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Falling Walls 2020 REMOTE: The Breakthroughs of the Year

Information on Falling Walls Berlin - 2020

As much as the Covid-19 crisis restricts personal gatherings in 2020, it opens up a new opportunity for Falling Walls to overcome the limitations of a traditional conference through innovative, open and engaging digital formats (Never waste a crisis!). This year, Falling Walls Berlin will shift from a series of meetings and one conference with a limited number of speakers and topics to a global showcase that gathers, celebrates and discusses a much broader set of the most recent breakthroughs in science and society – The Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year. Falling Walls Berlin also wants to contribute to the post-corona agenda through dedicated sessions. This year, Falling Walls Berlin will not be taking all of your time for a couple of days, including travel, but rather share thrilling research for a few minutes per day over several weeks, with a global digital meeting on 9 November.

To highlight breakthrough thinking from all over the world, Falling Walls Berlin call for your nominations for the most recent breakthroughs in ten categories, from life sciences to science management. 

Call for nominations


The Call for Nominations in 10 categories

Falling Walls Berlin calls leading academics and world-class academic institutions from around the world – universities, research organisations, companies, private and public research centres, academies, research funders, foundations and individuals – for their nominations in ten categories:

(1) Life Sciences,
(2) Physical Sciences,
(3) Engineering and Technology,
(4) Social Sciences and the Humanities,
(5) Science in the Arts,
(6) Digital Education,
(7) Science and Innovation Management,
(8) Emerging Talents (Falling Walls Lab),
(9) Science Start-ups (Falling Walls Venture),
(10) Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage).


The five-step procedure
STEP 1: NOMINATIONS. The first step is a brief nomination summary, about 500 characters plus links, to be entered here. Falling Walls Berlin asks every institution for only one nomination per category, i.e. your institution can nominate up to ten breakthroughs. If another outstanding breakthrough takes place in a specific category over the course of the next months after a first nomination was made, a second nomination is possible. The nomination period starts immediately and ends on 1 September. However, Falling Walls Berlin urges you to enter your nominations as fast as possible to make Step 3 most meaningful. If you have questions regarding any criteria of the nominations, don’t hesitate to Falling Walls Berlin.

STEP 2: FINALISTS. Your nomination is immediately reviewed by Falling Walls Berlin together with external experts continuously. If it is accepted, Falling Walls Berlin will ask for a short visual presentation. Falling Walls Berlin will help you with detailed guidelines and briefings to record your best video.

STEP 3: GLOBAL PERCEPTION. Falling Walls Berlin will continuously announce the finalists and display their videos and make their outstanding work recognised to foster a scholarly and public debate about the contribution of science to society – via social media, newsletters and on our growing library at falling-walls.com, as well as on the platforms of our partners.

STEP 4: CATEGORY DAYS/BERLIN SCIENCE WEEK. Over ten days from the end of October to the beginning of November, each day will be dedicated to a different category, to recognise and discuss the ten respective winners individually, as identified by distinguished juries. At the end of the day, the breakthrough of the year in each category will be selected by the corresponding jury (but the overall winner will not be announced before 9 November 2020). In addition, digital live expert panel discussions open to the public (“Circle Tables“) will highlight the post-corona-agenda in various fields. The category days and Circle Tables are part of the (2020 Remote) Berlin Science Week.

STEP 5: FALLING WALLS DAY 9 NOVEMBER 2020/THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FALLING WALLS BREAKTHROUGHS OF THE YEAR. On 9 November 2020, the anniversary of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, the ten Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year (one per category) will be made public, and the people and institutions who made them possible will be honoured in a live digital session. In this event, a “Circle Tables“ of distinguished world leaders will discuss the post-corona agendas of the various fields. All material will be made available permanently and for free on our falling-walls.com library to allow global access and inspiration.

Please feel free to distribute this Call for Nominations within your networks, Falling Walls Berlin would highly appreciate your support. The nomination deadline is 1 September 2020, however, Falling Walls Berlin again urge you to enter your nominations as fast as possible, to make Step 3 most meaningful!