Thematic Events

Amongst other student conferences, ISWI stands out for its extensive thematic portion, which revolves around a central topic and consists of small-group works, discussions, lectures and debates on the topic. The topic itself is usually inspired by current conflicts and areas of tension as well as global developments. The main aim is to give participants from all over the world the possibility to get to know each other, exchange their opinions and work on potential solutions, independently of their personal, social or cultural background.

To provide deeper insights into certain aspects of the topic, and to inspire the group work and further discussion, we host experts, institutions, NGOs, and activists at each ISWI. To give lectures and conduct workshops during the conference, we invite speakers from all over the world who are well-known for their experience and work.

For ISWI 2019, there will be several keynote lectures and panel discussions focusing on certain key aspects of the topic ‘Tradition and Transition’. The official language of the conference is English.

Opening Ceremony (18th May, 7 p.m.)

At the official Opening Ceremony of the International Student Week in Ilmenau 2019, we will be coming together to celebrate the start of an interesting and exciting conference.

The participants will be welcomed by the board of ISWI e.V. as well as the rector of TU Ilmenau. Video messages from the patrons, performances by arts groups of Ilmenau, and readings from participants themselves will set the basis of ISWI 2019. Directly after the Opening Ceremony, there will be a Welcome Party, with participants having the chance to play their own music (see Culture Programme).

Opening Keynote: (19th May, 10 a.m.)

The opening keynote by Steinar Bryn aims at understanding the basic notions of tradition and transition through varied perspectives. Setting a tone for ISWI 2019, this lecture seeks to inspire curiosity among the participants and while motivating them to dive deeper into their chosen group topics.

He has been a student, teacher, researcher and acting principal at the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. During the last 17 years he has developed and supported the Nansen dialogue centers in the Balkans. Mr. Bryn is responsible for the planning and implementing of inter-ethnic dialogue seminars in Lillehammer and in the Western Balkans.

We are very much looking forward to this energetic opening!

Movie Screening: “The Cleaners” incl. Discussion with Director Hans Block (19th May, 7 p.m.)

Find out more about the dark side of social media. After the screening we will have a discussion with the director of ‘The Cleaners’ Hans Block.

Panel Discussion: “Integration and Participation of Refugees and Migrants” (20th May, 7 p.m.)

A diverse panel aims to engage in creative brainstorming for solutions to meet challenges in meaningful integration and participation fo humans within our global society. Aspects such as conflict resolution, capacity building, social policy, inclusive development shall be the focus of this discussion.

Rahmatullah Batoor is the co-founder of Migranten Omid Verein (MOVE e. V.), a non-profit organisation that supports refugees and migrants integrate in Thuringia. Coming from Afghanistan, he has worked and consulted international NGOs such as Terre des hommes, Danish Refugees Council and the GIZ in Afghanistan and Germany in areas of resettlement and (re)integration of migrants, internally displaced people (IDPs) and returnees. He would share insights and lessons from his several years of professional and voluntary work experiences in the field migration, integration and reintegration.

Brian Kanaahe, Ana María Álvarez Monge, Zeid Madi, Rahmatullah Batoor
Moderator: Dr. Franziska Schmidtke

Plenary Session: “Environmental Conservation in a Globalised World” (21st May, 4 p.m.)

Perspectives from the global north and south shall be involved to discuss solutions for prudent environmental policy for a connected, globalised world.

Speakers: Prof. Ulrich Brand, Vositha Wijenayake
Moderator: Benjamin Hempel


References to read:

“Transformation” as a New Critical Orthodoxy

What Kind of Great Transformation?

Green Economy – the Next Oxymoron?

Keynote Lecture: “Chances and Challenges in Join Internatinal Education and Research Cooperation” with Dr. Ing. Ilham Habibie (22nd May, 9 a.m.)

Elaborating on the collaboration between the Technische Universität Ilmenau and the International University Liasion Indonesia (IULI) in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr. Ing. Ilham Habibie will be part of the conference as a guest speaker invited by the TU Ilmenau.

Keynote lecture (photo by Chiung Wu)

ShareSpace (22nd May, 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m.)

It´s all about you to ‘Create your Space’. During this Open Space session, participants will have the chance to get active by contributing their input. There will be no restrictions on topics or the kind of activities. After a short introduction of the basic ideas of the method participants will fill the space with whatever topics, questions, dreams, visions or knowledge they may bring with them. Be curious and open to everything that will happen during this Open Space Session.

The Share Space principles are:

  • Whoever comes is the right people.
  • Whateverhappensis the only thing that could have.
  • Whenever it starts is the right time.
  • When it’s over, it’s over.

In general, every participant should make use of the ‘law of two feet’:

  • If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.

ISWI Open Space (photo by ISWIeV)

Keynote Lecture: “Rise of Populism” with Prof. Gáspár Miklós Tamás (23rd May, 4 p.m.)

An in-depth exploration of the global rise in populistic tendencies of authoritarian nature and its consequences in the interconnected world.

Movie Screening: SURPRISE MOVIE! (23rd May, 8 p.m.)

It’s a surprise movie! Prepare yourself for an impassionated call for sexual liberation and autonomy, portrayed by five courageous, smart and self-determined women from different parts of the world.

Final Presentations (24th May, 4 p.m.)

Of course, there will be a final day of the conference. You will have the possibility to present the results of your group work. Everyone is invited to listen to the presentations and to take part in the final discussions

Final Presentation (photo by ISWIeV)

Closing Ceremony (24th May, 8 p.m.)

This is the last time all participants, groupleaders and all people involved in organizing the International Student Week in Ilmenau 2019 will come together. You can enjoy the presentations of some groups and the art groups in particular. Together we will look back on a week full of discussions, lectures and celebration before everybody leaves again and takes their new ideas back home to put them into action.

After the Closing Ceremony, you will have time to personally say goodbye to everyone and exchange contact details to keep in touch.

Closing Ceremony (photo by Chiung Wu)

Apart from the official programme, which is open to students  and staff of TU Ilmenau as well as citizen from the region, the following events are part of the programme which is directed to only our participants.

Groupleader meets Participant (18th May, 3 p.m.)

Here you will meet your groupleaders and get to know the members of your group. This is a good opportunity to get to know each other and share your first impressions of Ilmenau and your journey. You can also use this time to get some important information for the week and answers to (almost) all of your questions from the groupleaders. Therefore, it is very important for you to take part in this event. Nevertheless, do not worry if your arrival is later on Saturday. You will also be able to join the group later on.

Group Work (Mo, Tue, Thu, Fri,9a.m.)

Group work is the heart of ISWI. We offer 30 working groups, each dealing with a certain aspect of the main topic. There are thematic groups and art groups. Here you can find an overview of the groups. Within the group sessions, you will have the possibility to share your experiences and views, discuss in detail and work towards solutions for actual and current problems. Within the application process, you are asked to decide which working group you would like to join during the conference. You can state your three top preferences, but you will only be able to take part in one group, according to our capacities.
Group work (photo by Wolfram Schubert)