On April 8th and 9th, we had the kick-off workshop of the first edition of the Hertie- Innovationskolleg – Center for Advanced Practitioners. In the first workshop, the initiators of the four selected projects, staff from the Hertie Foundation and a team from Jongens van den Tekeningen, a Dutch visual thinking company. The workshop was facilitated by Bruno Paschoal (Onda), and Ann Kathrin Schubert (Hertie Foundation). During one and half days, we set the grounds and expectations for the year to come and helped fellows fast-forward their projects and anticipate potential challenges and tasks they would have to face during their fellowship.
The workshop started with a presentation by Michael Knoll, head of the Hertie-Innovationskolleg, on what is the Hertie-Innovationskolleg and what are the expectations of the foundation for the program. He was followed by Julia Riedel, the head of Public Relations of the Hertie Foundation, who provided some explanation about what her department does and how it could help the fellows’ projects.
Ann Kathrin Schubert, one of the coordinators of the Hertie-Innovationskolleg, presented a potential schedule/timeline for the one year program and introduced a method called Journaling (or, sometimes, reflective journaling as it is used as a method of reflective learning). For the period of the one-year program the participants will keep a journal in which they try to reflect the progress of their project. Guiding questions are:
- What did I learn regarding my project?
- Where do I need to gain further understanding?
- What puzzles me?
- How does my project and my expectations change during the year?
We then continued with our first focus: PEOPLE. We wanted to understand who were the people participating in the workshop and what were their expectations. For that, we did an activity to create a profile for each person present in the room. We had four guiding questions that set the tone for a five-minute talk among participants. The task for each participant was to register visually the answer given by its partner (keywords were allowed). In the end, each person would present its own profile in front of the whole group.
The four questions used were:
- Who are you?
- Three things you cannot live without.
- What makes you tick (or what makes you leave your bed every morning)?
- In thirty years, how would you like to be remembered?
During the activity, we had the chance of getting to know each participant from another perspective and explore topics and areas that they would hardly tell each other in a regular five-minute conversation. Having your partner draw your answer was an essential part of the activity, that helped not only to identify the most critical and important part of it , but also prepared them for the drawing that was to come in the following day.
Check out short interviews with some of the Fellows from the Hertie-Innovationskolleg (only in German):
- Anne Marie Kortas (Diversity and Integration)
We started the second day with an activity called fast-forward to emphasis our second focus: PROJECTS. The goal of this activity was to make the fellows reflect on potential goals, challenges, people and values that they will deal with during the next 12 months. For that, we have designed a canvas consisting of five different sections: goals, challenges, people, values and about.
- Goals: goals that they regarded are crucial for their project and should be accomplished by April 2017.
- Challenges: those they would have to face in order to achieve those goals.
- People: people they would have to engage with in order to overcome those challenges.
- Values: values you will have to deliver to those people in order to engage them.
- About: looking at all previous materials, try to get to the essence of your project: what is it really about?
As we had four different projects, we opted for conducting two rounds of the activity with two projects each (one group per project). The round started with the pitch of each fellow, in which they explained what their project was about and what they expected to accomplish in the coming year.
During the pitch, participants had to take down notes on post-its. Each participant had focused on one of the areas mentioned above. After the pitch, all post-its were put in the respective fields of the canvas and people got into groups. Each group had a visual facilitator that helped to guide the discussion and make it more visual. In the end, they had a canvas full of ideas that could be used to guide their actions during the coming months.
The visual facilitators later used those canvases to design posters that illustrate each of the projects. Those posters were meant to be used by fellows to better explain their projects and also to serve as inspiration and documentation of this initial moment of the year in the Hertie-Innovationskolleg.
During the afternoon of the second day, we then moved from each individual project to our third focus: the KOLLEG as a whole. The goal of this part was to create a common vision for the Kolleg and revisit the proposed schedule. The activity was based on the Karabirrt of Dragon Dreaming, a method used to create communities. However, as our project had some differences from a regular community, some adaptations were necessary in order to make it work.
In the exercise, we answered, as a group to the following questions:
- Dream circle: “How should the Kolleg be so that you can say ‘Wow, I am so glad that I was part of it!’?”
- Objectives: “Which particular things need to be done first in order to make this dream come true?
- Activities: Which activities should/could be pursued during the 1st year in order to achieve those objectives?
Using post-its and a lot of energy from our participants, we were able to create a common vision for the Kolleg and brainstorm ideas on how to make those dreams come true.
During the last part, we reflected and debriefed about the workshop (feedback) and collected expectations for the future rounds of it (feedforward). We gathered inputs from participants in a board that had 3 different parts: “I like - I wish - How to”.
Overall, people thought that the workshop had an open and welcoming atmosphere, a good variety of tasks and a solid structure with a real focus on participants. However, they still asked for more time and more activities focusing on helping them implement their projects, especially in how to engage external participants and how to communicate their ideas to a broader audience.
And those will be some of the tasks of our next round of workshops that will take place in September and October also at the Hertie School. During those meeting, we will focus on helping each fellow to solve a specific challenge using a method called “design sprint”. Check this blog for more news about this process.
Check out some photos of the event below.
1st round of workshop with Hertie-Innovationskolleg Fellows
Facilitation: Ann Kathrin Schubert (Hertie Foundation), Bruno Paschoal (Onda Politica), Nathan Volkers and Govert (Jongens van de Tekeningen)
Visuals: Nathan Volkers and Govert (Jongens van de Tekeningen)
Videos & Photos: Rodrigo Levy
Multimedia Report: Bruno Paschoal (Onda Politica)
Organization: Ann Kathrin Schubert and Michael Knoll (Hertie Foundation)
Berlin, April 06/07th 2016.