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!

Claudius: Design is the core of what we do and what we’re all passionate about, but hardly our only focus. Design, at LAUDO, stands more for designing a whole strategy, often very close connected with marketing. We’re developing websites and apps for our clients, but also help them reach their target audience through SEO, Google ranking developing newsletter systems, print brochures etc.

Claudius: A lot of other companies are seeing themselves as a service provider and don’t really question what their client wants and why. We pay very close attention if the work we provide for a client is in line with our personal values and vision. It’s not just delivering a product to the client, getting the paycheck and leaving, but also building relationships with clients and collaborating. Because they are often our doors to new opportunities

We see LAUDO as an airport, where the clients are our gates to new guests, new perspectives and new potential clients. It happens all the time that whoever we’re working for, from there we get a new project, which wasn’t planned before. So we open up a new gate. That’s how we were able to grow and why good connection with our clients is so crucial for us.’

‘’We see LAUDO as an airport, where the clients are our gates to new guests, new perspectives and new potential clients. It happens all the time that whoever we’re working for, from there we get a new project, which wasn’t planned before. So we open up a new gate. That’s how we were able to grow and why good connection with our clients is so crucial for us.’’
Photos by Lea GK

Orietta: I think one thing that makes us stand out on the market and our number one strength is the team. We’re a small team and we all look in the same direction and have the same approach and vision. That makes the communication go smoothly.

Joey: Another thing is that we have a very hands-on approach. We are the guys, who say: ‘’Okay, let’s do it’’. That’s our culture.

Orietta: When we started looking for a place I was already involved in the betahaus community. Working from previous betahaus locations and attending the community events, I already knew a lot of people in the 'haus ...

Joey: Yes, I remember on the first day we came to betahaus Orietta was like ‘’Oh, hey! Hi! Hey, how are you doing? Hi!'' giving high-fives to everybody and we were like: What is going on, why does she know everybody?!

Orietta: Well, the vibe in betahaus is just super easy going. You directly feel that you can meet people easily. If you go to the kitchen for example and just ask ''Hey how are you, what are you working on?''. We made many new contacts too.

Claudius: What makes it nice here is that people are enjoying being here and working on their projects.

Photos by Lea GK

Claudius: The truth is, we could probably afford an office for the same price, but that would put us between these four walls, which put you into a box, much harder to exit and to connect with new people. We went for a Team Desk because here we have so much more space and everything seems much more connected. You can easily meet people.

Orietta: And it’s just so spacious here. We have this super nice garden.

Claudius: I like being focused on my work but I also like if someone disturbs me from time to time. It helps when the door opens. In an office we would work in a whole different way. Here Gillord (Coworking Manager) is coming in everyday, giving me a hug, telling me about his workout .. that’s the main reason - the personal connection.

The day in betahaus starts with a hug and ends with a hug. The time in between is pretty much spent on doing what you love.
Photos by Lea GK


After you’ve taken care of your paperwork and you’ve signed up both in Bürger- and Finanzamt, you are all set up to start working. One of the best ways to get integrated into the city fast, meet like-minded people, and even find clients is by working from a coworking space. There are tons of benefits for freelancers and luckily Berlin has a lot to offer in this way. A coworking space is a physically collaborative shared workspace, which brings all kinds of creatives and entrepreneurs together. It’s a perfect place for startups, freelancers, digital nomads and even corporates searching for innovation. And it’s the biggest advantage towards the typical office space is that it pushes a collaborative exchange between its members and facilitates the creative process and networking.

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