Results of the “Future creating workshop” of and for the “Cosmobilities Network”, which took place in Holbæk/Danmark, 12-14th of March 2008.
The Cosmobilities Network connects European scientists working in the field of mobility research. It fosters mobility research as a key discipline for the modernization of European societies under the conditions of globalization and global complexity, and addresses social scientists, planners, engineers, and researchers interested in questions of technology, knowledge and the philosophy of science (STS).
The Cosmobilities workshop ‘future of the Cosmobilities Network’ took place at Roskilde University’s field station in Holbæk, 12-14 March. We were 29 participants from the Cosmobilities Network, both old and new faces who met up in tranquil settings to create new visions for the future of the network.
The workshop was an inspiring and constructive event which produced a number of new ideas on how to develop the Network further. Ideas included the evolution of the virtual communication of the Network, plans for new activities like workshops and alternative conferences and also important decisions about the direction and evolution of the Network into the future. Part of the agenda on the workshop was also to get ideas and help to manage many of the services which so far have relied on a few hardworking individuals.
The workshop clearly showed the dedication with which people participate in the theoretical and methodological discussions fostered by the Network. Having fun became one of the leading ways in which we want the Network to develop: having fun in the way we conduct the research and change mobilities research. Being among colleagues with the same dedication towards creating a network and an environment with room for differences and different understandings is what fun really is.
Another important theme came from Professor dr. Loney, who created a critique of how the world and everyday life of a researcher can look. This is an everyday life which the Cosmobilities Network can and should work as a safeguard against. Within the Network, mobility researchers from a range of different universities have found other academics with common interests, with whom they can develop new ideas and share interests – all within a growing field. This is an interest many are not so lucky as to share with colleagues within their own department.
Another important thing that clearly showed the potential of the Network were the utopias created by the workshop participants. There were 5 utopian groups who, each in their own different way, created clear visions of how the wished the future to be for cosmobilities research. The working groups created on the last day of the workshop all resulted from these utopias. This had the effect that everybody felt a clear ownership of the project which had its beginning on the last day of the workshop.
The three concrete ideas were to:
-Make a task force, which will help make decisions on the direction of the Network, how it should develop and which activities the Network may host.
-Make a virtual platform that will offer a range of different possibilities for Network members to work together despite the large physical distances. A virtual platform will also provide information to people visiting the Cosmobilities website.
-Make a ‘sandbox workshop’ where new and creative ideas within mobilities can be evolved – for instance in a collaboration with artists.
More information and a photo report of the workshop: see www.cosmobilities.net