A once-in-a life time opportunity: planning a space for science for an academic community, a complex and creative planning opportunity. How to get it right?
Recognize that although complex, the process of planning for new spaces for science is straightforward, similar to that needed to achieve any major academic initiative. The first step is to establish a clear vision that has wide-spread and visible community ownership and that becomes the foundation from which subsequent goals and strategies are determined.
This vision must evolve from extended conversations (time consuming and sometimes contentious) about the nature of learning for the 21st century students who will use the spaces, about the nature of the culture of your community they will serve, and about the power and potential of 21st century technologies to strengthen student learning and community culture. Finally, these conversations must connect to the larger context in which your community pursues its vision and goals for student learning.
Shaping a vision for 21st century learning is where the complexity begins. Questions will soon surface that call for significant, campus-wide introspection about the institutional future.