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Münchner Hochschultage

The Hochschultage: Ökosoziale Marktwirtschaft & Nachhaltigkeit are a series of events hosted by various universities throughout Germany on topics relating to sustainability and the possibility of creating a socially and ecologically healthy economy.

The Munich Hochschultage are organized and hosted by an alliance of local universities, as well as various government and non-profit institutions (e.g., BenE München, Verein für Nachhaltigkeit e. V., Forum Ökosoziale Marktwirtschaft), including the Rachel Carson Center. These multi-day events include podium discussions, workshops, and film screenings. An important goal is for scholars, politicians, and representatives of the private sector to come together and develop ideas for the future, as well as presenting their research to the general public.

The RCC was the lead organizer of the 5th and 6th Hochschultage in 2014 and a sponsor of individual events at the Hochschultage since 2015.

The 25th Münchner Hochschultage (summer semester 2024) are titled “Ratatouille Reinvented: A Delicious Journey into the Planetary Health Diet.” The idea is to set up a cookbook together that highlights diverse cultures from around the world, and students are invited to share their favorite recipes from different cultures or countries. This project aims to incorporate the principles of the Planetary Health Diet, promoting sustainability and healthy eating. The event takes place in cooperation with Blue Marble Health and KHG TUM.

The 24th Münchner Hochschultage (5 October 2023) are titled “‘Without the bag, please’—Will you go the extra mile?” [“Einmal ohne, bitte—Gehst du auch den Mehrweg?”]. They consist of an information booth about sustainability and waste prevention at the main campus of Hochschule München. Additionally, students and participants are able to design their own sustainable bread bag and win prizes by solving a quiz correctly. The event takes place in cooperation with rehab republic.

The 23rd Münchner Hochschultage (4–6 July 2023) are titled “SURVIVE–Biodiversity at the Limit” [ÜBERLEBEN–Biodiversität am Limit]. They are split into a talk by Jasmijn Visser about how art conveys the complexity of climate change, which takes the place of the Tuesday Discussion on 4 July, and a practical part about ecosystems at the BiotopiaLab.

The 22nd Münchner Hochschultage (29 March 2023), “Let’s play…!” [Komm spielen…!], introduces system games with different topics and approaches to try out and discuss. System games provide a playful approach to interdisciplinary thinking, which is important in times of crises. The program invites participants to get involved in subsequent workshops at “Act for SDGs at Universities” [Act for SDGs an Hochschulen].

The 21st Münchner Hochschultage (28 October 2022), “Planetary Health Diet,” informed about a diet that suits both the human health and the climate, and discussed the question of whether one could save the climate with the right nutrition. The talk was held by Leonard Schmitt from Health for Future.

The 20th Müncher Hochschultage (22 March 2022) introduced the concept paper for sustainability at univeristy which is based on the research of previous Münchner Hochschultage and started a discussion about it.

The 19th Münchner Hochschultage, "The Green Network—Part 3", finished off the work of the previous two Münchner Hochschultage and produced a database that displays the findings of the series' surveys on sustainability at university. 

The 18th Münchner Hochschultage formed the second part of the series "The Green Network" and continued the work of the previous Münchner Hochschultage by surveying university stakeholders about their efforts to make academia more sustainable.

The 17th Münchner Hochschultage became the first of a series titled "The Green Network" that works on documenting university initiatives and activities to enhance sustainability in view of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The 16th Münchner Hochschultage (11 February 2020) was titled "Slow Fashion" ("Slow Fashion—Wie fairkleidest du dich?"). This event took place at the clothing store Thokk Thokk in Munich and sought to highlight ways to support the production of fair fashion.

The 15th Münchner Hochschultage (4–6 June 2019), titled "Food Factory—Supermarket of the Future" ("Food Factory—Supermarkt der Zukunft"), was all about food and nutrition. The event started off with a Tuesday Discussion with Jens Soentgen at the RCC, followed by a panel discussion with different stakeholders of the food industry, and finished off with a guided tour of a local brewery in Munich. 

The 14th Münchner Hochschultage (30–31 January 2019), titled "City Country Plate" ("Stadt Land Teller"), explored the role of trees and forests in relation to humankind as well as the environmental impacts of food production. On the first day, participants discussed the importance of forests and ways to protect these habitats. On the second day, the ecological footprint of different kinds of food was assessed. 

The 13th Münchner Hochschultage (4–7 June 2018) focussed on the following topics: How does luxury relate to frugality? Is luxury only possible without frugality? Or is it also possible to speak of “frugality as luxury”? And how can we create a model for sustainable consumption in times of increased consumerism?

The 12th Münchner Hochschultage (11–14 December 2017) looked at how we can change our everyday lives to make them more sustainable. Community-supported agriculture (CSA), co-op living spaces, and repair cafés are some examples of how we can rethink our consumption patterns. But what if we went even further? Car-free cities, economic systems focused on the common good rather than economic growth, or alternative housing concepts are just some examples of how we could change everyday life. Different workshops will explore the feasibilty of these ideas. The RCC's contribution to the Hochschultage is a screening of the movie "In Transition 2.0" followed by an expert discussion.

