Christoph Fahle
February 11, 2012

University 2.0 - For The

Eminent European universities, founded in cities such as Bologna, Cambridge, and Oxford, began as a new kind of space where people could congregate and begin to create, share, and develop knowledge—as centres of learning.Nearly a millennium later, many other spaces—from coworking spaces like betahaus, to a multitude of online platforms such as Wikipedia or YouTube—have taken on this very role that universities once had. This development led to drastic changes in how we create and share knowledge, raising the question of whether or not the traditional university is even necessary in today’s world.

Eminent European universities, founded in cities such as Bologna, Cambridge, and Oxford, began as a new kind of space where people could congregate and begin to create, share, and develop knowledge—as centres of learning. Nearly a millennium later, many other spaces—from coworking spaces like betahaus, to a multitude of online platforms such as Wikipedia or YouTube—have taken on this very role that universities once had. This development led to drastic changes in how we create and share knowledge, raising the question of whether or not the traditional university is even necessary in today’s world.

In fact, we already see distinguished professors beginning to leave academic powerhouses such as Stanford, and deciding to teach online instead. Given this reality, it is clear that universities now face a deep challenge of reinventing themselves to suit the needs and methods of learning in the digital age. We have invited four distinguished guests to present their perspectives and ideas on the matter:

  • Dale J. Stephens, founder of the UnCollege movement, questions whether university is necessary to learning and personal development, and is challenging the high costs of college.
  • Dr. Stephan Breidenbach, founding Dean of Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance, recognises the pressing need for universities to stay relevant, and is actively working on reforming the way in which knowledge is created and shared at the university. Dr. Breidenbach is currently advising German Chancelor Angela Merkel on the question; "How do we want to learn?" - one of three main topics to be discussed in a dialogue on Germany's future.

Anna-Lena Schindl is a third-year B.Sc. Physics student at Jacobs University and organizer of the first TEDx conference at a German university. Its topic: Educate Concerned Citizens.Hannes Kloepper, M.P.P. is cofounder of iversity, an academic collaboration platform and educational startup near Berlin. He studied at many prestigious universities, and believes there is a strong need for digital & curricular reform.

The third betahaus Salon will bring together various ideas and insights surrounding the issue of University 2.0 – the reinvention of higher education in the 21st century.

We are looking forward to discussing the reinvention of higher education in the 21st century with these speakers, betahaus members, and guests on Tuesday, February 14, at 19:00 in the 4th Floor Arena. For the love of learning.

Check the General & Upcoming section for more announcements and upcoming events in the 'haus!

Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.

Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.


If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.


Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!


A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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