The University of Virginia is set to launch a new platform through which they intend to support a thriving, interdisciplinary collaborative community called OpenGrounds. The underlying tenet of the approach being taken is to provide a catalyst for widespread collaboration, amongst faculty and students, but do so in a way that does not spawn unnecessary permanent centers or establish infrastructure that lasts longer than its original need.
This program, when live, will be aimed at providing a number of resources and forums that will facilitate small and large scale collaboration, but do so in a way that can provide the temporary infrastructure to support such efforts. This is intended to negate the need to establish a new center or program on campus, and therefore reduce the long-term overhead of maintaining such an establishment.
OpenGrounds will be hosting both physical resources, such as meeting spaces and studios, as well as maintaining a list of fellows to act as facilitators for collaborative efforts. The program will also be hosting workshops and providing a platform for individuals to reach out to the surrounding community to increase awareness of an effort or goal and identify new collaborative partners.
While many new initiatives have been undertaken to encourage and transform collaboration, they are often focused on large-scale digital networks or electronic interconnection. The electronic projects being undertaken are important, but it will be exciting to see the developments that a seemingly more locally focused project intended on bringing collaborators physically closer together can bring about.