city2science & local ambassadors organize workshop on Open Innovation in Germany

SciCultureD multiplier event: a co-creation workshop on Open Innovation

On 29th November 2023, city2science partners organized the first multiplier event in Germany on Open-Innovation.

Following the success of the last course held in April in Bochum 🇩🇪, our partners teamed up with the local SciCultureD alumni to explore collaborative approaches to research and development.

Departing from traditional closed research models, Open Innovation integrates external ideas, expertise, and resources into the innovation process, actively involving stakeholders such as researchers, industry experts, customers, and civil society,.” described city2science’s CEO and founder Annette Klinkert.

Co-creative workshops like this one help disseminate transdisciplinary approaches and practices to a wider audience of practitioners.

Read city2science insights below 👇

About Open Innovation

Open Innovation is a collaborative approach to research and development that involves integrating external ideas, expertise, and resources into the innovation process. It departs from the traditional closed innovation model, where ideas and knowledge are generated and developed internally. Open Innovation approach encourages organizations to actively seek external collaborations and tap into a broader network of stakeholders, including researchers, industry experts, customers and multiple publics outside these organizations.

Open Innovation extends significant opportunities to society at large. It provides access to diverse expertise from academia, industry, and more, facilitating innovative solutions to societal challenges like healthcare and climate change. This approach accelerates progress, making it effective for urgent issues. Moreover, it’s cost-effective and fosters social cohesion by promoting inclusivity and cooperation. Ultimately, open innovation empowers communities, organizations, and individuals to collectively address significant societal challenges and drive positive change.

Despite the many benefits of Open Innovation, there are major challenges that prevent it from being properly implemented. Problems such as intellectual property concerns, resisting organizational culture, lack of trust among collaborators, Cultural and language barriers, and Resource constraints are but a few examples of challenges that contribute to the slow adoption of Open Innovation.

Consilience Journal: Where Poetry Brings Science to Life

This article was originally published on THINK Magazine and was written by Valentina Delconte, Gabrielius Grasys with the kind collaboration of Sam Illingworth.

The combination of principles and data from science with the poetry lens of intuition, emotions, and beliefs can lead to novel ways of communicating research. Would we be able to express the human nature of science and make research more accessible to all? We asked the founder and editor of the first science and poetry journal.

In a time of fast-paced information and complex challenges, poetry offers a vital space for reflection, emotional connection, and meaning-making to navigate our modern world. The cross-over of disciplines brought forward by researchers, artists, and practitioners is key in opening up science and technology from untapped angles to ultimately foster innovation and inclusion.

The SciCultureD project (Erasmus+ funded), led by the Faculty of Education at UM interviewed Sam Illingworth, founder and editor of Consilience, the world’s first peer-reviewed science and poetry journal: a tangible example of interdisciplinarity in action.

Sam set up the initiative to help establish a community of science communicators and to create a space where people could feel valued, respected, and heard through the art of poetry.

‘By creating a safe space for people to experiment, we are also helping to reunify the two disciplines [science and poetry], start conversations, facilitate collaborations, and celebrate diversity.’

SAM ILLINGWORTH, FOUNDER OF CONSILIENCE

 

The Art Cover of the latest Consilience Issue nr 14. Cover Artist: Danielle Rose. To date, Consilience Journal consists of a team of 92 volunteers spaced across six continents, and has published the work of over 200 poets and artists.

Sam is an associate professor at Edinburgh Napier University, where his work involves using poetry and games to steer dialogues and action between disparate communities. Part of his current activities involves tapping into poetry to help platform the voices of under-served communities with respect to science and science communication.

From the combination of his academic path and his hands-on experience, Sam knew that poetry was a powerful way of bringing people from different backgrounds together and helping to diversify science.

‘I also knew that I was not the only person that was doing this, and that I was only one voice. I set up Consilience to help establish a community and to create a space where people could feel valued, respected, and heard.’

What Does Poetry Give to Science, and Science to Poetry?

‘Science benefits from the creativity and emotion of the arts, while the arts gain new knowledge and appreciation of the natural world from science,’ as Sam explains it. He believes that the spaces unifying science and the arts are able to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and critical thinking‘They enable us to tackle complex issues from multiple vantage points. Ultimately, blending science and the arts promotes discovery and fuels human progress,’ he adds. 

Modern science makes use of rigorous methods and mathematical models to grasp the world around us, using a language that is often inaccessible to non-expert audiences. The lyrical and subjective nature of poetry possesses unique traits that taps into the emotional sphere of readers, making it an invaluable tool for science communication in Sam’s perspective.

