In Blog, Blog 2023, Uncategorized
Making globalisation processes visible on the groundGlobalisation affects our world in diverse and complex ways. Based on the work at gd:c, the transfer project Global Munich shows how dis:connective globalisation processes shape the city of Munich, ranging from historical examples to astonishing contemporary references. From economic and cultural connections to more or less visible borders, Munich is linked to the world in many ways. But how do these links become manifest in the city itself? What makes Munich a global city? The gd:c TransferLab is the brains and motor behind Global Munich. The mission of the TransferLab is to develop applications for our output and to draw on current developments in the field of transfer. Transfer refers to the ‘dialogical communication and transfer of scientific findings to society, culture, the economy and politics’ and vice versa. Global Munich applies the concept of dis:connective globalisation to the city of Munich and relates it to concrete examples in the most local of contexts. It will create public documentation and provide opportunities for gd:c staff and fellows to get involved in the process. And Global Munich will engage stakeholders outside the university.
Munich as a global city? A first (dis:)connective look at the cityDue to its diverse connections to the world, Munich is a vivid example of how globalisation processes form a dense network. The city is a transport hub in the air and on land. People and goods move in all directions, as do data. This connectivity is the heart of Munich's globally connected economy. Munich is home to some of Germany's largest companies, and many international corporations do business here. Munich is a locus for culture and the arts, home to globally active and connected publishing houses, advertising agencies, film producers, art collections and museums. Tourism is a key economic factor, and the city receives millions of guests annually. Munich is also a magnet for international emigrants who contribute to a lively cultural exchange. Globalisation processes pervade the city and leave their visible and less visible traces all over the cityscape and in the lifeworlds of both visitors and inhabitants of Munich. Many of these links and connections have a long history and reach back to imperial times or even further. Think of the Orientalism mirrored in the Chinese Tower in the English Garden, the role of the Bavarian ‘Chinese warriors’ from the Max II barracks in quelling the Boxer Rebellion and the global branding success of the ‘world's largest folk festival’, the Oktoberfest. Small wonder that the first impulse to document and make visible the various manifestations of these links originally came from the field of history. Global Munich takes its cue from this historical approach and extends it into the contemporary realm.
The concept of transfer in Global MunichA particular concept of transfer underlies the content and methods of the TransferLab. Every transfer project must confront the question of what transfer means. What is to be ‘transferred’, how and why? What is the added value of the concept? There is no single definition of transfer. A range of transfer activities can perform the underlying transfer (Latin trānsferre = ‘to carry from one place to another’) of findings and knowledge, for instance in fields such as relationship management, entrepreneurship, scientific consulting, science dialogue and research and development with society. Alongside the existence of the necessary institutional prerequisites, the quality of transfer depends on ‘more or less comprehensive, forward-looking, longer-term and interactive or dialogical processes’. Accordingly, ‘a simple linear model of transfer in the sense of transferring already acquired explicit and documented knowledge to other areas of society is unrealistic in most cases and falls short’. The TransferLab at gd:c is guided by the purpose of developing persuasive and innovative transfer, and Global Munich is one of its best examples. The historical data and sources on global places in Munich that our colleagues at the history department have gathered provide the raw material for a long-term transfer process that does not presuppose an epistemic conclusion, but expands and creates new knowledge on the basis of dialogue. The process pursues five principal goals:
- rooting the concept of dis:connective globalisation in the documentation of concrete local examples
- illuminating Munich’s municipal history and present from a new globally dis:connected perspective
- involving gd:c staff and fellows in a transfer project right at their doorstep
- systematically planning and implementing transfer activities, ranging from (dialogue-oriented) research communication to participatory processes involving non-academic stakeholders
- making the concept of dis:connectivity accessible to target groups outside the university
Modules of Global MunichGlobal Munich operates across these diverse transfer contexts with three modules, each of which relates to both content and methodology:
- opening the historical perspective to (interdisciplinary) contemporary references
- involving gd:c staff and fellows
- involving stakeholders outside the university