Knowledge for the benefit of society: ISWI 2023 looks at the responsibility of students and universities

In June, TU Ilmenau opens its doors to students from all parts of the world. Young people from around 100 countries come together at the university for ten days to take part in the International Students Week Ilmenau (ISWI). Under the motto "Impact of knowledge: with great knowledge comes great responsibility", they discuss how they can use their knowledge to make the world a better place.

ISWI/Johann Lembach
Students from all over the world will discuss the influence and responsibility of knowledge in June.

How can students use their knowledge to bring about social progress? And what responsibility do academics and universities have to shape our future? These and other questions will be addressed by students from around 100 nations at ISWI 2023 from June 2 to 11 - the largest student conference of its kind in Germany. Every two years, the conference, organized by the student association "Initiative Solidarische Welt Ilmenau," invites students from all over the world to TU Ilmenau to provide them with a platform for dialogue. Together, they discuss global problems and find approaches to solutions for social challenges such as climate change, gender equality or digitalization in working groups. The work in the groups is accompanied by keynote speeches from experts, panel discussions and cultural events such as an intercultural brunch or open-air concerts.

Promote intercultural understanding

Niklas Loos and Ahmad Omira are part of the student organization team of the ISWI. With the student conference, they not only want to find answers to the questions of our time, but also promote intercultural understanding between students:

We bring people and their global perspectives together and give committed students a platform for dialogue. Together, they develop ideas and approaches to solutions and implement them in their local communities.

ISWI calls this exchange of knowledge a multiplier effect. The insights, impulses and ideas gained at TU Ilmenau through workshops, lectures by renowned experts in their fields and discussions are taken back by the participants to their home countries and carried into their circles of family, friends and acquaintances.

The role of universities like TU Ilmenau as knowledge brokers and innovation drivers will be a particular focus at the upcoming ISWI, as Niklas and Ahmad explain:

On the one hand, we want to awaken in each participant an awareness of their own responsibility in dealing with knowledge. On the other hand, we also see universities, as places where knowledge is created and passed on, as having a special social responsibility. They create technological innovations and thus sustainable progress that should serve the common good.

Hundreds of applications from 95 countries

This June, after an online edition in 2021, ISWI 2023 will again take place in presence. Hundreds of applications from 95 countries have already reached the organizing team. In addition, a part of ISWI will be broadcast online for the first time to give more students the chance to participate. Ahmad and Niklas are excited about the participants of ISWI 2023:

We are looking forward to a colorful ISWI at TU Ilmenau, which reflects the ideal of our association for ten days: a world full of tolerance, international understanding and new friendships.

The ISWI celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023. Since 1993, the association Initiative Solidarische Welt has hosted the student conference every two years at the TU Ilmenau. The previous ISWI 2021 was themed "'Climate change, Environmental Conservation and Sustainability'. Our Future, Our Responsibility - There is no Plan(et) B!".

Impressions ISWI 2019


ISWI 2023 Organising Committee