Innovation Hub

What is the Innovation Hub?

The Innovation Hub of the HFD offers the community free experimentation and collaboration spaces for agile and co-creative development and testing of innovative approaches in the context of digital transformation in studying and teaching. The Innovation Hub aims to initiate innovations and realize concepts or solutions to specific cross-university challenges. With its main topics, the Innovation Hub addresses current issues in higher education practice and policy. In doing so, he addresses systemic as well as technical and social challenges.

How does the Innovation Hub work?

As a facilitator and process designer, the Innovation Hub empowers actors to collaboratively develop and apply innovations. Relevant issues can be located at the individual, institutional or systemic level. Together with the HFD community, acute issues are identified and accompanied in a user-centered transformation process, always with the goal of developing prototypical solutions and supporting their implementation. Depending on the topic, the Innovation Hub comprises different formats: co-creative processes for collaboration, working groups for bundling expertise, design thinking workshops for idea generation, or book sprints for the collaborative writing of publications.

The topics of the Innovation Hub

Digital participation

Within the Innovation Hub, we address issues and aspects of Equal opportunities and accessibilityin the digital space in the context of a sustainable and inclusive design of digital teaching and learning. On the one hand, this includes the area of technical design of accessible digital offerings. On the other hand, these include the didactic, socio-economic and practical aspects within digital university teaching. This thematic focus will address the following questions:

  • What are the opportunities and risks of digitization in terms of participation?
  • What measures can universities and university staff take to enable digital participation?

The Innovation Hub aims to initiate a change in culture and values and to support universities in breaking down digital barriers and thinking along with participation in everyday digital university life. In the Innovation Hub, the Digital Accessibility Working Group focuses on all issues related to digital accessibility.

Participatory vision development

With HFDvisions, the Innovation Hub creates a framework for the productive, co-creative development of images of the future. In a moderated innovation process, university members are enabled to formulate individual agendas for the future and to promote an internal university understanding of visions. The HFD supervises the vision process, accompanies the implementation of the developed visions in the form of a “Road to Visions” and creates visibility as well as cross-university exchange spaces for the participating actors.

Sustainable learning spaces

In the period 2021-2023, the focus will be on supporting the design phase of four learning space projects. Here the projects introduce themselves. Specifically, the Innovation Hub explores the questions:

  • How learning space projects are communicated internally within universities.
  • Which stakeholders are involved and at what times.
  • Under which conditions and by means of which structures decisions are made.
  • And what hurdles have to be overcome in the process.

With the experience gained from more intensive implementation support, targeted recommendations for action can be derived from practice for practice and made available to the HFD community.

Student Participation

The DigitalChangeMaker Initiative of the HFD will be perpetuated in the Innovation Hub, i.e. the Zukunfts-AG will be continued and further developed with students in order to Strengthen student voices and positions in the discourse on digitization in teaching and learningThe aim is to involve them as design partners and solution finders and to enable them to help shape their universities through (peer) exchange, experimental spaces and qualification programs. As the initiative expands, it will evolve into a DigitalChangeMaker network. In addition, an integrative DigitalChangeMaker annual program with the involvement of external experts and community members and qualification measures strengthens students in their role as change agents.

Digital Sovereignty

In the topic area Digital Sovereignty focuses on the question of how German universities can gain more sovereignty over their own digital infrastructure, IT solutions and data in order to become more independent of external providers. The objective is to sharpen the concept of digital sovereignty, analyze the status quo at universities, and develop options for action for them to increase the degree of their own digital sovereignty. It also aims to raise awareness of the relevance of the topic.