Breaking the Walls of Social Innovation: We are proud  to announce that the first MAKERTHON OWL – OPEN.PUBIC.PLACES – has been selected as a finalist for the Science Breakthrough of the Year in the category Science Engagement Initiatives at the prestigious conference Falling Walls Remote 2020!

In this video city2science CEO Annette Klinkert gives an insight into the project, it’s ambition and ways of co-creation:

The first MAKERTHON OWL was a co-creative “marathon of ideas”, organised as a hybrid event during the Covid crisis from 5-7 June 2020. 60 creative minds between 17 and 76 – scientists and citizens, stakeholders and problem-solvers, entrepreneurs and startups, students, musicians, priests, dancers and makers – designed and prototyped innovative ideas for streets and squares, churches and museums, parks and playgrounds in times of Corona and beyond.

From Friday to Sunday afternoon people from all walks of life across the region were looking for innovative ideas for urban areas in times of social distancing: In a dynamic „innovation-sprint“ 5 mixed teams developed unique ideas or innovative products for parks and squares, churches and cultural institutions, shops and restaurants in cities across the region. Ideas ranged from energy trees in cities to parking slots turned into work spaces, from body-percussion festivals for all generations to churches used as third places, from pop-up outdoor activities to public toilets used for science communication.

Why did we organise this SOCIAL MAKERTHON?

The Covid crisis has shown that fundamental socio-economic challenges can only be adressed if all elements of a local, regional or national innovation ecosystem work together in more open, participartory and creative ways. While technical solutions provide answers to technology-related questions, social innovation, art and inclusive participatory co-creation processes are needed to answer individual and societal challenges.

Lessons we learned related to science engagement?

Scientists benefit from engagement activities more when they are contextualized – responding to concrete challenges citizens and policy makers face in their local and regional environments. To increase the impact of scientific recommendations in the realms of policy and civil society, researchers and policy makers need to find creative ways to engage and collaborate with nonacademic audiences. Social Makerthons are ideal formats to foster co-creation, social innovation and inclusivity in cities.

What are the Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year?

Since its first annual edition on 9 November 2009 – marking the 20th anniversary of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall – the Falling Walls Conference has developed into a world forum for science. Some of the most important researchers and thinkers on the planet come together and discuss pressing global challenges with world leaders in science, politics, business and the media. This year, everything will happen remotely, which allows the organisers to exceed the limitations of a physical conference and to create a truly global showcase of scientific breakthroughs.

Find out more about the “Science Breakthroughs of the Year” at Falling Walls Engage:

The MAKERTHON was organised as part of the EFRE-funded project MAKE OWL. The project aimed to “infuse” the “Maker Spirit” into science engagement and social innovation processes in the region East-Westphalia-Lippe ( OWL).





Four partners developed and facilitated the first MAKERTHON OWL: