Authors: Freya Kettner and Stefanie Ollenburg, FREIE, Germany

On May 14 and 15, the beFORE project partners met at Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany. Together we worked out and discussed contents for work-package (WP4); consisting of the development of supplementary e-learning courses for the target groups of entrepreneurs, students and academics.

The participating project-partners were welcomed by the manager of the beFORE team at the Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Gerhard de Haan, the beFORE project coordinator, Dr Anna Sacio-Szymańska, from the Institute for Sustainable Technologies in Radom, Poland, and Stefanie Ollenburg, researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin on the beFORE project, who hosted the meeting.

As inspiration and to guide the upcoming workshops on both days, two keynote speakers were invited: first, Prof. Dr. Roberto Poli from the University of Trento, Italy, and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems, spoke about the importance of anticipation in the research field of futures studies in his talk with the title: “A first glimpse of anticipation”.

Then, Nina Rüttgens, from the University of Hamburg, Germany, presented some basics concepts of e-learning using the project Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU) as an example. In addition to presenting various didactic models, she also analysed the advantages and disadvantages of online-supported teaching, which brought up much valuable information for the next steps in the beFORE project: the development of e-learning courses for future-oriented entrepreneurs, students and academics.

To recapitulate the keynote speeches and to prepare for the next day, a workshop followed, in which the participants worked out differences and similarities in the learning behaviour of the target groups of the beFORE project: entrepreneurs, students and academics. The advantages and disadvantages of producing e-learning content were also summarised and discussed.

The day ended with dinner on a sightseeing boat trip on the Spree – which runs through the centre of Berlin.

On the second day, the participants met for a Design Thinking workshop led by three external experts, Pablo, Zoe, and Sahar. The project partners worked in three groups each focusing on either entrepreneurs, students or academics. The challenge was to come up with innovative ideas for possible learning experiences for each target group. To gain a deeper understanding of the learning needs, the workshop participants interviewed students and university staff. The best ideas were then implemented as prototypes and presented to the other project partners.

Even if the ideas and proposals cannot be implemented one on one in the online courses of the project, the workshop showed that the different target groups need different contents, materials and perspectives, to become futures literate.

After two intense days of work and filled with good and inspiring discussions, the project partners travelled home to their respective locations to continue working on the content and developing the e-learning courses, that in the end will be presented and piloted on our beFORE project website

More information on Project Anticipation

More information on Hamburg Open Online University

What is Design Thinking?