The 11th Münchner Hochschultage (30 May–1 June 2017), entitled “Work(ing) In a Sustainable Society” (Arbeit(en) in einer nachhaltigen Gesellschaft), focused on how digitization, automation, and artificial intelligence will change our future working lives. How could these changes play out in a sustainable, future-oriented workplace? How can we ensure social justice and environmental protection in the workplace 4.0?

The 10th Münchner Hochschultage (6–10 December 2016) focused on the topic of equity and justice, examining the connections between human rights and sustainability. It concluded with an all-day event organized in collaboration with the Münchner Tag der Menschenrechte (Munich Human Rights Day). The Lunchtime Colloquium on 8 December by Bruno Latour on “From the Anthropocene to the New Climatic Regime” was the RCC's contribution to this Hochschultage event.

The 9th Münchner Hochschultage (7, 9, and 12 June 2016), entitled “Schöne Aussicht oder dünne Luft?—Wie wollen wir weiter wachsen?” focused on the topic of our economic system and the question of whether there are alternatives to a growth-based model. It included a roundtable discussion and an “expert slam” with creative explorations of alternative economic concepts, including presentations in the form of theater sketches and poetry, as well as an info booth at the annual Streetlife Festival on Leopoldstraße. The RCC participated in the Hochschultage with a special Lunchtime Colloquium featuring Oliver Richters on “Why Can't We Stop?”

The 8th Münchner Hochschultage (23 November–1 December 2015) on the topic of “Climate Justice” was planned to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Events included screenings of the films 10 Milliarden and This Changes Everything, workshops on the energy transition and nature protection, presentations on food security, fracking, and climate justice, and a live screening of the conference in Paris. Munich residents also had an opportunity to participate in the Global Climate March on 29 November, demonstrations organized in major cities around the world on the eve of the opening of the Climate Change Conference.

The 7th Münchner Hochschultage (16–17 June 2015) turned its attention to issues surrounding water. The first day, dedicated to “Internationale Wasserkonflikte” looked at how globalization, industrialization, and a growing population have resulted in unequal distribution of water resources and turned water into a source of political conflict. The second day turned to “Wasserfußabdruck & Virtuelles Wasser.” Just as we have a carbon footprint, we also have a water footprint; in order to understand our water usage, we must consider the amount of water required to produce everyday articles, such as a cotton t-shirt. In addition to the panel discussions and presentations, the Hochschultage also included an info fair and a ceremony for the Nachhaltigkeitspreis awarded to Munich university students for theses and dissertations on sustainability-related topics.

The 6th Münchner Hochschultage (20–28 November 2014) was titled “Planet Müll—Unser Vermächtnis” (“Planet Trash—Our Legacy”). It included a discussion on the reality of applying the cradle-to-cradle principle to electronics and interactive workshops on topics such as waste-pickers in developing countries, industrial symbiosis as a way of reducing waste, and upcycling. RCC Director Christof Mauch moderated a podium discussion on “Our Society and Its Waste,” while RCC Affiliated Professor Eveline Dürr and members of the LMU ethnology department led a workshop on the ways waste and sustainability are embedded in everyday practices such as eating. A satellite workshop was held at the Deutsches Museum on the topic of turning waste into valuable material.

The 5th Münchner Hochschultage (14–16 June 2014) was dedicated to the topic “Wa(h)re Zeit”—the acceleration of life, our perception of time, and the commodification of time. Events included a film evening at the Gasteig (featuring Speed and a discussion with its director, Florian Opitz), a workshop on speed and time with RCC fellows from Italy and the United States, and a talk and podium with sociologist Hartmut Rosa.

The 4th Münchner Hochschultage (4–7 December 2013), “Ecosocial Market Economy and Sustainability,” (“Ökosoziale Marktwirtschaft und Nachhaltigkeit”), offered insights into the field of sustainability through films, workshops, lectures, and presentations. Topics included Nestlé's water abuse, and sustainability and the economy.

The 3rd Münchner Hochschultage (30 November 2012), “Rethinking Economics,” addressed the basics of the economic system money, food speculation, and resource scarcity as well as the Green Economy approach in keynote speeches. There was a fishbowl discussion, workshops, and time for networking.

The 2nd Münchner Hochschultage (11–12 November 2011), “Move More! Participation as a Way for Sustainability” (“Mehr bewegen! Partizipation als Weg zur Nachhaltigkeit”), explored strengths and weaknesses as well as synergies and conflicts of individual-participatory and economic-policy approaches. Participants had the opportunity to further discuss possible contributions to a more sustainable society in a series of workshops with representatives from academia, business, and NGOs.

The 1st Münchner Hochschultage (27 November 2010) provided a platform for various sustainability initiatives, like Global Marshall Plan (GMP), to present themselves in a Pecha Kucha presentation of seven minutes each. Presentations were followed by a discussion.