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20 June 2018 | Münster

Under the obscure name "Dry Cake Day" all Science-to-Business team members had been invited to the first internal workshop which was dedicated to using all the knowledge and creativity within the team to build tangible results to aid us in our work.

To spur people's creativity, the workshop was not carried out in the office but at the wonderful location of digital hub münsterLAND (https://www.digitalhub.ms/), close to the harbour and equipped with all necessary material for a productive and fun day.

Getting started…

After a short introduction which revealed the mystery behind Dry Cake, the workshop started. In advance, three main topics (S2B internal, research topics, and semester projects) had been defined and each team brainstormed about a sub-topic, which they wanted to create a tangible solution for. Since also team spirit and fun were supposed to accompany the day, a challenge was established that in the end, the best and most creative idea would be voted as winner of the day and receive resources for further improvement. 

How to be creative…

With the aim to foster creativity, the workshop was designed according to the principles of Design Thinking. Therefore, the day had been structured into different working stages. During each phase, the attendance of a specialist in design and design thinking gave further input to the teams and aided them in taking new perspectives. The teams started working on their ideas, went through the design thinking elements (problem definition, need finding, ideation, prototyping, and testing) and came up with a tested prototype of their idea at the end. In between, there was time for fika, a chat with the other teams about their progress or going for a walk near the harbour. Of course, there was plenty of dry cake for keeping sugar levels high.

Working outside the comfort zone…

During each 45-minute working phase the teams were asked to use a design thinking method that was assigned to them - remember, the workshop was about creativity and leaving one's comfort zone. The special aspect about this was the way how the methods were chosen - "spin the wheel and apply the methods. If you don't know them, use the prepared method overview for more details". Whether it was a photo study in the harbour area, being inspired by science-fiction movies or drawing a comic, the teams did their best to apply the methods they received to their work. Although there were sometimes sceptical faces in the beginning, the untypical working atmosphere led to completely new ways of interpretation, and a lot of fun in the teams!

Becoming experts of creative and unconventional work…

Due to the participation of many Science-to-Business members and their willingness to try something new, the workshop atmosphere was as creative and playful as expected. At some point the teams even started to work outside the location and many productive discussions could be heard from all sides. Additionally, the team went visual by designing on flipcharts and using post-its to structure their thinking.

Summarizing the first ever Dry Cake Day…

In the end, each team pitched the idea they developed, and the winner of the day was voted. All in all, every idea starting from the first business idea of an internal UBC accelerator going to a new feedback process for the student projects and ending with a S2B board which will enhance the office's internal co-creation shows the positive outcome and success of the first Dry Cake Day. Before ending the day with a joint dinner, the working phase was closed with highly positive feedback, some ideas for improvement and the mutual desire to definitely repeat such an event to forster the creative use of our research knowledge.

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