Keep dreaming and follow your ideas. Think big!” (Laura)

During the last 6 weeks, the Festival of Exploration took place and all project partners – Teaching Team from Design Factory Melbourne, IdeaSquare CERN and Mannheim as well as Team GTG and Team Globe – participated by exchanging knowledge and opinions in weekly online meetings. The festival gave us the opportunity to know each other better and to strengthen our international cooperation. We were also introduced to some interesting methods to help us brainstorm ideas from different perspectives. We mainly looked at our Oppertunity Card, Technology Card and possible future scenarios and connected them in different ways to come up with a variety of creative ideas. For example, Future Thinking, where a given future scenario is combined with an Oppertunity Card, or the Random Mash-up method, where all three perspectives are considered at the same time.

At the beginning, it was very difficult for us to allow our creativity to run free, because an idea was often followed by a “but”. This “but”-thinking made us start to doubt our ideas and blocked our creativity. After numerous ideation sessions we found it easier and easier to let go of this thinking.

The 3-day visit to IdeaSquare CERN under the motto “Think Big” was also a great help for this team development. A new environment, personal contact with our Cern partners, interesting speeches and excursions, all this inspired our creativity and motivation to find new ideas and to think outside the box.

In the last weeks of the festival we had the opportunity to present some of our ideas to experts and our teaching team and get feedback. At the beginning, the feedback demotivated us, as our pitched ideas still left some questions unanswered in terms of feasibility, economic viability, benefits and impact to the environment. This made us realise that we had focused too much on creativity instead of including other factors. In retrospect, this feedback positively influenced our thinking and approach, because we learned to question our ideas more critically and to work out solutions to certain problems together.

Parallel to the Festival of Exploration, we interviewed a number of experts on the topics of insect mortality, forest conditions, monocultures and green facades. This gave us a lot of new information and a new perspective on the oppertunities in terms of “What can still be done?” and “What is already being done?”.

After 6 long weeks of research, ideating and discussions, our team was able to come up with following ideas to solve regional challenges by using CERN technologies:



Idea Napkins


CERNfection bot





Intelligent Soil




Relaxing Mask


Transformer Vehicle

Smart Animals


Team Snapshot:


Highlight of the week

Our team highlight was the visit at the IdeaSquare CERN. We were very happy that this excursion was made possible for us, especially with regard to the current situation and that our professors made the effort to organise everything. Meeting many different people there with different knowledge and points of view was a great experience.


What are the next steps?

In the coming weeks, we will focus on two selected ideas and further develop them with the help of expert interviews, surveys, intensive internet research, new methods (e.g. SWOT, Canvas) and more. We will then decide on one idea to pursue further within the framework of this project. We are excited about which idea it will be. 🙂