Crazy ideas, brilliant minds, good times!
Is an idea too crazy to be pursued, or could its exploration lead to fascinating scientific insight? Has anyone ever thought of exploring the same sudden brainwave that I had?
Many of the Hub’s researchers have been wondering about this before but never really had the chance to pursue many, if any of the weird and wonderful ideas popping up in one’s head. ‘This needs to change!’, thought Vito, Data Scientist and culinary magician of the Hub, and planned to organise a “Crazy Workshop”.
While plans came to a halt due to COVID-19, once the situation in Austria had improved a little, Vito, together with his colleagues Márcia, Researcher in innovation dynamics and expert in research speed dating, and Stephanie, the Hub’s Event Manager, organised the first “CSH Retreat and Crazy Workshop.”
And so, for two days in early July, 32 of us ventured out to beautiful Helenental near Baden in lower Austria, to explore those mad ideas and spend time teambuilding and socialising.
Do blackouts lead to higher birth rates? Anna di Natale wonders and presents what she has found out so far.
Can language be seen as an efficient cognitive cheating system? William Schueller wants to know and invites the audience to perform a mental experiment remembering a loooong number.
Ideas began to flow, discussions became lively, collaborators found one another… we even had a “crazy battle” on day two requesting the three finalists of the “Crazy Workshop” to defend their ideas in an “outdoor courtroom”!!
Andrew Ringsmuth, who argued that the first economic system may have appeared around one billion years ago, when photosynthetic microorganisms began to cooperate, finally beat his opponents in the battle and went home with the prize.
In addition to the workshop, brains were also challenged with a near-impossible to solve pub quiz in which team CATPAGJ beat team The Kebabs, eggs-elent and Hysteria!. Our physical condition was tested with an extremely (!!) exhausting 30min (!) hike on the Helenental-Weg around Krainerhütte Seminar Hotel, where we stayed. Luckily enough, there was plenty of food to refuel!
It can surely be said that the first CSH Retreat and Crazy Workshop was a great success. After months of lockdown, home-office and hardly any physical interaction at work or socially, we returned to the Hub inspired, motivated, happy and refreshed.
All photos © Verena Ahne
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