New Deal

The Opening Week 2021 is all about the topic "NEW DEAL" but what does the term mean anyway? Historically speaking, the so called New Deal was a series of large-scale social and economic reforms initiated by the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a response to the Great Depression between 1933 and 1939. Since we as society are going to face not one but multiple crises of similar severity in the near future, we may need our very own NEW DEAL – namely now. But what should we put exactly into a new social contract of this sort?

Within the Opening Week 2021 you get the chance to negotiate the contents of the NEW DEAL yourself! We've graded the big challenges of today's world into four hashtags: #SOCIALJUSTICE, #DEMOCRACY, #GREEN and #DATA. Which of the 33 project topics under those hashtags appeals to you the most? Choose one for your project work and participate in our NEW DEAL!

#socialjustice

  • Dealing in the name of... Childhood and the coordination of future societies (Lars Alberth)
  • „Who cares” about gender equality? (Luise Görges)
  • Social Justice - Postcolonial Perspectives (Steffi Hobuß)
  • How can schools enhance greater educational equity? Ideas for a better education policy and school culture (Marc Kleinknecht)
  • DiverCity - Urban Perception in a Diverse World (Katharina Lehmann)
  • Visibility and equal access to societal riches for all! (Simone Borgstede)
  • New Deal – New Joker? The potentials of change and social justice reconsidered. (Seraphia Heitmann)
  • Diversity in education - Encouraging and empowering young people with a background of migration and refuge. (Lea Gathen)

#democracy

  • How to bring down dictatorships? The dynamics of pro-democracy movements. (Bélén Gonzalez)
  • Online: Young People and Elections - Your vote matters! (Johanna Marlene Hansen)
  • Safety for everyone – studying alternative security concepts (Leonie Jantzer)
  • New Deal, Green Deal… A new start or just stabilizing the system? (Norman Laws)
  • Democracy under construction: towards new participative forms (Roberto Nigro)
  • Democratic Horizons: What Value Change Reveals about the Future of Democracy and the Chances for a Green New Deal (Christian Welzel)
  • Philosophie, Kosmopolitismus und wissenschaftliche Weltregierung als einzig mögliche Lösung des Umweltproblems (Marco de Angelis)
  • Are there Indications that Democracy is losing its Appeal, especially fort the Younger Generation? (Dieter Friedrichs)
  • Afrotopia (Ilsemagret Luttmann)
  • From urban citizenship to a decolonization of democracy? (Felix Lösing)

#green

  • Regeneration First: In search of a new paradigm for business sustainability (Steffen Farny)
  • Invasive Species (Senan Gardiner)
  • Democratic Tourism - Let's create a new deal for a sustainable future of travel (Steffen Pabst)
  • Online: New deal: The future of green cities - Recycling and reuse of food waste (Daniel Pleissner)
  • Re-thinking Public Space (Teresa Kampfmann)
  • Circular Society (Alexa Böckel)
  • Water, water everywhere! Blue-Green Ways to Urban Flood Resilience (Shenuka de Sylva)

#data

  • Data and the City: Our City, our Devices? (Jan Müggenburg)
  • Technology––a Natural History? About (Post-)Modern Political Ecology. (Gottfried Schnödl)
  • Datafication and Grand Social Challenges (Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich)
  • Measuring Sustainable Corporate Purpose (Patrick Velte)
  • The first step of the journey of data analysis: Which data is important for data analysis? (Lin Xie)
  • Which data - who´s deal? How 'the right' data can shape our futures. (Robin Kuchar)
  • "Go and Google it!" - Creating knowledge or being known? (Liselotte Hermes da Fonseca)
  • Datafication, (quantum computing based) Video Games, Memes, and the transformation known as the Next Society, or: Can we have fun while studying, understanding, and impacting the world? (And should we?) (Manouchehr Shamsrizi)

Modes of Thinking

#socialjustice

Today, most modern societies are characterised by various dimensions of inequality. An example of one such a dimension is gender: on average, men participate more in the economy than women*, earn higher wages, accumulate more wealth, and are more likely to hold a political office or other positions of power. Similar differences can be found when comparing White people to People Of Colour, the able-bodied to people with disabilities, people from affluent-family backgrounds to people from low-income families, and so on. What are the root causes of these inequalities? What are their costs to society? How should a NEW DEAL aim to reduce them? And what might be effective strategies?

Dealing in the name of... Childhood and the coordination of future societies (Lars Alberth)

To realize a new (social, green, economical etc.) three elements have to be identified: (1) the object of the deal (what is negotiated), (2) the contracting parties (who is allowed to negotiate), and (3) the future that is to be realized through the deal (the imagined or anticipated fulfillment of the deal). While object (or content) is usually worked out in arenas of policy (politics, science, and media etc.), the contracting parties and the anticipated future are less scrutinized. Not everyone is allowed to engage in making deals: While children are excluded from most political arenas (childhood is a low social status), they are expected to profit from the deal in the future. We will investigate the pathways to establishing childhood as a contracting partner and the consequences of their inclusion (and that also means: their exclusion) for the anticipated futures for a new deal.

