The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum “Portal to the World” is conceived as a space of encounters and discourse about belonging and connectedness in a growingly disembedded social world. It is a place of reflection on local identity in global openness, a concept that is one of the core elements of both the spirit of the state of Bremen and the mission of Jacobs University. Our campus is the ideal environment for encounters, of intersections of local and global, past and future. People from the University, together with Bremen citizens will reflect on the history of our Campus and its environs, on the region’s history and its “glocal” connectedness with the world and will even be able to experience global events locally.
In a nutshell, the The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum “Portal to the World” project will be both a portal to the outside for our students and a portal into Jacobs University to our neighbors, the residents of Bremen. It is destined to become a breeding ground for evidence-based development of new, innovative forms of student-centred and project-based learning, while fostering an intense cross-disciplinary collaboration for the Jacobs University faculty – all the while connecting our region to us, and us to our region. It will serve as a didactic Petri-dish, an ideal environment for the development of innovative projects in the context of the “Community Impact Project” (CIP) approach, where Jacobs University encourages its’ students to apply what they have learned, academically, in a real-world problem-solving context in our region, thus contributing to the region they have been living and studying in.
Students will explore our complex campus history, researching also the dark side of the history of our neighbourhood and create “Virtual Stumbling Stones” (based on the concept of “Stolpersteine”) and other GIS based AR-exhibits. Projects will also research our neighbourhood as a starting and ending point of migration and international connections, creating Audiotours of our regions’ history. The museum will also invite non-academic citizens of Bremen to take part in our students’ exciting excursions live in a virtual reality settings, created in our museum, locally – be that with robots on volcanoes or out on maritime excursions.
On the long run, the “Portal to the World” Hybrid Museum will offer a sustainable multitude of potential student projects in the context of CIPs because it is sustainably operated and maintained on the grounds of ongoing further student CIP initiatives, mandatory for every generation of Jacobs University students. They will do their research guided by a specialist, integrating their own experiences, biographies, and self-reflection in the research process and answer directly for the results. Constant exchange and communication will be crucial, as students will do their research cooperating across disciplines and with other groups contributing to the common goal: the creation of the museum. For their supervision, a group of experts and lecturers will be created.
It is to be expected that a phase of reflection on their connections to our region, the “meaning of Bremen”, with its culture and history, will enhance building stronger (emotional) ties of our international students to our region after they have left us again. This is of special importance with those who go back to their home country – Bremen could even expect a positive economic effect based on this building and strengthening of bridges.
Among some of the foreseen Projects that the Museum will develop are the following: