In June, two marvelous University Days have been taken place in Schweinfurt and Paderborn, Germany. Both events have been organized by local Global Marshall Plan groups in cooperation with other local initiatives.
A climate-neutral university day
The first University Day in Schweinfurt in 2011 was already a great success, attracting more than 200 participants. That’s why the committed group decided to organize a second one. This time, they divided the program in three parts, so that the University Day comprised of two evening events and one day-event. Reason therefore was the impression that, last time, many students weren’t able to participate because of other lectures and seminars.
At the first evening, the invited to a film screening, showing "Behind the Screen – das Leben meines Computers" (e.g. about the life of my computer). At the following evening, Prof. Gunter Pauli, besides Al Gore one of the most popular promoters of the ecological change, held a thrilling speech about the how innovations in economic models can create a better society.
At the following Saturday, the program continued with an variety of workshops to choose from and a global lunch in the cafeteria of the University. Therefore, every participant had to pick a ticket in the entrance, indicating to which part of world population one belongs – to the 80 percent of the poor people or the 20 percent of the rich ones. The rich ones were served with a three course meal, the other with a bowl of rice. After having lunch, the feelings of the participants have been exchanged and discussed, followed by a short presentations about the reasons of hunger.
One further extraordinary component of this University Day was the aim to balance out the CO2 emissions of the event. Therefore, they chose the children’s initiative Plant-for-the-Planet as compensation partner and reached that the more than 200 participants gave 2.437 pledges for trees!
Under the Motto “Green Stuff, Heroes and Money: Successful Economic Management with Sustainability”, the first University Day in Paderborn was taking place. Around 80 students, teachers, entrepreneurs and further interested came together for interdisciplinary exchange, make contacts and network.
After a warmly introduction and a cup of coffee, the program started with inspiring talks by professors of the University. Coming from different disciplines, they showed successfully that sustainability matters for all scientific sectors.
In the afternoon, four experts from “real life” were showing in parallel workshops how sustainable success can work in praxis. Telling the success story from “Lemonaid”, Mr. Burger showed what can be reached with a simple idea created in shared apartment with friends. Futhermore, Mr. Lübbemann from PremiumCola explained the difference between good-doer and convinced social entrepreneurship. Mr. Huber from the Global Marshall Plan Foundation illustrated how you can have a global impact by acting on the local. All workshops made visible that, indeed, one can create something in a sustainable way and be successful in the same time.
In the afternoon, a networking session enabled the exchange of impressions already made, as well as the time to construct questions for the concluding panel discussion. The participants from the Global Marshall Plan Workshops reached attention with a fun experiment illustrating that change can easily fail with laziness. In the end, all agreed that there is no code to change the world over night, but that we are the ones bringing change by being open, creative and willing to cooperate in order to bring change.
*** Further University Days with active Global Marshall Plan supporters are planned. Should you want to organize a University Day of your own tell us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you! ***
(Sources: Local groups of Schweifurt and Paderborn, oikos Paderborn)