— Cultural Sources of Newness

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Tag "design thinking"

There are at least three potential sources of newness offered by attending a PhD defence ritual abroad: you get to read a brand new thesis, you get to experience sparks of dissonance in the interaction, and you get to observe a (for you as a foreigner) new academic ritual. By accepting Ulla Johansson Sköldberg’s invitation to attend the defence of one of her PhD students, Marcus Jahnke, on Friday afternoon September 20th at the HDK – School of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg I had the great fortune to reap value from all three sources—and more: I witnessed the emergence of a new twist to the academic ritual.

PhD thesis Marcus Jahnke 2013

PhD thesis Marcus Jahnke 2013

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The dean of the department of education of Philipps-Universität Marburg welcomed the participants at the conference Organisation und das Neuewith the observation that we were taking on a topic that is „widerspruchsvoll und brisant“. Can “organization”, i.e., that which orders and maintains, generate newness? He did not add “and can it do so here?” but that question was definitely on my mind as I looked around the venerable hall in the ancient university of Marburg, reminiscent of a cathedral with its organ and decorated windows. (The university was founded in 1527 and is the “oldest protestant university in the world”/Wikipedia).

 

Opening session in Philipps-Universität Marburg (photo ABA)

Opening session in Philipps-Universität Marburg (photo ABA)

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