Greeting by the President

Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen, President der Technischen Universität Berlin

Dear employees,
dear students,

I warmly welcome you to the website of the future congress of the TU Berlin under the motto “Shaping the New Normal & Re-Thinking our University”.

As a university, we have had some turbulent and challenging months behind us. Not only because of the corona pandemic, which has been with us for over 1.5 years, but also because of the IT attack in April of this year, which massively restricted our everyday work at the TU Berlin in many areas. Who would have thought that our 75th birthday anniversary would be shaped by such drastic experiences and experiences.

Much has changed, some has already been found and some will still be found. The last few months have shown me, as President of the TU Berlin, that we can and will emerge from crises stronger together. I have seen how you, dear students and employees, have supported our university in this particular situation of upheaval and how you have ensured our functionality through your tireless efforts. I would like to express my sincere thanks for this commitment. However, it should not stop there.

Taking our anniversary and the current time as an opportunity, I would like to rethink the university together with you as a place of work, research, learning and teaching. The aim is to break out of the usual structures of the TU Berlin for two days and to develop future-oriented & crisis-proof concepts and ideas for the current restructuring processes from your perspective – and possibly to implement them. The Future Congress is intended to create a digital space in which you have the floor and will be heard. The focus is on participation – your ideas, suggestions, solution strategies. Be it in one of the topic-focused dialogue groups or in the openly designed topic camp. With exciting impulse lectures and networking opportunities, we would also like to promote open exchange.

In order to shape the ‘university’ for the future, we need the votes of all our members! Your participation counts. So I am looking forward to seeing you there.

On these pages you will find all the relevant information about the various workshop concepts, registration and participation.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the TUBS team and my personal advisor, Ms. Jothe, at Greetings, your Christian Thomsen

Phase 2 – Implementation: Evaluation of the submitted ideas begins

“Zukunftskongress TU Berlin – Shaping the New Normal – Re-Thinking our University”

TU Berlin’s Future Congress will take place on 11 and 12 November 2021. In line with the current global situation, it will take place exclusively online.

At the heart of our congress lies the innovative integration of flexible and open-access workshop methods, such as design thinking, as well as a Theme Camp. Over the two days of the congress, we will be creating a digital space in which the ideas and suggestions of all members of TU Berlin can be given voice and heard. In addition, we will be offering a supporting program consisting of lightning talks and opportunities for socializing.

Our goal is to break free from established structures through cooperation and grassroots democracy. Together, we will be gathering ideas and using them to shape our visions for the future of TU Berlin – both as university and institution – in the short and long terms. As students and colleagues, we will be working through various topic areas within the fields of collective working, researching, learning and teaching at our university.
The Design Thinking Workshops will offer a platform for in-depth engagement with the central questions relating to a more far-reaching perspective for the development of TU Berlin, and concrete concepts may well emerge from this process.
The Theme Camp, on the other hand, gives participants the opportunity to discuss on an equal footing the current difficulties facing all status groups at the University as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as the current restructuring processes and the aftermath of the IT attack. Such an open exchange offers the potential for finding approaches towards solutions.

Become part of this process for shaping the future of our university and actively contribute ideas, experiences and visions from your own personal perspective!

100% digital – how will the Future Congress be realised?

After almost 2 years of pandemic and TU Berlin closed for 3 semesters, the desire for a face-to-face congress was strong. But we still have a responsibility to our members and we take it seriously – especially for an event of this size and number of participants.We also want to give people in home offices, with care responsibilities, family or private obligations, health restrictions or other reasons that prevent them from being there the chance to get involved.

To this end, we tried various platforms and tools and ultimately decided – to our own surprise – on a stable, low-threshold and already well-known TU classic: WebEx!You will receive your personal access links via email in advance after your registration.

For some variety and challenge, we supplement the workshops with the online whiteboard tool Miro. There, the groups can work together in real time and asynchronously in their WebEx rooms.

For questions about the tools, contents, the agenda, the organisation or any other remaining uncertainties, we offer an open check-in meeting on Wednesday, 10.11.2021, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. also via WebEx. We will send the access link to all participants of the Zukunftskongress in time.

In addition, you can of course still reach the Orga team via email at Contact.

Designing the future now

The Future Congress offers the opportunity to place and present one’s own idea on an equal footing in the respective thematic complex. Every impulse counts – whether from the areas of research, teaching, learning, sustainability, diversity, work, construction, campus or university culture. The aim of the congress is to map and represent all areas that play into the overall concept of the university.

For the moderation of the dialogue groups within the Design Thinking Workshop, we specifically address students. The congress should actively promote student participation and further education. Therefore, we offer a certified two-day training in Design Thinking with an external team of experts. This is provided free of charge and is a professional and sustainable training opportunity – which can be used, for example, for job applications.

All ideas and contents that are created or contributed during the congress will be recorded in a sustainable way. The exact form of the output will be determined in the next few days, but we want to make sure that your impulses and input become and remain visible. We also want to use the results to incorporate suitable approaches into existing structures and processes, if possible. To this end, we are currently still in dialogue with the relevant parties.

However, your initiative is not only required, but encouraged! We would like to financially support the best, most feasible, visionary or creative ideas in their implementation. The TU Berlin provides funds for this purpose. We are currently still working on defining the formal criteria and requirements for this support. This is important so that the process remains transparent for you and us and it is clear how the selection is made and what has to be fulfilled for it. We will publish the framework here as soon as it is finalised. Stay tuned!

The selected ideas/concepts and their respective initiators will also be published on the homepage of the Future Congress and the TU Berlin.

With this tangible offer of support, we would like to make your participation valuable/visible and thank you for your tireless efforts and commitment in this special situation of upheaval. The future of the TU Berlin is to be shaped and co-designed by its members.

Students and staff will also be released from work and study and teaching to participate.


Design Thinking

Design thinking is a systematic approach to solving complex problems from all areas of life. The method aims to help develop innovative solutions for business, politics and society.

Theme camp

As a theme-based barcamp, the theme camp is an open and non-hierarchical form of event without a fixed agenda. In the theme camp, a thematic limitation to a topic area and related questions takes place in advance.

How will the Future Congress be structured?

All participants will meet on the first day of the congress at 10:00 am for the official welcome, opening and exciting keynote speeches in the digital main room. After that, the content part will start.

The design thinking workshops will begin in the main room and the respective session presenters will work intensively on the themes with their groups until around 3:00 pm (including lunch break). The session presenters will move to their own second room at 11 am and start there with a short introduction, a round of introductions and the idea pitches until around 12:00 am. This will be followed by three rounds of sessions including a break until 2:45 pm and a short joint closing round of the theme camp, which will only take place on the first day. At 3:00 pm we will all meet again in the main room for a joint closing of the first day.

On the second day of the congress, we will continue at 10:30 am with the Design Thinking workshops until 12:00 am. After a break, we will meet at 1 pm for a joint presentation of the results including a possible outlook with all participants from the Design Thinking workshops and the theme camp, and then bring the congress to a close with a few concluding words and space for feedback.

The moderator of the congress will guide you through the processes and into the various online rooms, and during the congress you will also have various contact persons from the organising team at your side.

We are looking forward to seeing you!