Think Corner: Thanks to all involved

Hello everyone,

Between August 25th – September 13th 2014, the University staged a major public engagement ‘experiment’. For 3 weeks the University’s  Public Engagement Working Group ran our first ever research pop-up shop called ‘Think Corner’, in the heart of Birmingham’s city centre. Every day Think Corner welcomed in the general public to come meet, chat and engage with some of our brightest and most enthusiastic researchers, who each contributed different activities and displays in an ever-changing 3 week programme of events.

During our residency at the Pavilions Shopping Centre, we hosted researchers from Physics to Psychology, Chemistry to English Literature, Medicine to Social Work and much more. I’m glad to say that overall the experience has been a great success and much has been learned along the way.

Think Corner: Popping Up When You Least Expect It

For a few years now, we’ve been talking about the idea of doing a ‘pop-up’ showcase of the University’s research. This format is absolutely brilliant for short-term engagement initiatives – from artistic activities with children we’ve run in the Mailbox to Nottingham’s 3-2-1-Ignition! However, it can also provide proof-of-principle that public spaces can work terrifically well for longer-term engagement platforms. I was fortunate enough to visit the University of Helsinki last year to visit its Think Corner public engagement space, and what I saw blew me away.

THINK CORNER

March 22 – April 20, 2014

Think Corner is a ground-breaking public engagement project which will take research out of the confines of campus and instead showcase it directly within the local community for a period of one whole month. Think Corner will be a ‘pop-up’ shop in the city centre that will provide a space for the research community to engage the public of Birmingham in a two-way dialogue about research: encouraging discussion about the value and importance of University of Birmingham research and the roles that the public have to play in benefiting from or helping shape this research.