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How does it work?

The Humboldt Laboratory – Since the inaugural Congress on the Future in October 2007, further major dialogue processes have been initiated and successfully implemented within the context of the university’s Innovation and Dialogue Workshop. More measures have been scheduled.

A basic distinction is made between innovation workshops (one to two day events), dialogue processes (a series of recurring meetings), and congresses on the future (a special conference design for large and heterogeneous groups, as a rule including external stakeholders).

Innovation workshops and dialogue processes are organized routinely according to need (legal regulations, new political framework, etc.) and on the initiative of the various groups of stakeholders. It is planned to complement this running sequence of dialogue events with regularly recurring congresses on the future.

The measures will have a dual structure: Each measure has both a new, concrete topic and an innovative method for achieving it as a goal.

The topics are clearly defined and the relevant stakeholders identified, ensuring that the processes of change do not remain in the planning stage but are actually put into practice. In this way, the Innovation and Dialogue Workshop works to shape the future of the university.

The dialogue character is strengthened by the innovative use of methods, some of which are even developed from scratch by the participants of the workshops themselves. These methods enrich the dialogue culture irrespective of the topic of the workshop and extend the competence of the university's employees, winning them over for these processes and engaging them directly as actors. At the same time, the University of Freiburg is continually testing its repertoire of methods, developing new methods for group dialogues, and refining them even to the point of marketability.

Individual measures are thus sufficiently concrete to produce results and sufficiently universal to be successfully transferred to other contexts, while at the same time ensuring that the methods and topics of the measures remain vital.