The last day before our departure was
filled with many different aspects.
In the morning we were visited by a
reporter from the newspaper Darmstädter Echo who is going to write an article
about our conference. He went around and interviewed some of the students
asking them what they learned and worked on during the week in Ernsthofen. We
are looking forward to reading the article in tomorrow’s newspaper.
While the press team prepared a power-point presentation for the evening
including lots of pictures showing some of our best moments, the group met for the
next seminar session.
As they normally began each session the morning seminar started by playing
group games. Also the students made a ‘flashlight round’ concerning the last
meeting for recognizing what was good and which goals they did or did not reach.
Therefore they had an aim chart where to put on little stickers which then
represent the effort of the conference.
Then they got different headlines of articles
and had to decide which they were interested in the most.
One, for example, mentioned that women in Saudi Arabia firstly were allowed to
vote in 2015. Another one discussed the question if people should be allowed to
vote in their ancestor’s countries even if they have never lived there. Likewise
the other articles contained issues of democracy and voting rights.
After discussing about those papers in small groups and presenting the main
topics on posters the students could walk around for seeing the results of
their fellows. Also they could asked why they decided for specific headlines which
helped to achieve a better understanding of each other’s opinions and views on things.
In addition they should consider which
would be the best solution for our system of policy to solve problems regarding
democracy, justice and government. As well as they did it with the other topics
they discussed about, they presented it in plenum.
In conclusion most of the groups wanted to introduce referendums so that
everyone could influence political decisions.
After lunch it was time for preparing the following
afternoon where the week project would be displayed by different presentations.
In the evening we are going to have a
barbeque to end up the conference in community.
The third day started with a session about
The students had to create their own system of democracy which was based on the
story about island Utopia. They had to build up a democratic system where every
single person could live in peace and freedom including rights for all
citizens. Therefore the students had to decide which rules would be important
and how they imagined to develop a working infrastructure.
During the morning session they worked out their ideas in small groups, while
having heated debates, considering and thinking about this task.
Later they presented their models and explained why they chose it.
After lunch the bus took us to Heidelberg,
where we would spent the afternoon.
Although the weather obviously wanted us to get worried because it was really cold
and windy, we had a great day between the old buildings of the city centre.
Those who never had been there before were very impressed by the inspiring and
beautiful streets and houses.
Some of the group went up to the castle of Heidelberg which in fact consists of
broken ruins but offers a good view over the whole city and landscape. A watch
from the castle is always more beautiful than a panorama card, so our fellows
really enjoyed some amazing moments on the top of Heidelberg.
The rest of the time we spent on shopping and exploring the township which was
quite nice and gave us the opportunity to spend a day in our own way.
While the time passed by we realized how much we grew together.
By splitting up our culturally diverse group into smaller parts we
automatically mixed up with students from different countries and finally ended
in a colourful, laughing, giggling and chatting community, without, more or
less, borders and barriers of language, meaning and thinking.
Utopia is an island in the ocean and it
looks like an island many of us dream about. Here are sand beaches, palm trees;
the weather is often sunny and warm. On the inner side if the island, we find
forests and hills. The island is inhabited. People live in two villages and in
a nomad settlement. One village is on the seaside, one on a hill, and the nomad
settlement changes place, because its inhabitants are nomads.
Until last month, island Utopia was ruled
by King Uto. Before him, his mother had been the Queen of the island, and
before her, Uto’s grandfather had been the King. Uto himself did not have
children. But he loved to travel and he visited many other islands, small and
big, and studied how people lived there. He learned that not all islands have
kings. On some islands, the people ruled themselves. It was not easy to
understand how they ruled themselves. But King Uto had the impression that they
As King Uto became old without children, he
did not want to choose a successor. In a speech in front of all Utopians, he
declared that all Utopians together should be his successors and rule
themselves. Soon after his speech, King Uto died. He left the Utopians with a
great heritage and an even greater task.
Who is Utopian?
How great the task was, the Utopians
understood when they needed to decide who should participate in the decisions,
which previously were taken by King Uto on his own. King Uto said that the
Utopians should decide together and explained the system of elections and votes
on other islands. But King Uto did not say who exactly is a Utopian, and thus
who is allowed to participate in elections and votes.
The big task of the Utopians
Who should participate in decisions on
If they have different opinions, who should decide what should happen?
Should some of them be allowed to decide about certain things, but not about
The students had to think about these
questions and define rules about who is allowed to participate in decisions on
island Utopia. They had to determine if there should be different rules for different
types of people and for different types of decisions.