’An Orchid and its X-ray’ by D’Arcy Little. Artwork part of ‘Structure’ (Issue 14). ConciliARTe (from Spanish ‘conciliar’, reconcile, agree on something and ‘arte’, being art) is an inclusive space for people’s exploration between audio-visual arts as part of the journal. The Artist Dr. D’Arcy Little (he/him) is a radiologist, forensic radiologist, medical writer, medical editor, medicolegal consultant, and former family physician, living in Toronto, Canada. He loves science and takes joy in the intersection of art and science. He likes to write poetry in his spare time and is particularly fond of Haiku. D’Arcy’s wife, Catherine, is a teacher and children’s book author. She also writes poetry (https://www.consilience-journal.com/issue-13-relationship) and together they share a jammed poetry shelf in the library.
Electrons to Images
Electrons fly across a vacuum tube…

Smash into a Tungsten anode.

X-rays are born,

with a fate to explore structures beyond.

Directed towards a human form…

scattered,

absorbed by calcium in bones,

transmitted by air in lungs,

checked by soft tissues and disease.

An image created by x-rays transmitted,

in black and white and shades of grey.

Read by another human form…

Sitting silently in the dark.

Diagnosing structure and function,

health and illness, 

life and death.

A radiologist

‘Poetry speaks to us on an emotional level that pure data cannot, helping to humanise science. It provides a creative vehicle for grappling with the profundities of the universe in a relatable way,’ describes SamWith metaphors and imagery, readers are encouraged to explore new associations between concepts and emotions, sparking moments of wonder and insight. 

Moreover, poetry is open to subjectivity and interpretation, encouraging diverse and plural perspectives on how science is discussed and applied. ‘It gives voice to marginalised narratives, fostering empathy and inclusion,’ adds the editor, by illuminating ‘the nuances of language, identity, and human condition.’

About the Journal

Bringing science to life through poetry and rendering it more accessible and meaningful are among the missions of the Consilience project.

The journal is interdisciplinary to its core – in fact, it is based on the idea of taking the fundamental concepts of one field and applying it to another. 

‘At its best, scientific peer review is an open, accessible, and supportive method of helping researchers to develop throughout their career. At Consilience we apply this approach to poems, and instead of “accepting” or “rejecting” poems based on the strength of the initial submission (or the reputation of the poet), we work with the authors to develop their work via the peer-review system.’ 

In the near future, Sam is hoping to establish a sustainable model to fund the project and to retribute the volunteer editors, reviewers, and other members. 

On a closing note, Sam enthusiastically invites everyone to take action, ‘I encourage anyone moved by the transformative power of poetry to actively spread its reach. Submit your poems exploring science to publications like Consilience. You might also start a journal club discussing poetic works with colleagues or facilitate creative writing workshops with students or community groups.’

The journal is open access and free for anyone to both read and submit. For anyone wanting to submit work to Consilience, you can visit the submission page with all of Consilience’s upcoming dates and themes. Additionally, for anyone wanting to join the Consilience team as a volunteer, you can get in touch at sam.illingworth@gmail.com at any time.

Follow The Poetry of Science podcast – the podcast curated by Sam that provides insight into new scientific research via the medium of poetry.

SciCultureD is an Erasmus+ project, led by the University of Malta together with Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway; city2science, Germany; and Science View, Greece. It aims to nurture transdisciplinarity and innovative problem solving through the blending of arts, science, and entrepreneurship. 

Funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Road to sustainability: the E-wandelbus that connects German communities

Road to sustainability: the E-wandelbus that connects German communities

Stories from the SciCultureD Ambassadors

The Ruhr region with its about 5.3 million inhabitants, is the third largest metropolitan area in Europe and it is facing multiple challenges to achieve its vision of “greenest industrial region in Europe”. Philipp Nico Krüger, CEO of the Repair Café by the Ruhr UniverCity Bochum and SciCultureD Ambassador, is experimenting with innovative methodologies, spaces, and tools to activate ‘third places’  as venues for this sustainable transformation.

As a sustainability reporter and digitization expert, Philipp is developing a new idea that will integrate sustainable transportation with community engagement: the e-Wandelbus. This electric bus is a multi-purpose sustainable van that will cater different events in various cities and villages, integrating the needs of different communities with the necessity of sustainable transportation across the Ruhr region.

Funded by the Project THALES by the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Philipp’s project reflects an overall commitment to a sustainable social development that sees the participation of stakeholders such as municipalities, citizens as well as regional companies and organisations central. For example, Bochum University of Applied Sciences designs, evaluates and implements solutions for the change towards a sustainable Ruhr Metropolis through lively formats designed for participation – from the real laboratory to the “Science Bench”, the experimental site “MakerSpace”, and the mobile unit designed by Philipp “e-Wandelbus”.

