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Magdeburg BarCamp: “City meets Science“

Magdeburg BarCamp: “City meets Science“


Published on 14 June 2023

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The city administration and the scientific institutions of Magdeburg already enjoy a high level of close cooperation, which has been described as constructive and trusting. However, in many cases this relies on personal contacts and networks, and therefore on the commitment of individuals. New opportunities for cooperation often arise in an ad-hoc way and by chance, rather than being approached strategically, so the city was keen to develop a better approach by exploring the following questions:-
  • How can cooperation between the city administration and scientific institutions be approached more systematically?
  • How can existing ideas and concepts be brought to a wider audience, and implemented?
  • How do you find partners with similar interests?


Team Science from the city of Magdeburg wanted to organise a network meeting that would promote the identification of common topics for cooperation between the city administration and the scientific institutions. The idea of using a ‘BarCamp’ format meant that the participants chose the topics themselves, and then self-organised into discussion groups around those areas of common interest. By using this dynamic approach it meant that participants were able to get to know each other better based on their common interests, and could network and exchange perspectives.

The BarCamp event took place in May 2023 at the Old Town Hall in Magdeburg. Around 70 people from the university, the university of applied sciences, research institutions and the city administration took part. The atmosphere and energy were very good and working groups quickly formed on a range of topics, for example, “Internationalization”, “Smart City” and “Agile Administration”.


  • The idea worked very well. The feedback was positive, personal contacts were made and two working groups started meeting shortly after the BarCamp.
  • It was easier to motivate the scientists than the delegates from the city administration.
  • A future event could look at specific topics to target participants in more detailed discussions. Suggestions for these topics were made at the BarCamp.


Next steps:

Team Science is keen to develop the concept, but perhaps with a slightly different focus next time. However, the overarching aim remains to continue to promote and deepen collaboration between the scientific community in Magdeburg and the city administration.