Virtual Heidelberg Laureate Forum – Experiment to Experience

Over the past week, the diverse program of the Virtual Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) materialized one session at a time. Many aspects of the actual Forum were mirrored and though replicating the depth of in-person exchanges is impossible, compelling alternatives were created. Interactivity is crucial to digital events and options were plentiful at the Virtual HLF. Tools like the interactive event app or the Virtual Meeting Hub in VR were heavily employed by the young researchers during the week, proving that the dividends paid off in full.

Health and communication were common threads sewn throughout the various sessions, organically appearing in nearly each exchange. In the dialogues, laureate talks and panel discussions, those two fibers blanketed the Virtual HLF and created ripples of exchanges. The Hot Topic was a particularly obvious example where experts from various fields thoroughly analyzed the conditions of global health and evaluated current solutions. This opened the door for many discussions related to the pandemic, including important aspects as education, communication and ethical dilemmas.

Changes have occurred within the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) as well: Prof. Dr. Andreas Reuter retired from his post as Scientific Chairperson of the HLFF. However, the chair will not remain empty. His successor will be Prof. Dr. Anna Wienhard, a renowned professor of mathematics at Heidelberg University.

This experiment began with a single goal, to traverse separation together. Invaluable lessons were learned and will be applied to future HLFs, virtual or physical. Whatever the future may hold, the opportunity to evolve will infallibly exist.

All video material from the program is now available on the HLF YouTube channel under @vHLF20 or on the website in the Newsroom. Also, for a glimpse into what the event was like, be sure to check the daily Snapshots in the Newsroom.

Journalists interested in organizing interviews with previous speakers, young researchers or laureates, contact:

Category: Forum