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Next Grand Challenge: Topic Collection and Topic Grouping

Topic collection and topic grouping have been completed. The Berlin University Alliance would like to thank all committed researchers, students, and young people for their participation in the participatory process of the Next Grand Challenge so far. We are pleased to present the topics here and are looking forward to the Next Grand Challenge Forum in February 2023, where the next step will be the topic evaluation.

Result of (Topic) Grouping

Of the topics submitted by researchers and students in the course of the topic collection, 28 topics were chosen for grouping. In the youth workshops and in the idea camp, a further 15 topics were proposed by young people. We were able to divide the total of 43 topics into the following 5 categories.

Note: The topics are presented in the form and language in which they were submitted. Detailed information on the categories and topics can be found by clicking on the respective titles.

Green urban spaces:
Creating and Researching Sustainable and Climate-neutral Cities

Resources & Sustainability:
Developing Alternative Materials – Exploring Sustainable Cycles

Innovation in Times of Crisis:
Shaping Transfer Cooperatively

Balances in the Anthropocene

Education & Individual Development:
Strengthening Competencies – Improving Opportunities


The submitted topic proposals were grouped into topic areas using an inductive approach. For this purpose, all proposals were reviewed, analyzed, and related to each other. This made it possible to identify similarities and overlaps between the proposals and to integrate knowledge. Five topic areas emerged.

The method of qualitative content analysis was used for grouping (Mayring 2002). This topic analysis allows the identification of topics that emerge from the proposals. It is a frequently used method of qualitative data analysis, especially in the social sciences. Topic grouping involves the following steps: An overall intersubjective impression of content and meaning is obtained by repeatedly reading the topic proposals. The data are tagged with keywords (so-called "codes") that represent the main topic. In the synopsis, commonalities in the codes are identified and grouped into topics. The topic areas identified are then reviewed, refined, and, if necessary, merged or split. Finally, the topic areas are assigned a name that reflects their content and meaning and the respective topic area is described in a short text.


Mayring, Philipp (2002): Einführung in die qualitative Sozialforschung. Eine Anleitung zu qualitativem Denken. 5. Aufl., Weinheim, Basel: Beltz Verlag.