Dr. Markus Zanner


Chancellor of the Technical University of Nuremberg

Dr. Markus Zanner Copyright: © Erich Waha/ericwaha.de

Crisis As an Opportunity? How Much Innovation Potential Is There for Universities in Crisis Management?

Opportunities and chances are just as integral features of a crisis as the risks and dangers of failure. If this can also be applied to the Covid crisis, it could mean a sensational innovation boost for our scientific landscape – or serious losses and failures. Many digitization projects have accelerated tremendously in the last 20 months:

Non-digital processes that had been outdated for some time. Tools were in use that were known in theory but seemingly not needed in practice. A true "digital innovation pressure" was only felt as a result of the pandemic. This raises the following questions:

Do these change processes have a lasting impact or do they fall victim to the (arguably deeply human) habit of resuming "business as usual" as quickly as possible?

Has the crisis lasted long enough for the new forms of communication, teaching, and administrative cutbacks to become sufficiently entrenched in our science system?

Will conservative university structures turn back the clock? What does this mean for organizational structures in academia?

Do we have to wait for delays in recruiting, where digital communication reaches its limits? Who will sift through, analyze, and consolidate meaningful changes in academic activities?