Dr John Pender is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Futures at the Institute of Technology, Sligo. During the period 1993-2004 he was Senior Lecturer in EU Social Policy and Politics at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK.
His current research interests focus on the experiences of minority ethnic groups in Ireland, Superdiversity and the impact of technology on the the futures of care and society.
Reflecting his long-standing teaching and research interests in futures of welfare and care, during February 2015 Dr Pender presented a paper titled ‘‘Futuring social care in Ireland: concepts, design and delivery to 2025″ at a national social policy conference held at Dublin Institute of Technology. This conference focused on the theme of ‘Seeking Social Justice in a Era of Austerity and Beyond’. He presented a paper at the 6th International Carers Conference (“Care and Caring. Future proofing the new demographics” in Gothenburg in September 2015) on the ways in which access to futures and forecasting studies impacts on the professional development of social care practitioner undergraduates.
Working with Dr Perry Share, he is currently assembling a pan-European consortium of Higher Education Institutes and industry to undertake research on the ethical, professionalisation and pedagogical implications of human robot interactions (HRI) in the provision, delivery and management of social care. During July 2016 Dr Pender undertook an ERASMUS + mobility exchange to the University of Twente, Netherlands where he participated in a number of intensive meetings and discussions with colleagues on the development of carebots and the attendant pedagogical, ethical and professional identity implications of the emergence of HRI in care. Additionally, Dr Pender was extended eNTERFACE16 project membership status to the ‘Smellbot’ initiative.
Along with colleagues at DIT and ITT, Dr Pender is a founding member of the SPARK social enterprise awards.