“Hopefully, that will create some tension, which we can then convert into positive energy”
Teaching for society
“We need people from different backgrounds who speak each others’ languages, and I mean more than just polite conversation. Only then can we work on solving social issues dealing with circular waste flows, transport, economics, and sustainability.” Next year, students will use Design Thinking tools to work on issues that they choose themselves. With only limited knowledge of one another’s disciplines, the students will have to collaborate and eventually present their solution in the form of a prototype to an external partner, organisation, and/or business. “Creating something tangible lets people test themselves, get out of their comfort zones, and become acquainted with other fields and points of view. And in the process, they’ll be confronted with new problems, limitations - and themselves. Hopefully, that will create some tension, which we can then convert into positive energy”, the chemist explains. Failure will also play an important role in the process, which is unusual in that there is normally no room for failure in academic research. The idea is that failure can actually lead to new discoveries and solutions.