Motion: a physical process that evokes a variety of positive associations. With this year's summer festival of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM on the beach campus of Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung made this life principle the symbol of its activities and invited the guests to think about how to live this principle. The main part of the colourful programme took place in a light-flooded university hall that was separated from the shore of Lake Constance only by a small strip of lawn.
By granting the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung promotes the international exchange of students and young workers – a movement that happens both in space and in the mind. Among its most important aspects are scientific innovation and the ideal growing-together of the world population: overcoming intercultural reservations. In line with this goal, the festival motto encouraged the guests to think about conscious mobility: With all of today's technical possibilities, how should we organise our mobility to get us from A to B?
After Christoph Dahl, managing director of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, and Prof Insa Sjurts, president of Zeppelin University, had welcomed the guests, Dr Andreas Weber, Head of Education at the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, declared multimodality to be the key to conscious mobility - the flexible use of the available means of transport in a given situation. In this spirit Prof Bernd Engler, president of the University of Tübingen and chairman of the Association of Scholarship Holders and Friends of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM e.V., held the award ceremony for the furthest carbon-free journey to the festival. The winner had come by bicycle and had stayed overnight in Villingen-Schwenningen on his 166-km journey to Friedrichshafen.
Afterwards, the current and former scholarship holders of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM were given the opportunity to present themselves on the ‘BWS Stage’. The eight presentations, given not only by people from Germany, but also Myanmar or Vietnam, showed diversity of culture as well as of media. One of the people who seized this opportunity was Eduard Krug, coordinator of the Regional Chapter Stuttgart. He presented his concept of cross-cultural upcycling, which has been inspired by thinkers such as the chemist Prof Michael Braungart: the cross-cultural tackling of global problems that is inspired by the natural cycle of growth and decay. A dream of changing the world for the better that is paired with pragmatism and which is soon to be put into practice: A constitutive meeting is already planned for September, and the project is not only supposed to unite cultures but also science and the arts.
Alumna Tetiana Kralko, who had come from her place of work in Munich, liked the BWS Stage a lot since it gave the scholarship holders the opportunity to actively shape the festival programme. Furthermore, she enjoyed the downright fantastic location and the nice people. Corinna Faehling drew a similar conclusion. Beside the cultural diversity, the medical student from Tübingen, who is soon going to stay in Guadalajara, Mexico, with the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM, especially liked the relaxed atmosphere of the festival. The nice weather, which invited the guests to an organic milk coffee near the shore, as well as the cover band La Tête, who opened the evening with their spirited performance, definitely contributed to this formidable atmosphere.
Written by Alexander Wimmer
More impressions on the summer festival you can find here