Eine Hauswand ist bunt bemalt. Daneben velaufen Straßenbahnschienen.

Quarters of Diversity – The Neckarstadt-West

From Sunday (November 13, 2022) to Friday (November 18, 2022) the second ENGAGE.EU Expedition took place in Mannheim. More precise in the Kaisergarten at Neckarstadt-West as the topic of the week was «Quarters of Diversity – The Neckarstadt-West».

What is the Expedition? The ENGAGE.EU Expedition is a one-week intensive program for students from the seven European ENGAGE.EU partner universities who want to address socially relevant issues in an interdisciplinary and international setting at a local level. For this purpose, local partner institutions name real challenges and make them available for the students to work on. During the expedition, the student groups work in a structured way according to the principles of design thinking to find solutions for the given challenges. They are supported by university mentors as well as local experts. The Expedition was organized by Maike Sambaß and Dr. Anne-Sophie Waag from the University of Mannheim.

The week. The week started on Sunday with a short city tour and a dinner (with Falafel made by Bodhi Mannheim) at the Kaisergarten to get to know each other. The Monday started with an official greeting by Silvia Luber (ENGAGE.EU Head Quarter) and a first Design Thinking Sprint to better get to know the technique of Design Thinking. In the afternoon the three challenges for the week were presented by the three challenge owners at the IDS Mannheim.

  • The first challenge was posed by the “Campus Neckarstadt-West” (Klemens Hotz and Selin Dogan) and asked: How is it possible to improve the educational and participation opportunities of children and young people in Neckarstadt-West? What needs to be done with and for the different population groups? How do we monitor the effectiveness of the measures?
  • The second challenge was posed by the Leibniz-Institute for the German Language (Dr. Christine Möhrs and Dr. Rahaf Farag) and asked: How does multilingualism show up in the public space of Neckarstadt-West? How can we discover its linguistic treasure and trace it back to its source? How can we apply linguistic landscaping as a method to search for the traces of the languages used by its citizens?
  • The third challenge was posed by the Municipality of Mannheim and the project “Integrationslotsen” (Dr. Tobias Vahlpahl, Liudmila Hahn, Desislava Dimotrova) and asked: How can we help a group of immigrants who are socioeconomically and educationally very far removed from the majority society to make successful steps towards a more self-determend life in Neckarstadt-West?

Between Tuesday and Thursday, various methodological and content-related work sessions took place, in which the students worked in a structured way on solution ideas for their respective challenges. On Tuesday night students were invited to the Start-Up Lounge organized by MCEI, German Accellerator and ENGEAGE.EU at the AGÁTA Café to be part of a real pitch event.

On top they got support in planning and presenting a pitch by Nora Zybura from MCEI, who held a pitch training and pitch feedback session on Tuesday and Friday. On Friday afternoon finally the student groups pitched their solution ideas at the MARCHIVUM in front of the challenge-owners, an interested public, and the jury (Prof. Dr. Thomas Fetzer, Anna Frese and Julia Derkau) who voted a winning team: #WomEngage. The afterparty took place again in the nearby Kaisergarten.

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