Hello world! We are back from Cern IdeaSquare. What an amazing adventure!

We finished our two weeks intense program at Cern. What can we say… it was simply amazing.
But why?
Lets start with the family we’ve become at IdeaSquare.
We came as strangers, as a group of random people from all over world. The teaching teams did a great job to connect all of us really fast, so we get to know each other on a deeper level. We did warm up games, each day and spent the whole day together, working in our design factory teams but also in mixed teams. All this work and of course the lazy time we spent after each session and each day formed us to a great international team and what we call it: a big family!

So what exactly did we do at Cern IdeaSquare?
The first week or the intense program started with a lot of lectures given by the teaching teams, the people from IdeaSquare and designer’s. We started with a inspiring lecture from Markus about the question “Why are we here?” and learned a lot about the process of radical and out of the box thinking. About dreaming big and having visions to change the thinking and views of the world we had over the time of history.
We learned how to think in numbers in a really intense lecture from Pablo which changed the way of how we approach our problem spaces. “Always do your math!”.
We had gread ideation and prototyping sessions with the teaching teams to train our creativity and to lean how to think about new problem spaces, explaining those and visualizing them in a really short amount of time.
We heard a lecture from the designer Neal Stone from the UK who inspired us by the approach of DesignThinking and gave us a really solid ground for our next steps in the project.

We learned a lot about the Cern and ATTRACT technology by diving deeper into them and think about new ways to use them. We’ve got inspired by the Particle Collider (LHC) and visited the detector CMS (colliding point). We’ve never expected such a large detector and got a great guided tour to understand the engineering process and physics behind the detector and the LHC.
After the first week really intense learning the week ended and we all were really exhausted. But to connect international and intercultural we used our hotel lobby to bond all students with some tasty drinks.

The second week was more about presenting ideas, ideating and finding a topic that inspires us and in that we want to take a closer look into.
Our three best ideas were a smart bin, in that you can throw all your waste without separating. The combination of Cern and ATTRACT tech would separate the different types of waste as paper, bio, plastics and also metals and other valuable resources. The point of difference is to make it easier for the consumer and get a better sepreation with deeptech. Did you know, that there are several types of plastics that cant be recycled together? So what if we could separate them automatically and recycle them so nothing gets wasted?
Our second thought was about the changing climate in Germany, that leads to floods, drought and wildfires. We thought about a smart detection system of fires, to help firefighters by detecting and analysing fires. Furthermore there will be a emergency system of drones that can take immediate action against fires before they get too big until the firefighters arrive.
The third and favorised idea a CO2 cleaning algae tube-plant that is self cleaning and controlled by metabolism data via deeptech analysis. The idea is to create interior design solutions for offices and appartment, that are capable of cleaning the CO2, which is prduced by the breathing of humans.
Furthermore there will be designs for cities to make them carbon neutral. The problem space we identified, is likely to be described by a bathtub full of water with an open tap. The water symbolises the CO2 and we cant fully close the tap, because there will always be CO2 emissions when we produce food or other goods. CO2 is the main reason of climate change, but has always been around in the atmosphere. By cleaning more CO2, than we are producing, we can produce negative emissions, that will potentially clean the atmosphere from its CO2 overload and help to fight the climate change.
We want to take that idea back to inno.space in Mannheim to further research on that topic and think about how to prototype the plants.

So. After all the serious scientific talking, lets get to the quote of the day/trip:


Today’s featured quote is:


“Nicht Bummeln!” – David


Which is german and means to keep up with the group.
Why this quote? We went to Geneva city to do some sightseeing and we had to catch a ferry, that was already arriving, when we had still some way to reach the dock. David was inceasing his walking speed and suddenly turned around, looked over his glasses and said this quote in an unbelievable funny way. After that we continued to use that sentence everytime we could.

To summarize what we learned and how the time in Geneva was for us, we can say that we were looking forward with one eye smiling to get back home but one eye crying when we left the IdeaSquare for the last time. It was such a pleasure to be at Cern and to be part of this awsome journey.
We opened up our minds and learned new structures of thinking and we will never forget about the friends we made on the way.
We will miss the time we all spent together with the other students, the great teaching teams and of course all the awesome Cernies.
Thank you for everything and we hope to see each other again.

We wish you all the best!
Nils, David and Daniel