We organized this creative ideas marathon in cooperation with Energie Impuls OWL, the urbanLab of the OWL University of Applied Sciences in Detmold, the Open Innovation City Bielefeld initiative and the WissensWerkStadt team of Bielefeld Marketing. It was an elementary component of the ERDF-funded project MAKE OWL.

The MAKERTHON OWL was part of the MAKE OWL project, which was funded by the European Regional Development Fund. While classic Makerthons or Hackerthons are primarily aimed at technically skilled and IT-experienced actors from science and technology-oriented companies, the MAKERTHON #Open.Public.Places invited people of all generations from society, business, universities and administration in OWL to contribute their ideas for public space in OWL. Social innovations were just as welcome as technological approaches to solutions.

The goal of MAKERTHON OWL was to bridge the period of spatial distance through creativity and inventiveness, relying on the “wisdom of the many” in East Westphalia-Lippe. The phase of “social distancing” was to be used as a chance to make possible “the best life at a distance” in OWL. The first MAKERTHON OWL was a “hybrid” event, with a combination of digital maker meetups and real workshop atmosphere. Around 60 participants from the entire OWL region met for a weekend in online meetings and live in a Herford city neighborhood.

Within a dynamic “Innovation Sprint” with the phases “Dream it! “Make it!”, “Test it!”, “Share it!”, 5 interdisciplinary teams developed original concepts and innovative products for squares and parks, churches and museums, retail and gastronomy in Ostwestfalen-Lippe. Read more about the contents and the course of the project in the news article about the Makerthon OWL.