2. DK-X-Change

The second DK-X-Change in Obergurgl from 25.-29. July was once again dedicated to interdisciplinary networking and scientific writing. Organized in a successful cooperation between the Transfer Office Science - Economy - Society, the Writing Center of the ULB Tirol and the research area EPoS, more than 35 participants joint this year.

 In a unique way this format joints faculty and PhD students together and creates many opportunities for exchange and collaboration. The interdisciplinary group consisted of members of the following five doctoral programs (DC): DC #OrganizingtheDigital, DC Political Institutions and Leadership in a Contingent World, DC Borders, Border Shifts and Border Crossings in Language, Literature, Media, DC Austrian Studies and DC Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions.




Keep it local. To get in the mood for our week in the Ötztal, our first stop was at the sheep wool center of the Regensburger family. Joachim Regensburger gave us an insight into the importance of sheep farming for the region, how to deal with the issue of profitability, but also the specifics of mindful handling of people and resources. From the freshly delivered wool to the finished product, we were able to visit all steps and gain some interesting facts as well as some haptic and olfactory impressions.


Welcome round. After a joint lunch, a first round of getting to know each other followed under the expert guidance of Florian Westereich (BFÖ). 90 seconds, 1 slide, my name, my research was the task. Afterwards, Daniela Rothe (head of the writing center at ULB Tirol) kicked off the writing retreat. In a first planning session the foundations for the week was established,  how to work concentrated on the individual PhD projects.





Writing space. For the 16 PhD students, the focus was on working on their projects. The writing week enabled both concentrated work on one's own text project as well as an exchange about writing goals and work progress at the beginning and in the middle of the working day. The writing room was open at all times and many participants used the afternoons to continue working on their projects.



During a coffee break in the afternoon, there was the opportunity to exchange ideas about writing experiences and writing strategies. Based on topics suggested by the participants, topics such as revision strategies (Germano, W.: "Revision. The only writing that counts"), dealing with reviews, and the special challenges of working on a monograph (How to write THE book. Chances and challenges) were discussed in a guided but rather informal round. The topic "How to handle more than one (writing) project at a time" was particularly well received.


Learning from each other. The faculty of the individual doctoral colleges had the opportunity to get to know each other more closely and to discuss organizational and strategic topics in a joint meeting. A review of the synergies and projects that have emerged in recent months showed the added value of a regular meeting and increased the motivation to collaborate even more this upcoming year.


Clever minds. To accelerate networking and getting to know each other, there was an opportunity to compete in teams on the second evening. Various tasks could be mastered through joint dexterity, creativity and agility, and a detailed analysis at the bar afterwards was of course not to be missed.




Explore nature. On Wednesday afternoon, all those interested had the opportunity to delve deeper into the special features of the mountain world and its inhabitants. Together with the managing director of the Ötztal Nature Park, Thomas Schmarda, and the head of the Alpine research facilities, Klaus Schallhart we visited the Nature Park Infopoint, and made our way back down (2,5h hike) to the valley with a great view of the glaciers. On the way, we received some information about the research projects up here, about the flora and fauna as well as on the impressive mountain scenery. The view of the steadily retracting ice masses was already a preview of the next evening.


Broaden your horizon. The topics of climate change, sustainability and interdisciplinarity dominated the evening through several short films and impulses moderated by Günter Scheide from the Transfer Office. Birgit Sattler and Klemens Weisleitner from the Department of Ecology spanned the arc from the melting glaciers of the Ötztal to the challenges at the polar ice caps. The consequences of global warming cannot be denied and were also remarkably and admonishingly staged in the project "Zuchtgletscher" (Breeding Glaciers) by Christian Ruschitzka of the Vienna University of Applied Arts and his interdisciplinary team. Afterwards Manu Delago showed with his Recycling Tour on the basis of a "bicycle concert tour" that also in the music industry a resource-saving life style is possible. The night concluded with an impressive contribution to the meanwhile failed “Gletscherehe” in the Pitztal with different facets to the prestine alpine nature worth protecting. As different as the approaches of the individual areas are, they all unmistakably show the acute call for action and the necessity that we all act together preserve our nature for future generations.






Beyond Obergurgl. The week ended with a review of the writing goals achieved and a feedback session on the individual formats and impulses. The DK-X-Change showed once again how important interdisciplinary networking is for us as scientists, but also how important the distance to the daily work, fixed writing times and the exchange with other writers are for the progress of the work. Inspired by the participants, the idea arose to organize a regular writing day for DC members (Friday, 9 am - 4 pm) at the Writing Center of the ULB Tirol, based on the writing routine established together in Obergurgl. This will take place every two weeks starting September 9th.


 Thank you for a wonderful week!

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