Winter School „Responsible Innovators of Tomorrow”
Promoting socially innovative solutions to challenges of digitalization and AI
From March 06th to 12th, 2023, the Winter School "Responsible Innovators of Tomorrow" took place in cooperation with the Honors College of RWTH Aachen University. The program built on the content of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) of the same name, which was developed under the coordination of the Bridging Professorship Gender and Diversity in Engineering and the RRI Hub within the ENHANCE Alliance. The Winter School focused on sustainable development and aimed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among students through a case-based design thinking methodology.
The Winter School provided a unique opportunity for both international students and Dean's List students from all degree programs to work in interdisciplinary teams and develop socially innovative solutions to current challenges in the context of digitalization, artificial intelligence, and sustainability. By employing the design thinking methodology, students gained practical experience in collaborative and critical thinking skills based on real-world cases.
During the anticipation phase, students were introduced to the opportunities, challenges, and theoretical concepts related to digitization and artificial intelligence. In the action phase, students worked in interdisciplinary teams to develop socially innovative solutions to the challenges. The involvement of external case contributors from the Institute of Textile Technology and the Fuel Science Center ensured the practical relevance of the program's addressed challenges. Throughout the action phase, students were supported and guided in finding solutions by the staff of the RRI Hub and an invited design thinking expert. In the reflection phase, students presented their solutions in terms of feasibility and impact with respect to the mentioned cases.
The Winter School concluded with a reflection discussion, emphasizing the importance of developing the necessary skills and competencies to become responsible innovators for sustainable development. In addition to deepening their knowledge and skills related to digitalization and artificial intelligence, the Winter School offered students the opportunity to enhance their ability to collaborate across disciplines and develop sustainable innovations.