SAGE Bionetworks Assembly 2015 at Institut Pasteur, Paris—Open science, social innovation and education: deconstructing silos and anchoring in the city.

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Update: you can now watch all the video of the event here.

SAGE Bionetworks is one of the largest non-profit organizations promoting open science and involvement of patients in the research process. Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 16-18/2015), it organized for the first time its general assembly outside the American continent. And for this first try, they chose Paris, specifically the Institut Pasteur to meet various players from around the world, in connection with their activities. The main topic that guided his three days mixing presentations, discussions and workshops, was: “Let’s open the silos between open science, open education, open social impact.” As you can imagine, we did not hesitate long to register, and even to present a HackYourPhD poster. Here is the result:


How to summarize such an event: happiness! The assembly brought together stakeholders from around the world, as different in their approaches similar in their intentions. Covering topics such as social entrepreneurship, open science, open education and new business models for openness. The talks invited participants to combine those different fields with a serious reflection on shared goals and collective consistency of the approach.

The highlight of this gathering was to reflect collectively on how to deconstruct “silos.” These separations often form unconsciously between actors of open science, those of open education, and all the others who act in the field of innovation for social purposes. The second day was the opportunity to invite all participants—researchers, students, entrepreneurs—to form small discussion groups traveling in the city of Paris. The objective was try to break those “silos” by revisiting a the concept of town together. All the proposals were presented at the Paris city hall. Through those presentations, it emerged that the city is now a campus, a univer-city where people who wants to improve public spaces should listen to communities and help them address their problems instead of imposing external solutions.

The first evening, UNESCO also invited participants to question possible conciliation in Science between the goal of reach theoretical understanding and the goal of apply/use knowledge in connection with the Society. The “Pasteur Cadrant” shown below illustrates nicely the issue.



This is what seems to have put together SAGE and the Institut Pasteur for this 2015 assembly; where SAGE is coming from an American model and move towards social issue, the Institut Pasteur is coming from a French perspective and move towards business models at the interface between fundamental and applied research .

In any case, next year, SAGE does not return to America! The organization will continue to open to the world. The location of 2016 Assembly has already been announced: it will be China! … and HackYourPhD will be there, hopefully 😉

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