Climate Week, Panel Discussion or Vertical Farm? Artefacts as new Exam Performance

DTS Master's students use the new examination performance artefact for the first time and create real impact

Innovative approaches also require new forms of examination. This is how the idea for the artefacts came about in the Digital Transformation & Sustainability (MSc) degree programme, which is centrally concerned with innovations, digitalisation and sustainability. The artefact is a supplement to a theoretical elaboration, can be a physical or digital product such as a video or a prototype, but also an organisational achievement, and is always the concrete implementation of a defined project goal. In this way, students have the opportunity not only to share their knowledge with the public and stimulate reflection, but also to make a very concrete contribution. The first four examples of our Master's students show how well this can succeed.


Taking the SDGs to school: DTS students develop teaching concept for Climate Week at Gymnasium Altona 

"We have created a scalable teaching concept that can be used by secondary schools not only in Hamburg but also across national borders and serves as an initial contact with the SDGs. The contents are year-specific, are intended to impart knowledge and motivate."

Nils Mönkeberg, Hjördis Denker and Steffen Meuwesen took an in-depth look at the question of whether and how students at secondary schools in Hamburg deal with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). After the first idea of conducting a survey with all Hamburg teachers could not be realised, a new, perhaps even better one emerged: In cooperation with the Klimagymnasium Altona, they developed a four-hour teaching concept. With the help of games, group work and discussions, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are explained to the students using concrete examples from their environment, and the personal confrontation with the goals is encouraged. For grade 11, for example, the journey of a smartphone is examined along the SDGs - with stations on supply chains (social sustainability) or disposal of the precious trace elements (ecological sustainability).

The occasion for the cooperation was the climate week that the Altona grammar school is holding at the end of June as part of a project week. The teaching unit developed by Nils, Hjördis and Steffen is the prelude and introduction to the topic. The HSBA students were also on site to support the teachers in supervising group work or at the various teaching stations.


Fresh Greens from your Living Room: DIY Vertical Farm

"Vertical farms have enormous potential, but are often still unknown. We wanted to create more awareness and make it possible for everyone to use the benefits directly with our DIY."

For more than half a year, Luana di Caro, Klara Schönfelder and Manuel Schmidt have been working intensively on the concept of vertical farming, i.e. the cultivation of food on a small area in several storeys on top of each other without soil and usually also without sunlight. The closed system is independent of environmental influences and offers high yields in a small space, the short transport routes help to reduce CO2 and water can be saved. Vertical farming offers enormous potential for sustainability and food security and can be a useful complement to traditional agriculture.

To raise awareness of the possibilities of vertical farming, the students not only wrote a white paper on the topic, but also decided to build their own prototype - as cheaply as possible, using recycled materials as a do-it-yourself variant for their own use. The prototype offers space for a total of 16 to 18 plants, currently growing various lettuces and herbs. What do you need and how do you do it? Click here for the DIY - Vertical Farm: DOWNLOAD  


#righttorepair: How Repairability is Becoming Normal Again

"We have to deal with repairability much more intensively. Every year, around 50 million tonnes of electronic waste are produced worldwide, and the trend is rising. In our throwaway society, buying new is taken for granted, repairing is hardly thought about and that's exactly what we want to change with our contribution."

The mobile phone display is broken, the battery barely lasts half a day ... but how can you repair a smartphone or laptop yourself at home? Jonah Francke, Maximilian Kadus, Florian Körner and Finn Ehrenberg have often been annoyed by the fact that the product life cycles of electronic devices in particular are getting shorter and shorter, but repairing them is usually impossible or as expensive as buying a new one. The supporters of the "Right to Repair" movement have been calling for a right to repair for a long time - this would be good for consumers and the environment, because it would reduce unnecessary electronic waste.

For almost a year, the Master's students have been researching the topic of "Back to Repair - How Repairability is Becoming Normal Again" and have examined the topic from many different perspectives, discussing opportunities and challenges with experts from iFixit, Fairphone, the Volt party, the Anstiftung and the Repaircafé from Hamburg Hamm. Their findings and recommendations for action for three central areas of society can be heard in a podcast.  As part of the third nationwide Digitaltag 2022, they presented their podcast for the first time and made it available: Listen now or use Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Amazon Music. 


Digital Collaboration? Panel Discussion on Communication and Collaboration in the Digital Space

"Communication and collaboration have changed fundamentally in the last two years, we have all experienced this ourselves. At the panel discussion, we were able to discuss our research findings live with the experts, expand on them and thus share them with the public."

Our everyday life has changed completely within the last few years. Such a change leaves traces. Our private and professional activities have been shifted into the digital space and have fundamentally changed the way we communicate and collaborate. New tools and systems have been introduced, the place of work has changed, and creativity has been rethought. For these changes to be considered in the company's orientation, customer centricity is of immense importance. But what are the needs of customers today? To what extent do they want to work together locally again?

Our Master's students Basil Böhtel and Frederica Blydt-Hansen have spent over a year intensively examining these questions and discussing them with selected speakers in a panel discussion at HSBA. Guests were Elly Oldenbourg, Manager & Sidepreneur, Google; Lena Knoll, Manager Digital Transformation, 55BirchStreet; Nicole Wronski, Board Member, Blackboat and Christopher Nadorf, Manager, PWC. 

Key insights of the discussion:

  • The content and emotional component of the topic largely determines the space of execution (analogue, digital or hybrid).
  • Purpose and goal determine the collaboration in the digital space and must be well planned
  • Digital maturity levels of participants can vary greatly
  • Building trust and interpersonal relationships is more difficult in the digital space
  • Tools and systems are a foundation of collaboration - they still need to be trained and targeted
  • Inclusion of all participants must be considered in the digital space and prepared for, especially in hybrid mode.
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