We are all happy: It was a great success!
Last year, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria forced us to postpone our second CSH winter school. We hoped that the situation would improve in 2021 but unfortunately we still were not able to venture out to the Austrian Alps. However, instead of feeling frustrated and defeated we decided to take this as an opportunity to re-think our winter school and developed a format that could be moved from snowy glaciers into the virtual world. Tah-dah! Our first CSH Winter Lecture Series was born.
Opening up to the world
Even though we tried super hard to find a way to move all the elements of a winter school online (think of skiing down a powdery slope… or Käsespätzle… or a fireplace… ), we didn’t quite manage to find a way of doing that (promise, we will pursue this further!). Offering an online format did however come with the perk that we could open the event up, inviting all interested from anywhere in the world to join us for lectures by world renowned complexity scientists, without having to jet across the globe.
From March 22nd to 25th, participants could join us for 16 real hours of academic lectures, 2.5 hours of discussion sessions and two networking events.
Simon DeDeo (Carnegie Mellon University, Santa Fe Institute & CSH External Faculty) gave us a fascinating insight into Cultural Data Science.
Our new group leader Fariba Karimi (CSH & Central European University) discussed current advances in Computational Social Science.
Vittorio Loreto (SONY Computer Science Lab Paris & CSH) looked into the dynamics of novelty and innovation, making us all smile when reflecting how “little novelties” spice our lives.
Renaud Lambiotte (University of Oxford & CSH External Faculty) presented two lectures on network science and elaborated on its dynamics and modularity as well as higher order networks.
Andrea Rapisarda (University of Catania & CSH External Faculty) explored the beneficial role of randomness, stimulating thought on whether it is possible to be successful without luck, and whether the most successful people are also the most talented ones.
Fig.: Is it a bird?
Oh wonder: Online networking works—when you use the right tool!
We know: We weren’t able to move Austrian comfort food and snow online. But we did manage to transfer the element of networking and exchanging with others into the virtual world.
To offer everyone an opportunity to enter into conversations with our speakers, we held two networking sessions in “wonder,” a really funky tool mimicking real networking situations (of course, our backdrop had to be an image of snowy glaciers!).
Everyone loved the interaction in wonder. At the end of the event, some of the participants even formed a telegram group for further exchange of new ideas gained from the event and, some day, maybe even get together in person… Just great.
It surely can be said that moving the winter school online was a big success. And we promise: This won’t have been the Hub’s last event of its kind.
A somewhat different group photo…
(Text: Stephanie Bourke-Altmann, CSH Event Management)
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