Seldomly a year was so composed of challenges as well as new possibilities! While the corona pandemic continues to turn our life inside-out we have been experiencing that the crisis opens new perspectives with regard to Science Communication and Public Engagement. Open Innovation Processes, a new understanding of transfer, digital methods for collaboration of diverse target groups shaped our work notably this year. Here are some examples of our work in a city2science year review:
In January we were busy with finishing up our ERDF-project MAKE OWL. The project’s target was to foster a maker culture in the region of East-Westphalia Lippe. We organised the first Maker Faire OWL within this project, met with the regional Maker community in events called “Maker MeetUps”, conducted a LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop and designed and organised the first MAKERTHON OWL.
In February we supported the division for digitalisation of the city of Detmold in preparing and organising a digital participatory event called DETMOLD.DIGITAL. With this new format, the city of Detmold invited its citizens to help shape the digitalisation process in Detmold. Due to the covid pandemic, we ran the future conference as an online event.
In March the Erasmus+ project Virtual Hackathons started, in which we are consortium patner along with partners from Spain, Netherlands, Cyprus and Greece. We will develop a hackathon concept in combination with an online platform as innovative virtual learning tool for Higher Education Institutes in Europe.
We conducted 12 Public Engagement Trainings within the course of the year, 3 as a preparation for the researchers of Paderborn University for the premier of Expedition Science Paderborn, 3 within a workshop programme for the RUB Research School & World Factory.
The innovation sprint #CreateYourope hosted by the Ruhr Regional Association invited young people between 16 and 22 years of age to develop ideas for a greener, more sustainable and more inclusive Europe. A fascinating online project within the European Week NRW 2021!
A flagship project in the context of open innovation processes in urban innovation ecosystems is the House of Kowledge in Bochum that will open its doors 2026 in the former post office in central Bochum. After we supported the concept for the House of Knowledge as experts in 2020, we were happy to be part of this process again in 2021 with a co-creative online workshop. The workshop gathered 35 participants from the university and other higher education institutes, from the municipality and the urban library as well as from an adult education center to develop ideas for formats in and around the House of Knowlegde.
July and August
Behind the scenes this project already kept us busy since the beginning of the year. In August finally the Expedition Science Paderborn had its premier in the historic city of Paderborn. It was a big family celebration on beautiful summer days in the middle of the city. The first as “small prototype” designed event included around 80 different program formats with 154 single activities. 22 institutions from science, culture and society were actively involved in the planning and implementation of the “Expedition Science”. This newly established network composed out of these diverse actors will plan a big Science Festival in 2023.
September – December
The last quarter of the year was shaped by more Public Engagement trainings for early career researchers, i.e. from the University Duisburg-Essen, the Ruhr University Bochum, the TU Dortmund, the PIER Partnership as well as the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and the University of Bayreuth. We summarized our practical experience with regard to co-creative formats in an article, published within the pnd-magazine of RWTH Aachen University in November 2021.
Since September we have been supporting the development of a big funding proposal with a consortium of several Higher Education institutions in Europe. For inspiration and networking, amongst others, we took part in the barcamp of “Offene Kommunen NRW”, the EUSEA conference which we also helped preparing in our role as EUSEA executive office. With a stakeholder workshop for the consortium partners of the Virtual Hackathons project and a co-creative workshop within the innOsci conference this work intensive and exciting year is drawing to a close. We are grateful to all of you whom we were honored to work wih this year. We wish you peaceful holidays and already look forward on collaborating with you again next year!