Planning a Conference and Moving Beyond

Zwei Frauen halten einen Vortrag vor mehreren Menschen
© René Arnold / Stiftung Kinder forschen

Consciously or unconsciously, the landmarks already achieved play a central role in every planning phase. However, questions about what future paths should be taken, are equally indispensable. Together with Siemens Stiftung we are already thinking intensively about the future orientation of our international work. A lot has already been achieved through this work, and IDoS 2019 is shaping what the Foundation wants to achieve in the future.

When the "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation started its international work about 10 years ago, a conference like IDoS 2019 was still a long way off. However, as soon as the Foundation realized that international cooperation is a huge gain in terms of learning from one another, the vision for an international conference on STEM education emerged slowly but surely between the two initiators. With this vision in mind, the "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation together with Siemens Stiftung conceived IDoS 2017 as an open dialogue on STEM Education fostering international exchange. In 2018, the IDoS Programme Committee was formed to elaborate and formulate the guiding questions for IDoS 2019. Comprising 14 international experts from science and practice, this international body is now part of the Foundation’s self-concept.

"International cooperation at its best"

During the past month, in particular, cooperation within the Programme Committee has proved to be extremely fruitful. In four meetings – conducted using digital meeting software – the international experts discussed the direction of IDoS 2019. In the words of one colleague, the Programme Committee is "international cooperation at its best". The discussions opened up a space for critical discourses and highlighted to us once again the importance of Education for Sustainable Development. Through the various perspectives present in the Programme Committee, each meeting pushed us, as a Foundation, to continually think beyond our own horizon and to take other perspectives deeply into consideration.

As IDoS 2019 comes closer, we have taken a look at the landmarks in the international work of the Foundation, and also at the achievements and the concrete findings. During the past month, many questions have been raised regarding the future direction of IDoS.

  • The topic of sustainability is gaining more and more importance both generally and for the "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation in particular. Can we justify from a sustainability point of view a two-day conference requiring physical attendance?

  • The "Haus der kleinen Forscher Foundation" demands of itself that it act as a relevant and cross-linked protagonist in education policy and align its work and positioning accordingly. The joint pursuit of answers to pressing current questions, such as Education for Sustainable Development, should be at the heart of the Foundation’s work. Is a conference the right format to attain this goal?

  • Additionally, the position paper “Using Science to do Social Good: STEM Education for Sustainable Development” postulates international engagement to tackle drastic problems such as the climate crisis. Is the current framework the right one to bundle knowledge to fulfil this aspiration?

The feedback from our colleagues shows that we are open to new formats of international cooperation. For both the "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation and Siemens Stiftung, it is clear that it is not a question of whether it should commit itself internationally, but rather of how international cooperation should be shaped, evaluated and realigned in the future.

About the Conference 2019

Title: International Dialogue on STEM Education 2019 (IDoS 2019)
Initiators: "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation and Siemens Stiftung
Conference dates and venue: 5 and 6 December 2019 at Robert Bosch Stiftung, Berlin, Germany
Main topic: STEM Education for Sustainable Development
Attendance: free and by invitation only
More information: IDoS 2019 website

Portrait von Laurenz Lürbke
Autor/in: Laurenz Lürbke

I am a nature lover and a foodie. When I am not busy preparing delicious meals and harvesting vegetables in my own little garden, I am helping to organize the biennial conference “International Dialogue on STEM Education” as a student assistant at the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” Foundation. I have completed my undergraduate studies in politics and economics at the University of Münster, and I am now studying Near Eastern studies in Berlin.

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