On April 2, WikiStage held its first event at Panthéon Sorbonne. Around 50 people showed up to hear eight different WikiTalks centered around one theme: innovation. The atmosphere was bright and relaxed. Listeners were told to be curious and seek answers. Solutions to any problem can be found, but we need to pay attention to everything around us. The first speaker, Mika Mered, talked about different innovative projects in the Arctic and Antarctic from floating cities to developing tourism. For him, adaptation is key. Oliver Rohou encouraged the audience to not be ashamed about sharing their ideas. As long as you are passionate, no idea is a bad idea. For Jeanne Dussueil, people are the media innovation and anyone can be a decision maker. By using visions from abroad, we can enrich national debates. Through their talks, you can tell each speaker is driven and passionate about their ideas. It's hard not to listen and feel inspired! If you are wanting a little push in being more innovative, keep an eye out for these WikiTalks on the website!
(This article is a contribution from Oana Besnea, former PR officer at la Cité universitaire internationale universitaire de Paris.) Us, millennials, are very selective about the way we spend our time. When we attend an event, we want it to be short, energetic, and worth it. I attended a WikiStage event because of the energy and enthusiasm Johannes showed when talking about his project! I first met Johannes in a monthly brunch I used to organise with a team of brilliant students in the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris campus. We invited young individuals from around the world to give a short talk on a project of theirs. It was then that Johannes talked about WikiStage. He reached to every individual in the room, and I knew it was soon going to become global. That’s the secret if you ask me. That’s what the world needs nowadays: people with energy and initiative that make their actions matter.
On Thursday, March 26, we had the opportunity to meet and to get to know the people behind La Paillasse: a biohacking laboratory co-created by the inspiring team of young researchers, entrepreneurs, inventors, designers and hackers. Fourteen speakers put their innovative ideas into the form of a WikiTalk, each delivering a speech in only three, six or nine minutes. The topics ranged from bioproduction and autonomy to alternatives for polluting properties of chemical pigments to knowledge in the sense of shared good. Some speakers gave their own answers to questions such as, "What to do in order to manage fashion"?, "How collective intelligence could transform energy"?, and "Is Arctic the future of Saint Pierre and Miquelon"? The event was conducted by the irreplaceable Diane Lenne, manager of our WikiStage team. A big thank you to Olivier Michelot who managed to create a unique setting for the speakers, inviting the audience into the magical world of scientific experiements. Soon we will be able to share these talks with you thanks to Cyrille Tassart from the Videaux crew. Stay tuned!
I'll never forget the day I boarded my first, long distance flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Madrid, Spain. Passport clutched in my hand, my heart was pounding with adrenaline. I couldn't contain my excitement. For as long as I can remember, I've had the travel bug. I have always wanted to go and see and do. Sitting still was never an option. And four years after boarding my first long distance flight, I have been living abroad in Paris for three of those years and have visited over fifteen European countries. In his talk, "Why you should, and how you could, travel off the beaten path?" Jeremy Ximenez of WikiStage Stanford breaks down the "Where?" "How?" and "When?" for traveling off the beaten path.   Ximenez has tons of experience visiting countries that most wouldn't dare out of fear and uncertainty. While I myself haven't traveled to the countries he mentions, I have visited ones that aren't in the top five for most European travelers, and these tend to be some of my favorites. But why? In the "Where?" section, Ximenez answers that question by explaining that there are less tourists in these countries. And since there are fewer, people tend to be more hospitable and eager to meet foreigners. When I took a cab ride from the Sarajevo airport to the center of the city, my cabbie tried to give me a quick, historical tour of his city with his broken English while whizzing in and out of traffic. The man was proud of his country, and despite a language barrier, he was eager to tell a young American traveler everything he possibly could. Traveling is already something important to learn more about yourself and other cultures. But sometimes when you travel somewhere filled with tourists, it can be difficult to fully experience what the country has to offer. I've discovered that when you travel somewhere with few tourists, locals are more likely to offer a helping hand and try their hardest to ensure your visit is memorable. My stories are not as extreme as Ximenez, but they just as important to me and serve as a reminder for why I love traveling to places most people wouldn't think twice about. And this is something I keep in mind as I plan my next adventure. If you itching to travel but aren't sure where, just take a few minutes to listen to Ximenez's talk, and maybe you will have the urge to travel off the beaten path.
On Saturday, the WikiStage team met at ESCP Europe to hold one of its studio recordings. While it was a small gathering, the atmosphere was open and positive. Everyone was chatting amongst each other trying to get to know the person behind the talk. 'It was quite impressive to see people from any kind of background, any kind of studies, jobs that are pitching in three minutes what they have learned from years', said Diane Lenne, WikiStage manager. Lenne, one of 11 speakers, gave her first recorded WikiTalk on the question 'What if you would die tomorrow'? Her excitement and energy helped make her first talk a success. While there wasn't a set theme for the session, the talks were interesting and diverse. Alexandre Maurin discussed 'How to live in the present'?, Pierre Chevelle explained 'How to change the world in two hours'? and Abhinav Agarwal gave his opinion on 'How Shrek is an entrepreneur'? (And yes, that last one is about Shrek from the DreamWorks animated film.) The recordings will be up on the website in the next week giving you the chance to listen and see what sticks in your mind. 'What had been said, it stuck in our minds'. said Lenne. 'We remember it very well, and I can almost repeat all the talks by heart'.
WikiStage SoScience welcomed over 50 guests to its first WikiStage event on May 16 to learn about Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The day was divided into three sessions, each dealing with the point of RRI and the form it can take. The first session had the difficult task of introducing the audience to the basics of RRI. Thomas Busuttil introduced the goals of RRI by answering the question, "Is sustainable development a major leverage for a new humanism?" Daphne Carthy followed by showing how responsible research can be profitable by answering the question, "How to combine responsibility and performance during the innovation processes?" Since funding is crucial to complete research, Gilles Bruneaux explained how to select research projects that can be most profitable for society. Finally, Anastasia Mandraveli convinced us about the deep relationship between innovation and law. Following a quick snack break, thanks to our partner Puerto Cacao, audience members were able to discover exceptional RRI projects during the second session. The session started in an unusual way because theatre actors “Mises en Pièces” tried to humorously explain how to cook french fries in a responsible and eco-friendly way. Akpéli Nordor talked about translational research while both Adel Mebarki and Redhouane Abdelloui showed us how social networks can be useful for future health system.    Ladislas De Toldi explained how robotics can improve the lives for some children, and Sandra Rey presented nature as an infinite source of inspiration for innovation After another break, we were ready to learn how to help RRI become viral and inspire everyone in society. This third session kicked off with another humorous skit from “Mises en Pièces” who pretended to perform irresponsible research as a way for audience members to better understand the importance of responsible research. Celya Gruson-Daniel explained the importance of developing open science for both society and for RRI. Lionel Larqué had the audience reflect about the complex relationship between science and society. The event ended with Alexandra Ivanovitch discussing new educative methodologies for the future relationship between science and society. At the end of the day, all of the participants at WikiStage SoScience were aware of RRI's goals and how crucial it is to continue spreading spread this idea over the world!