant and contemporary information for advisory on BRICS engagements and policy advisory. The meeting also sought to discuss the development of a research agenda for the Academic Forum.
Participants from the Academic Forum noted that it is important to continuously be critical of the dominant paradigm. Future engagements should always ask the question; how do we do things different in advancement of the interests of the South. What was noted as key is that we continuously have to learn from each other’s experiences and to build new experiences through people-to-people and institution-to-institution collaborations across the BRICS and South-South countries.