At the beginning of the winter semester, the University of Stuttgart‘s Stuttgarter Change Labs once more called student projects and initiatives to submit creative project ideas that promote the development of a more sustainable society. 15 creative ideas were submitted that were evaluated by a jury of experts. The following eight projects were selected and presented:
- Building in the Philippines: The creation of a handbook about sustainable construction practices
- Common place, separate views: A photography project focusing on the area around Marienplatz
- Coexistence at the St. Maria church: A mobile living room for the neighborhood
- Recycling awareness in Peru: Construction of a recycling facility in Peru
- Studying without borders: Scholarships for students in crisis areas
- Practice room: The public practice room for musicians
- Worm-Terra-Ponik facility: A sustainable urban gardening project
- Hegel workshop of the future: New conceptions for Stuttgart’s Hegel-Haus
The second part of the event featured a panel discussion, conducted as a cooperation between the Stuttgarter Change Labs and the university group reason[Ing.]. The discussion was organized using the so-called ‘fishbowl’ method, with a guest chair open to the public and focused on the subject of the extent to which engineers, as the drivers of technical innovations, bear responsibility within society.
The panel discussion involved Dr. Ronny Feuer from the Ministry for Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg, Michael Hertwig from VDI Württembergischer Ingenieurverein e.V., Prof. Katja Kuhn, prorector and dean of the Faculty of Technology at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, Prof. Michael Resch, Director of the High Performance Computing Center at the University of Stuttgart, Klaus Zintz, Editor of the Stuttgarter Zeitung and Mathias Jaksch from the university group reason[Ing.].
The group agreed that an interdisciplinary approach and an openness to topics outside of one’s subject area in an engineering work environment play an increasingly important role. This ensures that engineers truly consider the extent to which their actions affect society. Correspondingly, German universities have a responsibility to make it easier for engineering students to exchange knowledge with students from other subject areas. A willingness to take part in such intensive interdisciplinary exchanges has been observed among students for some time.