Scherto’s research interests centre on understanding peace, human well-being and flourishing as holistic and dynamic processes. The key concepts she is developing include human-centred education, positive peace, deep dialogue, ecology of well-being, narrative pedagogy, dialogic and collaborative approach to global governance.
Through research, projects and programmes, Scherto has been actively exploring ways to apply these concepts and ideas in educational innovation, collective healing, peacebuilding, political economy, and social transformation.
Currently, Scherto is leading four international research projects:
- DeGruyter Book Series on Re-Imagining Public Governance: Opportunities for Innovation and Promises for Transformation – Developing a series of books that moves beyond the well-rehearsed critiques and aims to explore constructive and promising orientations to democracy that are conceptually robust, practical, demonstrable, and institutionally viable. It seeks to re-define public governance as social spaces and processes for facilitating and coordinating consensus-building and collaborative decision-making. Such spaces and processes will require relevant institutions to engage peoples and communities respectfully, facilitate dialogue and deliberation peacefully, and attend to diverse voices equally;
- UNESCO Collective Healing Initiative – Phase One of the research has concluded with a significant Desk Review Report on Collective Healing. Phase Two involves developing a Collective Healing Handbook for Facilitators who would provide and hold safe spaces for experiential workshops for consciousness-raising experiences, narrative sharing, attentive listening, deep dialogue and collective healing. Phase Three pilots Intergenerational Dialogue & Inquiry in global communities to seek place-rooted wisdom and practices of resiliency and well-being.
- Youth Transformative Competences – This research is part of the UNESCO Collective Healing Initiative and involves (1) developing a conceptual framework for understanding future leaders’ transformative competences, (2) surveying through desk review existing young leaders programmes, (3) consulting global young adults and established leaders about their ideas of transformative competences relevant to the present global challenges and the promises of a global future, and (4) proposing curricula and pedagogies to be featured by UNESCO Future Leaders Academy.
- Collaborative Governance – Exploring the transformative potential of dialogue and collaboration in global governance, sponsored by the Global Humanity for Peace Institute;
- An Ethic of Love – Understanding conceptions of love in Western thought;
- Relational Education – Consolidating relational theories in education, and developing relational approaches to teaching, learning and evaluation in education.
- G20 Interfaith Forum Education Working Group – Investigating faith-inspired practices and approaches education.
- Funded Research:
- Ethics of Remembering and Politics of Dignity (Pureland Foundation)
- Understanding Spiritual Harm (Fetzer Institute)
- Investigating Conceptions of Love in Western Thoughts (Dartington SolarQuest Trust);
- Exploring the Impacts of Healing the Wounds of History in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in Lebanon (Centre for Lebanese Studies);
- Understanding Well-Being: A Life History Research (GHFP Research Institute);
- Rethinking Secondary Education (GHFP Research Institute)
Most recently, she completed a number of international research projects and publications :
Scherto is the Guest-Editor of a Special Issue on The Centrality of Dialogue in Governance for the Future of Humanity, Journal of Dialogue Studies, Vol 11, 2024
Scherto is the Guest-Editor and contributor of a Special Issue on Mass Atrocity and Collective Healing, Journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention Volume 15, Issue 3 (2021).
G20 Interfaith Forum Global Listening Initiative: In 2021, under the G20 Interfaith Forum’s (IF20) theme “A Time to Heal”, Scherto coordinated the efforts from international partners to launch the IF20 Global Listening Initiative (GLI). The aim of the GLI was two-fold: (1) to ground policy inquiry in existing global proposals, (2) to understand the lived experiences of children and young people in diverse contexts and engage them in identifying actions for educational transformation. Thousands of adolescents (aged 14-19) from 26 countries across five continents took part in online and/or in-person workshops hosted by NGOs, schools, and faith-based organisations. See this YouTube video on Students’ Perspective on Educational Transformation: IF20 Education Working Group Global Listening Initiative. Here is a link to The G20 Policy Brief emergent from young people’s voices and perspectives.