Challenges

Multi-location Conference

Novel design for multi-location conferences to reduce CO2 footprint of conference attendies

Develop a novel design for a multi-location conference that would take place in different locations simultaneously, uniting participants despite being separated in space and by the time-zones.
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Challenge description

Science is an international endeavour and scientists travelling for work reasons contribute to travel-related CO2 emissions. In particular, the flight-related CO2 burden generated by scientists traveling to conferences casts a shadow on the highly enriching experiences that these conferences provide (NILU study, USCB study). Air traffic currently accounts for about 3% of global CO2 emissions and is rapidly growing

Develop a novel design for a multi-location conference that would take place in different locations simultaneously, uniting participants despite being separated in space and by the timezones.

The key questions are: How to create an experience of engagement and participation at both sites simultaneously? How not to lose the important aspect of personal presence, visibility and immediate Q&A? How to elevate networking on a new level beyond the anyway-pretty-restricted boundaries of the buffet table?

The motto is “Separated in Space, United By Science!”

Challenge vision

First, think big -- What makes a successful conference? What novel ideas do you have? Second, come up with solutions focusing on

  • technologies for talks / question and answer sessions / posters / networking / social activities
  • time zone difference
  • various aspects of interactions including lively audience-wide discussion of scientific concepts / one-to-one with speakers / topical small groups / personal networking
  • feasibility including management and costs

Additional info:

Together we can make our region and the world carbon neutral

The city of Heidelberg traditionally has a strong focus on environmental protection. In 2019, Heidelberg became the second city in Germany to declare climate emergency. Support the university town in reaching its goals of reducing CO2 emissions.

See more from Heidelberg
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