Yámana Science and Technology hosts its second Science ‘UnSummit’ at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

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On April 24th and 25th, an extraordinary and diverse group of thought-leaders, authors, communications experts, technologists, engineers, and scientists gathered for the second Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012, a part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC. Larry Bock, the founder of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, gave opening remarks in which he called passionately for celebrating science and engaging our youth in discovery and exploration.

The emerging theme of the Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012 was “Collaboration, not Competition.” In a series of brief presentations, new ingredients for innovation supported by collaboration were discussed. Derek Neighbors, co-founder of Gangplank in Chandler Arizona, mesmerized the audience with his message of changing STEM through people, rather than processes, and a strong call to change the culture of science.

Elizabeth Gerber of the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University discussed the impact engineering students are having on their local communities through a “Do-it-Together” (DIT) program named “Design for America.” Jaime Lester of George Mason University reflected on the components that are necessary for “Organizing Higher Education for Collaboration,” noting that over 50% of University collaborations fail due to issues of culture, leadership and lack of supportive structures. Matt Clark of the Council on Competitiveness discussed the importance of iterative cycles of collaborative feedback, and the innovation challenge America faces if the feedback cycle is missing when manufacturing occurs offshore. Other presentations, on trust in the workplace, collaboration in drug design, hands-on learning for science, technology, engineering and math and the National Science Foundation’s approach to innovation through policy informed the conversations to follow.

After the morning presentations, the Science 'UnSummit' 2012 participants rolled up their sleeves in Open Space sessions and addressed many facets of the serious organizational challenges confronting science in the 21st century. Utilizing the innovative Open Space Technology, participants created the agenda on-site and designed sessions that covered the topics of greatest interest and impact. The outcome of these sessions identified crucial areas for innovation including: new objectives in STEM education and cross-culture collaboration in education, science communication, design principles, and policy.

About Yámana Science and Technology (http://www.yamanascience.org)
Yámana Science and Technology is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established in Washington DC in 2008, which envisions a science culture where both people and ideas flourish in the presence of effective support, balanced lifestyles, and thriving workplaces. Their mission is to be the touchstone for a fundamental change in the way people work together to 'do' science.

About Science 'UnSummit' 2012
Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012 is the second working conference designed to form dynamic, self-organizing and interactive teams that will allow scientists, as an integral part of society, to effectively address the complex challenges facing our world today.

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Kennan Salinero
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