CoCoon Workshop in Helsinki to Shape Future of Bio-design Education and Policies
Thora Oskarsdottir & Ena Naito
12 de setembro de 2023 às 22:00:00
In September, the CoCoon team gathered at Aalto University for their second project meeting. The highlight of this gathering was the CoCoon Co-Creation Workshop, which brought together a diverse group of stakeholders.
In September, the CoCoon team gathered at Aalto University for their second project meeting. The highlight of this gathering was the CoCoon Co-Creation Workshop, organized by Ena Naito, a doctoral researcher at Aalto University. The workshop brought together diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, educators, students, creative thinkers, investors and engaged citizens.
The primary goal of this workshop was to gain a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in mainstreaming bio-design practices and education. Officially titled the "CoCoon Diagnostic Co-Creation Workshop: Focus on Needs for Change and Improvement," this event acted as a bridge, connecting the realms of design, education, and policy-making through the lens of bio-design and green innovation.
The workshop explored various topics, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nature-based Solutions (NbS), biomaterials, biotechnology, entrepreneurship, and safety. It provided a platform for attendees to engage with these pressing issues and collaboratively seek innovative solutions.
The event commenced with inspirational talks from experts in the field. Gregoire Douxchamps, CoCoon's project officer, infused the gathering with enthusiasm for the project's mission. Dr. Pirjo Kääriäinen, an esteemed Associate Professor at Aalto University, discussed the current state of bio-design, setting the stage for a day of insightful discussions.Petra Tarjanne, the Ministerial adviser at Innovations and Enterprise Financing Department on Creative Economy, provided valuable insights into the policies governing innovation in Finland. She pointed in her speech that dialogue with the ecosystem is paramount on the road to growth for bio-design. The steps to growth is to define the concept of bio-design, record the challenges, agree on key players, record data, interpret measures and lastly implement. Dr. Carla Paoliello and Dr. Gabriel Patrocinio introduced CoCoon's first deliverable, "POLICIES REVIEW - BARRIERS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAINSTREAMING BIO-DESIGN EDUCATION AND PRACTICES."
The heart of the workshop lay in the thematic tables, where participants engaged in dynamic discussions and shared their ideas. These conversations spanned crucial areas such as the transition from design to bio-design policies, the pivotal role of bio-design and bio-fabrication in innovation, and the future of design in education. Notably, integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into bio-design education emerged as a topic of significant interest, reflecting the evolving nature of the field.
Ena Naito reflects, "It's crucial to be able to integrate knowledge from diverse fields and stakeholders - especially since bio-design is still an evolving concept. The workshop was not only an opportunity to cultivate innovative discussions across topics we identified, but it also gave rise to many other considerations and needs in developing the trajectory of CoCoon."
The CoCoon Diagnostic Co-Creation Workshop underlined the importance of platforms for stakeholders to amplify their voices and collectively shape the trajectory of bio-design. It marked a significant stride toward mainstreaming bio-design education and practices, emphasizing the urgency of bridging the so-called "valley of death" to develop bio-design ideas. Participants underscored the challenges in transitioning concepts from the laboratory to advanced stages of technological development, emphasizing the need to support graduate students with viable bio-design ideas, potentially through proof of concept centers and funding mechanisms. The insights and ideas generated during this workshop are expected to be pivotal in guiding the project's impact.