Upcoming Event: SAGUF-Jubiläumstagung 2012

unbla is proud to support the Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (SAGUF) in designing and facilitating their 40th anniversary event in June 2012 (see http://sagufv2.scnatweb.ch/d/aktuell/veranstaltungen/).
SAGUF is a multidisciplinary scientific society, which campaigns for the promotion and coordination of environmental research in Switzerland. It is especially active for inter-and trans-disciplinary, and applied environmental research.
The SAGUF was founded in 1972. It is a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences SCNAT Switzerland and the Platform Geosciences and an Associate Member of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS).

Unconferencing is a way to initiate organisational change

In 2008 we had the chance to design and run a 24-hour creative marathon for ETH Zurich (for details see here). The over 100 participants generated 17 project proposals how to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption at this university.

Not only was this great fun to do; Patricia Wolf* and Ralf Hansmann, both ETH Zurich, and Peter Troxler*, Square One, Rotterdam, studied why the event was such a success. Together, we wrote an article revealing the mechanisms behind unconferencing. This article just appeared in the Journal of Organizational Change Management and is available at this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09534811111102319

Patricia Wolf, Ralf Hansmann, Peter Troxler, (2011) “Unconferencing as method to initiate organisational change: A case study on reducing CO2 emissions of a university”, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 Iss: 1, pp.112 – 142

While we had to transfer our copyrights on the article to Emerald Publishing, I may legally provide a private reprint over at Square One (direct link to pdf).

Our second paper focuses on the sustainability part and unconferencing as a tool to start it: Patricia Wolf, Peter Troxler, Ralf Hansmann, (2011) “Moving Universities: A Case Study on the Use of Unconferencing for Facilitating Sustainability Learning in a Swiss University”, Sustainability 2011, 3, 875-896, http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/6/875/.

* Patricia and Peter are unbla board members

unBla Leads Students to CO2 Reduction Success — Again

On 3 November 2010 an unBla team once more unleashed the creativity of students at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, to find new ways how this leading university could reduce their CO2 emissions. Here is a report in German, and here are the project descriptions (English). A first event of this kind was held in 2008, and we showed in extensive studies why an unconferencing approach works … this paper will be published in January 2011… stay tuned, subscribe to updates via e-mail:


 

How to Improve Conferences

Bell and King (2010) explored conferences as spaces where newcomers to a community can demonstrate their proficiency as members of that community. To improve conferences, they suggest—among other things—to ‘explore other ways of conferencing, like “unconferncing” (Wolf and Troxler 2008)’.

The paper they reference is of course explaining the fundamentals of unbla and is still available from Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2), at http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802614

Reference: Bell, Emma, and Daniel King (2010). The elephant in the room: Critical management studies conferences as a site of body pedagogics. Management Learning, 1–14. Online at: http://mlq.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/03/23/1350507609348851

First European Living Labs Summer School

unbla is proud to announce the First European Living Labs Summer School, where participants will create a guidebook, covering issues such as

  • a map of domain of living labs innovation;
  • living labs as a domain of practice and research;
  • building bridges between the many disciplines in which living labs are rooted;
  • mutual benefits of theoretical and applied living labs development;
  • original experiences and insights from practitioners and students;
  • build and strengthen international networks;
  • contributions to Living Labs theory.

unbla is providing the facilitation for the event.

Living Lab Summer School 2010 from vandicla on Vimeo.

Recent comment after an unBla workshop

“I found the afternoon we spent together exciting and I had the impression that at the end of the workshop the participants discussed and asked questions more openly than seldom before.”

“Ich fand unseren gemeinsamen Nachmittag sehr spannend und es kam mir so vor, als ob die Teilnehmer nach dem Interview-Workshop so offen wie selten gefragt und diskutiert haben.”

unBla Helps Cutting CO2 Emissions

On 13/14 November 2008, unBla was brought in to facilitate an event at ETH Zurich, which brought together 110 students, faculty and staff to develop proposals how the university could reduce it’s CO2 emissions.

A report on the event (in German) is linked here: http://www.ethlife.ethz.ch/archive_articles/081119_ecoworks_go/.

The event was co-designed by Ed and delivered by Patricia and Peter. It proved to be a good success — not only in terms of potential CO2 reduction, but also in terms of popularity of the unBla methods with the participants:

A participant survey was handed in by 48 of the 110 participants (44% return rate). Quantitative questions on the overall event, its content and the facilitation methods applied showe a satisfaction level of more than 90% (answers ‘quite a lot’ or ‘very much’ satisfied).

Even more valuable, in their qualitative answers the participants highlighted that they benefitted most from meeting other people through the networking exercise (28 answers), working on own ideas and bringing them forward (8 answers) and experiencing a large group moderation process (16 answers).

They furthermore acknowledged that their major learning gains where from other people’s expertise and generating new ideas in the area of CO2 reduction (20 answers), and also included an increase of their capabilities for working effectively in a team (19 answers).

Without having been asked for it, 11 participants affirmed their motivation to further work on their project after the event.

Patricia, in her capacity as researcher, is currently working on the detailed research results which are to be published in due course.

Symposium Qualitative Organisations- und Managementforschung – 4./5. Sept. 2008

Ein Symposium für qualitativ forschende SozialwissenschaftlerInnen in der Organisations- und Managementlehre

Hochschule Luzern – Wirtschaft, 4.-5. September 2008

Impulsreferenten:
Prof. Dr. Eva Nadai: „Messen und klassieren. Eine ethnographische Annäherung an „Leistung“ in Unternehmen“
Dr. René John: „Funktionale Analyse. Beobachtung zwischen Fixierung und Überraschung“
Prof. Dr. Christof Baitsch: „Die Probe aufs Exempel: Bewährt sich qualitative Organisationsberatung?”
Dr. Andrea Buss Notter & Simone Schauber: „Qualitative Forschung in der Finanzwelt. Über Mögliches und Unmögliches aus der Praxis der GfK Schweiz”

Tagungsleitung:
Prof. Dr. Stephanie Kaudela-Baum, Hochschule Luzern
Dr. Jens O. Meissner, Hochschule Luzern,
Prof. Dr. Patricia Wolf, ETH Zürich

Ausschreibung: http://www.hslu.ch/w-ibr-qom-symposium

Ab sofort kann man sich für das Symposium vom 4./5. September 2008 anmelden.

A New World of Conferencing

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