15th International Students' Week in Ilmenau: ISWI 2021 invites to intercultural online dialogue

From 28 May to 5 June the 15th International Students' Week in Ilmenau (ISWI), germany's largest international student conference, will take place - for the first time as an online event due to corona. Under this year's motto "Our Future - Our Responsibility: There is no Plan(et) B", students from all over the world can participate for nine days via online platform in a wide variety of lectures, discussion rounds and workshops on the topics of climate change, environmental protection and sustainability - in keeping with the university's theme year of energy. In addition there will be a colourful supporting programme to which not only students but also university members and people from the region are cordially invited.

"Climate change is one of the currently most important and most discussed topics, and the state of the environment in Germany continues to be rated worse than in the years before 2018," explains Victoria Halder from the organizing committee of the Initiative Solidarische Welt Ilmenau e.V. at TU Ilmenau. "The warnings of devastating consequences of climate change such as extreme weather phenomena, increased occurrence of natural disasters or droughts and floods are not subsiding, and humans are partly responsible for some of this," Halder continues.


What are the effects of urbanization, immense industrial growth, pollution and population explosion? What role do deforestation, carbon emissions and the depletion of natural resources play? How can we all do our part to protect the environment? In order to reflect and discuss these and other questions and to jointly search for possible solutions, ISWI e.V. is again offering a platform for an intensive intercultural exchange.

The program highlights include workshops, panel discussions and lectures with internationally renowned climate and environmental experts such as Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif, Dr. Kees van der Geest, Dr. Kristina Roesel or David Doniger and experts from the TU Ilmenau on topics such as sustainable energy production and energy consumption of modern technologies. In addition, the participants can expect a cultural World Food Blog, sports and dance sessions, a film event and much more. As students from completely different regions of the world get to know each other and talk to each other in this way, tolerance towards other cultural circles is also to be promoted and a contribution made to international understanding and peace: "It is quite clear that with these student weeks, especially now, we also want to set an example against racism and other forms of discrimination," says Halder.

At the last ISWI 2019 more than 350 people from over 70 countries participated. This year's ISWI will take place for the first time as an online event due to corona. For this purpose, ISWI e.V. has designed a special online program with the help of the university, FeM e.V., Ilmenau's student television station iSTUFF and radio hsf, which allows all participants to interact and discuss with each other virtually. Via the platform WorkAdventure there is a digital ISWI world to discover, which leads to all events at the same time.

Information on the events and participation at https://2021.iswi.org and https://2021.iswi.org/how-to-join/.


Programme highlights of ISWI 2021


In different workshops ISWI gives all participants the opportunity to learn how to shape the future themselves - be it by creating podcasts or through mindful writing. As capacity is limited, pre-registration is required.



As a substitute for the traditional sports event, there will be a sports and dance blog with live sessions and videos that can be accessed at any time, so that all participants can also get active in front of their screens.


Open Space

In the "Open Space" all interested people can participate in smaller sessions, whose topics are jointly determined and hosted by the participants themselves.

1st Open Space: May 3014:00 till 17:00

2nd Open Space: 02.May, 15:30 to 18:30

https://2021.iswi.org/timetable/event/open-space/ (no registration necessary)


Movie Time

A surprise documentary film will be shown that dives deep into the topic of waste reduction.


World Food Festival Blog

If you love to cook and want to learn about foods from different cultures, this is the place to be. New recipe ideas from around the world will be shared. https://2021.iswi.org/wff_blog

Keynote lectures

29th May, 18:00: The Energy Consumption of Modern Technology - Prof. Dr. Martin Ziegler, Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Sattler, TU Ilmenau

The age of digitalization brings forth great technological innovations, but at the same time has an enormous impact on the resources available worldwide. Especially modern technologies consume a lot of energy. In the ISWI keynote lecture Prof. Sattler explains the energy consumption of modern developments such as artificial intelligence and Bitcoin as examples. Prof. Ziegler will then present the research group "Memristive Materials for Neuromorphic Electronics" (MemWerk), in which a total of seven groups at TU Ilmenau are working on the development of new, energy-efficient materials for biologically inspired electronics that offer a completely new hardware basis for modern information technologies.


