Breakfast’n’Brainstorm

The Human Security students met the last time before Christmas for an idea-generating workshop focusing on the project placement and thesis process.

By Dikte Reeh Andersen

The Human Security program encourage all students to collect data on their third semester either abroad or in Denmark. It is a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience with qualitative methods and collaborative work with an institution, organization or company. The data collected while being on a so-called project placement, is likely to function as an integrated part of the concluding thesis for many students. Even though the deadline for signing a project-placement form, is far into the new year it is nice to begin to identify some possible cases, places and partners. That is why, four students decided to arrange a workshop and draw on the collective bank of knowledge and experiences represented in the Human Security cohort.

As the students arrived, the table for a shared breakfast filled with pasties, home-baked bread and various spreads to flavor the morning. Around thirty people gathered and grabbed the first coffee of the day while chatting to collogues. The program began at 9.30 with some open idea-generating exercises in order to get all thoughts down on paper. While sitting in groups first relating to a mutual interest in a particular security domain; Political, Environmental, Economical, Personal, Community, Food and Health, all associations was brought forward and briefly reflected upon. What does circular economy for instance entail? How would you explore this topic? What literature is written about it? How is it related to other topics? Which organizations, institutions or companies work with it?

The individual takeaway from the first exercise was a short list of sparked interests. Those were the starting point for the second exercise where students sat in groups according to what part of the world, they possess knowledge about or wants to do fieldwork in. As ideas were put on paper, it allowed group members to share personal insights to them and thereby contribute their unfolding. As the sun emerged and allowed for a break from the artificial lighting in the lecture hall, students continued to inspire each other with ideas and cases they have heard of, outside.

Moving into three larger groups after the break, the students now engaged in process-based exercises which permitted individuals to continue unraveling ideas relative to where in the process they had reached. An ‘interview exercise’ for those with little or no ideas of what to engage themselves with, a ‘speed dating exercise’ for those with various (contrasting) ideas, and finally an ‘idea developing exercise’ for those with a certain confidence of, what direction they are moving.

All in all, a great day and suitable culmination of a semester with loads of new knowledge, friendships and shared experiences.

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