I also founded a new Network called TITAN-Network (Transformations, Innovations, Transfer perfomance, Agiligty, Sustainability – Network)’ specifies Philipp, which will combine ‘all vans in the region, such as the E-Wandelbus, now under construction, the RepairMobil, the RUB-Makerspace and ARI, for the possibility of organising events together with stakeholders in the transformation, sustainability, transportation fields.’ 

Philipp during the Maker Session at RUB Makerspace in Bochum.
Photo credits: Valentina Delconte, SciCultureD (Erasmus+ funded)

Take-aways from the course

During the intensive course in Bochum, 8-12 May 2023, Philipp joined more than 20 international participants from different backgrounds. A key element of the course was the cross-disciplinary collaboration, where participants learn how to overcome the challenges of different perspectives through a design thinking process. 

I learned a lot about the founding of third places and what people could think about an electrified bus/van bringing a third place to people in open spaces. I really could gain a lot of ideas from it’ as Philipps describes it.

Even though the main challenge for Philipp was ‘to not impact the ideas of the other group member’, the group developed over the five days the concept of a ‘mobile third place’ that would serve the needs of different citizens, while promoting the values of sustainability and inclusion. With the use of creative techniques, such as body movement, story telling together with the business canvas model, Philipp and his team presented an innovative concept with the use of sounds, theatre and interactive space making.

‘A very innovative idea was the bus as a third place. This was a really original idea, quite innovative also in comparison with the examples we explored during the SciCultureD course. So this was quite out-of-the-box thinking in my opinion’ commented Basel Myhub, facilitator at the course and local organiser working with city2science.

Philipp exhibiting part of the soundscape piece recorded in the neighbourhood in Bochum. Credits: SciCultureD

‘Creating and building the E-Wandelbus will be a huge -bureaucratic- step and will take this year.’ explains Philipp with an eye on the future steps, but with the support of the Ambassador Network ideas and resources, he hopes to organise a series of E-wandelbus events that would impact the local communities.

A panoramic shot during the sharing sessions of Philipp’s team in the car park of the RUB Makerspace, where the presentation took place. Photo credits: Philipp Nico Krüger, CEO of the Repair Café by the Ruhr UniverCity Bochum
and SciCultureD Ambassadors

The Ambassador Network

Together with other participants from previous courses, Philipp joined the Ambassador Network, the community of practice that connects SciCultureD with local organisations and individuals to  bring transdisciplinary practice into the heart of society’s needs. All of the Ambassadors activities and workshops are organised with the collaboration of local NGOs and enterprises that share SciCultureD’s values of sustainability and active citizenship. 

Notes of the author

This article was written by Valentina Delconte (Project Manager at the University of Malta) in collaboration with Philipp Nico Krüger.


My sustaina-bus-ility journey​

My sustaina-bus-ility journey

By Amalie Holmefjord

 9356 km.

153 hours travelling.

11 countries.

0,25 tons of CO2 (vs flight = 0,84 tons)1

Many stiff muscles

Endless impressions.

Amalie Holmefjord

Hello, I am Amalie from Norway, currently studying for a master’s in Climate Change Management at the Western Norway University of Applied sciences. I joined SciCultureD’s course in Athens, Greece from the 20th to the 24th of June 2022.

My journey to Athens started on the 16th of June from the Netherlands, however, my five-week long Europe adventure began when I travelled by bus from Norway to Germany to attend the Bonn Climate Change Conference 2022.

The start of the journey

I was doing a remote internship with the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) team at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat. One of ACE’s key elements is climate change education and I was lucky enough to work with my team in-person during the Bonn Climate Change conference. There, representatives from all over the world came together to negotiate the various agenda items under the convention.

These two weeks were pivotal to give me an understanding of how climate change and sustainable education are negotiated at the international level.

Right before starting my journey to Athens, I visited two friends in the Netherlands and,
luckily, one of my friends joined me as my travel partner. After the visit, and fresh with the knowledge of what was discussed at the Bonn conference, I started my journey to Athens. Here we would dive deeper into sustainable education in the Greek context. 

But before I could do any sort of diving, I had to sit. A lot. A thirty-hour long bus trip from the Netherlands to Serbia was waiting, and that was only the first part of the journey.

A map of Europe. Certain countries are in colour, signalling the countries Amalie travelled through. Location pins mark the cities were Amalie spent time in. A red line connects the cities she visited on her way to Greece. A line in black connects the cities she visited on her way back to Norway.
Amalie's journey from Norway to Greece and back, all by bus.

The sustainable choice

Now you might be thinking, “oh no”, this poor girl got hit hard by this summer’s flight strikes. On the contrary, I made a conscious choice to travel sustainably. Even though a bus journey like this requires more time and effort, the difference in emissions made the effort worth it. The emissions from my travel were 70% lower than the minimum emissions of flying the same distance. Because of this difference, flying wasn’t an option for me.

