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Berlin thinks ahead. Researches differently. More innovatively. And confronts the global challenges of our time. The Berlin University Alliance (BUA) is a consortium consisting of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The scholars and scientists of the BUA's partner institutions have come together to find answers to the major questions of the 21st century and thus to confront its global challenges – Grand Challenges.

In a joint process of participants from science and society, we were seeking to identify the topic for our Next Grand Challenge. The selected topic will be researched by the BUA scholars and scientists in an inter- and transdisciplinary approach.

We consciously relied on this open and innovative approach to topic identification and sought topics from the existing research priorities as well as from emerging and new fields of research.

We were therefore particularly curious to find out which global issues are currently of most interest to young people, researchers, and students in Berlin.

Our cooperation was divided into four phases. The entire process from the collection to the selection of topics was transparent and could be watched online. The topic collection phase ended on 31 October 2022. Subsequently, the topics were grouped into topic areas. On February 28, the topics were concretized and evaluated at the Next Grand Challenge Forum. The contents of the participatory process were brought together into topic profiles, documented and forwarded to the Board of Directors of the Berlin University Alliance for the final selection of the topic for the Next Grand Challenge. For more details on the four phases of topic submission, please refer to the FAQs.

The Berlin University Alliance would like to thank all committed participants for their involvement in the participatory process of the Next Grand Challenge.

How could I get involved

Young People
Researchers and Students

For Young People:

© Johannes Telgenbüscher

Impressions of Our Youth Workshops

  • Workshop 1 - Science and its Methodology: September 3rd and 4th 2022
  • Workshop 2 - Creativity Techniques for your Future Topic: September 10th and 11th 2022
  • Workshop 3 - How to Convince Others and Present Ideas: September 24th and 25th 2022
  • Idea Camp - Your Next Grand Challenge Ideas: October 1st - 3rd 2022
  • Topic submission: October 4th - 31st 2022
  • Next Grand Challenge Forum – Joint discussion of the topic submissions: February 2023

For Researchers and Students:

  • Information and Networking Lunch
    17 October 2022
  • Topic submission: July 4th - October 31st 2022
  • Next Grand Challenge Forum – Joint discussion of the topic submissions: February 2023

All knowledge is valuable

The film "Transdisziplinäre Forschung: Was ist das eigentlich [Transdisciplinary Research: What Is That Actually?]" explains the transdisciplinary research method simply and understandably and demonstrates the interplay of knowledge between different people from science and society in research, in the same way as it will transpire in the Next Grand Challenge.