30th May, 10:00: Causes And Effects Of Climate Change - Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif, Dr. Kees van der Geest

Climate change is currently one of the most important social issues. Alarming images of melting ice in the Antarctic, floods and other consequences of climate change reach us every day. But the issue of climate change is complex. What exactly does it mean? And what are the causes? Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif and Dr. Kees van der Geest shed light on climate change and its consequences from a scientific perspective.


31st May, 14:30: Preventing the next pandemic - Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission - Dr. Kristina Roesel

Healthy ecosystems and rich biodiversity are essential for life on our planet. But even small changes in average temperatures can have significant impacts on ecosystems. For example, climate change also affects the habitats of several species, which then either have to adapt or migrate to areas with more favourable conditions. This loss of biodiversity also leads, among other things, to more zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19. Dr. Kristina Roesel is an animal and human health scientist and will give an overview of how biodiversity is linked to zoonotic diseases in her talk.


1st June, 12:00: Climate Communication - Prof. Franzisca Weder

How can communication help to make our lives more sustainable? And what role do celebrities play in climate communication? Dr Franzisca Weder is a lecturer at the University of Queensland. She researches and teaches in the areas of organisational communication and public relations, with a particular focus on sustainability communication and corporate social responsibility. In her talk, she describes the gap between scientific climate research and public understanding of climate change, and presents opportunities for climate change communication to bridge this gap.


1st June, 18:30: The Sand Crisis - Kiran Pereira

Sand is the second most used natural resource in the world and an essential foundation of industrial society. But almost no one is aware of the fact that this resource is becoming increasingly scarce. Environmental changes such as rainfall, changes in sea level, sea water temperature, and other ocean dynamics are eroding beaches, and the scarcity of sand has in turn led to illegal trade and overuse of sand, resulting in the destruction of the environment.


1st June, 16:30: We fixed the ozone hole, we can fix our climate! - David Doniger

David Doniger has been at the forefront of the fight against air pollution and global climate change since 1978. He helped formulate the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to stop the depletion of the Earth's ozone layer, and several major amendments to the Clean Air Act. David Doniger's presentation will include his current efforts to ban super greenhouse gases such as HFCs.


3rd June, 18:00: Healing deforestation - Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

The clearing of large forests to make way for land for agriculture and infrastructure, and to enable mining or drilling, is a massive problem that we face globally, as well as droughts and forest fires as a result of climate change. The good news is: we can stop this trend, heal the earth, and replant our forests. Brazil's Instituto Terra, the brainchild of Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado, is doing this every day, replanting cleared areas over and over again. Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Vice President of Instituto Terra, will share his experiences in his talk and explain what each individual can do to fight deforestation and heal our forests.

Panel discussions

30th May, 19:00: Global Politics & Activism

Global warming is also affecting politics. As climate change became more serious and obvious, more and more people decided to take comprehensive action against it. Various forms of political engagement aimed at bringing about change and making our future more sustainable will be presented and discussed.


31st May, 19:00: Sustainable Energy

Fossil fuels are currently still the main source of energy worldwide and at the same time responsible for increasing CO2 emissions and large amounts of local air pollution. Renewable energy plays a key role in decarbonizing our energy systems, but not all renewable energy is sustainable.

This panel discussion looks at the transition to sustainable energy and takes a look at issues such as energy transport, storage and social impacts.


4th June, 17:00: The future of urban mobility

With the globalization of economies and the new communication infrastructure that allows international networking and travel at low cost, human mobility has changed, but so has the environment. Transport plays a key role in achieving CO2 reduction targets. How can we make mobility more sustainable? And can we also improve our standard of living in the process? These and other questions will be discussed in the panel discussion.


Nicolas Wolz

+49 3677 69-1946