The setting: The Berlin University of Applied Sciences is holding the 1st Digital Alumni Conference. It is about SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) – Sstudents present themselves and their work results in "their" SDG pavilion. An extraordinary experience.
The Alumni Conference was hosted by the Master's program International and Development Economics of HTW Berlin in cooperation with the MA Development Management (MADM) of the Ruhr-University Bochum and the Small Enterprise Promotion and Training (SEPT) of the University of Leipzig.
The digital conference took place in November 2021 and was sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The conference included presentations, workshops, and networking sessions on current issues relevant to the development of the global South. The final poster presentations by the student:s took place in the virtual environment.
Master students of the Department of Economics of Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Zikos have tested the tuijo room. Central question: Can the rooms provide for exchange, do they manage to inspire the students to participate in spite of virtuality? During the semester, various colloquia were held in the virtual rooms. The practical feedback was again incorporated into the application. In addition to several feature requests, the main focus was on how formal and informal or guided and self-directed learning formats can be transferred to virtual spaces.
The final alumni conference aimed to develop creative solutions through case studies and workshops in the context of know-how transfer and policy learning. The conference focused on four SDG-related thematic clusters such as Pro-Poor Growth Policies and Pro-Poor Entrepreneurship (SDGs 1 & 8) or Economic Dynamics, Technology and Infrastructure (SDGs 8 and 9). Also particularly important: Rethinking Economic Development: Circular Economy (SDG 12). The students had prepared posters on all topics, which they presented in the virtual room. At the same time, the 150 or so visitors to the congress were able to interact directly with the alumni and visit them in their respective SDG pavilions. Some welcomed with their own ambient sound, others canvassed on the virtual campus area in front of the pavilions. Networking at its best.