 

Nevertheless, I was both frightened and excited to embark on the long bus journey from Arnhem, The Netherlands, on the 16th of June. I honestly didn’t know what to expect as we started moving through the flat landscape with its whopping windmills, but with a quick stop in Prague and Budapest, we made it to our halfway destination, Novi Sad, Serbia.


On the 18th of June, with a much-needed night’s rest in Serbia, we buckled up for yet another 16 hours on the bus. After a small stop in Thessaloniki, we reached our final destination on Sunday afternoon. The three-day long journey from the Netherlands to Greece made our arrival to Athens feel like when Pheidippides, the Greek messenger, arrived after running the first marathon. This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am certain both journeys involved some sore muscles.

Amalie with her luggage

The Course

Finally settled in at the hotel, the bed welcomed me as a warm embrace after the grand voyage. Still a bit bus-lagged I woke up Monday morning, as ready as I could be to start the ScicultureD one-week intensive course. Our schedule consisted of field trips, workshops and group work, and throughout the week we worked within the framework of design thinking.

During our field trips, we visited a primary school with some groundbreaking projects, where students are involved in monitoring seismic activity, creating art exhibitions and making astronomic observations through the school’s very own observatory! The experience center we visited afterwards had multiple interactive exhibitions that presented how life would be in the sustainable city, Ellinikon, planned to be built in Athens’ old airport area. This visit surprisingly caused a joint provocation in the group, as it turned out that only the wealthy will afford to live in the city. Nevertheless, this became a great bonding exercise for us.

 

At the Ellinikon center, testing one of the exhibitions
Art Exhibition at the School

Throughout the week we also had various workshops, exploring different ways in which we could learn and teach about sustainability. We learnt about the use of movement, soundscapes and maker-workshops to better understand and feel sustainability through our body and senses. Who would have thought that playing with playdough and lego, and recording myself laughing while jumping on a trampoline, would be central experiences of the course?

Lastly, we also got challenged in collaboration and group work. Throughout the week we worked in groups, trying to solve the challenge: how can sustainable educational communities in Greece evolve?
In the end every group presented their solution, and it was inspiring to see all the different creative ideas coming to life: from performances using elements of movement and sound, to interactive sessions where we, as participants, took part in creating the solution.

Not to forget, our free hours were wisely spent going to the beach and exploring the city. I will never forget when I saw one of my co-participants smile from ear to ear when he swam in the sea after 3 years, or the jamming session in the taxi when we sang “I want to break free” so loud the taxi driver just had to boost the volume. I don’t know if he was actually enjoying it or just wanted to drown us out.

 

A dinner at the beach during the SciCultureD course

Returning home

All in all, my experience during the course was all-encompassing and challenged many of my previous notions on sustainable education.

After an intense week where connections quickly grew strong, it was with a heavy heart I left my newfound friends. All the while I was trying to carefully digest the new knowledge, as well as a massive amount of Greek food, that I had taken in during the course. A quick pitstop at a Greek island was necessary, just one week of beach, Mamma Mia and relaxation.

Filled with peace of mind and sunburns, my travel partner (the same that came with me from The Netherlands) and I wistfully began our return to the North. This trip also entailed a stop in Novi Sad, Serbia, and as my travel partner stayed here, I continued my journey to Vienna and Hamburg. Even during these days, the sustainability aspect was always with me, as I ate delicious vegetarian food made by my lovely hosts or when I learnt that my friend is starting up an innovative recycling company in Hamburg. Brimming with new inspiration, I finally bussed my way home to Norway.

 

Throughout my entire journey, sustainability has been a key focus. Naturally because of my choice of transportation, but even more so because of the people I met who are all in different ways working to tackle the big challenge ahead of us. I don’t think this feeling of connectedness to people and nature can be felt without experiencing the real distance from A to B.

The goal of my journey was to prove that travelling in this way is not only possible but also fun and enriching. Travelling sustainably is not a sacrifice, if anything, it made my journey exceedingly more interesting and rewarding. Not to mention the life skills I have gained. Put me on a bus or train now, give me five minutes, and I am sleeping like a baby.

Altogether it was an incredible experience, and I hope to inspire people to reconsider how they travel because if you have never experienced sunset through a dewy bus window, you are missing out.

1 Sources for CO2 calculation: Klimasmart semester – Chalmers 2021 & BBC News (used the gCO2/km number for coach as this refers to long distance buses and the flight calculation is based on gCO2/km for economy class and is calculated based on the minimum kilometers of flight distance between destinations (direct flights)).