„Who cares” about gender equality? (Luise Görges)

Still today, most modern societies are characterised by high degrees of gender inequality. On average, men participate more in the economy than women*, earn higher wages, accumulate more wealth, and are more likely to hold a political office or other positions of power. One of the important drivers of these differences is the so-called “gendered division of labour”, which has women spending relatively more time in (unpaid) care work and less time in paid market work than men. Recently, the global pandemic has drawn substantial attention to the gendered assignment of care responsibilities within families and has prompted new discussions about how we can move forward on gender equality issues as a society. What are the root causes of these inequalities? What are their costs to society? And what might be effective strategies to reduce them?

Social Justice - Postcolonial Perspectives (Steffi Hobuß)

Traditional notions of social justice have been criticised from very different perspectives: Marxist critics and critical criminologists have criticised the role of the state in reinforcing social hierarchies and cementing the current distribution of wealth. Postcolonial theorists and activists criticise the Eurocentrism of approaches, and feminist critiques focus on the reproduction of traditional and binary gender constructions. How can social justice be reconceptualized today?

How can schools enhance greater educational equity? Ideas for a better education policy and school culture (Marc Kleinknecht)

Many citizens expect schools to increase opportunities for those who have little support in their families. However, schools do not always meet these expectations. In this project, we explore the question of how schools over the world can support those children whose families have few possessions and are not involved in digital world and in green deals.

DiverCity - Urban Perception in a Diverse World (Katharina Lehmann)

sustainability within urban spaces. How can the built space of a city influsence our daily lifes? How does the urban surroundings are useful to our needs, especially highly diverse needs in a pluralising society? The project focuses especially on sociocultural minorities and and discusses and observes about how do they experience the urban ambience. A central question is the following one: up to which extent discrimination and a lack of integration and inclusion affects minority groups? With an applied approach, students will look through theory and practice and examine future perspectives of an urban life concepts, that focuses on mutual understanding of differences.

Visibility and equal access to societal riches for all! (Simone Borgstede)

We say that every human is born with the same rights for a happy life, however, we know that this is far from reality if we compare living chances for people in e.g. Mali and Denmark. Against the ideas of the constitution, not all people in Germany are heard and have equal rights and access to all resources. For fundamental change, we need to rethink our societal order and its economic basis. What does it mean to live in a just society? Which structures are oppressive? How can we achieve a society in which everybody has a voice in decision making about their own life? 

New Deal – New Joker? The potentials of change and social justice reconsidered. (Seraphia Heitmann)

The historic configuration of knowledge in global transfer while merging with or reemerging from local cultures is visible in a variety of features, among others in education, art and architecture, philosophy, rituals, tourist industries etc. Providing new input its contribution to the formation of a new self-understanding is indisputable. Investigating these we critically look at values and tensions they have provoked in postmodern societies and beyond. The focus lies on the pulse of our life, the critical analysis of cultural segments in transformation in regions of Europe and Asia, for ex. Germany, China, Japan, and Afghanistan. There the history of knowledge transfer resulted not only in the construction of new features representing an altered self-understanding, but also into an epistemic crisis, cultural clashes, conflicts, and the subsequent strive for freedom from external control as evident in present day events. Upon analysis efforts will be made to envisage solutions. 

Diversity in education - Encouraging and empowering young people with a background of migration and refuge. (Lea Gathen)

The refugee crisis in 2015/16 fueled by the Syrian war left Germany with many questions: How to integrate thousands of unaccompanied minors in a social system with German as the defining language? How to enable thousands of students with college degrees to continue with their education or acquire adapted qualifications. How to enable young professionals to pursue their careers in craftsmanship in a different country with governing rules varying from their customary? The academic and medial aftermath of this special wave of migration led to new practical and innovative solutions and a surprisingly open-minded German society welcoming the different and the other. We will take this up and work with the spirit of so-called „Willkommenskulture“ to come up with some friendly contribution to modern challenges in an education fostering diversity.

#democracy

It has become a commonplace that democracy is under threat. But what does this threat consist of? And, more importantly, what are its implications? Do the recent challenges to democracy require a new deal, and if so, what could this new deal look like?

How to bring down dictatorships? The dynamics of pro-democracy movements. (Bélén Gonzalez)

Belarus, Hong Kong, Thailand Myanmar or Venezuela are few recent examples you have seen in the news on protest movements demanding a turn towards democracy in authoritarian countries. These are no exceptions. The Colour Revolutions and the Arab Spring at the beginning of this century already put into evidence how prevalent autocratic regimes are in today’s world and how challenging is to peacefully turn them into democracies. In fact, nonviolent pro-democracy movements in autocracies are difficult to build and to sustain, and they do not always achieve their goal of leading to a more democratic government. How can civil society and political opposition peacefully bring down dictatorships? We will discuss why autocracies may see nonviolent protest movements and the challenges these movements face to promote democracy. 

Online: Young People and Elections - Your vote matters! (Johanna Marlene Hansen)

Young citizens under 25 are less likely to vote than older citizens, however recent turnout increases were powered mostly by the younger generation. How can we explain their voting behaviour? What are the most important issues to the younger generation? And why are they so important? We will discuss general trends as well as the latest election outcomes.

Safety for everyone – studying alternative security concepts (Leonie Jantzer)

Who will protect me if I do not perceive the police as protection? With a view to abolitionist approaches and the concept of Transformative Justice, we will familiarize ourselves with different concepts of security that marginalized and criminalized communities have fought for and created. Thus, the big question is: How can security be guaranteed for all?

New Deal, Green Deal… A new start or just stabilizing the system? (Norman Laws)

When people talk about any kind of New Deal, they often imply also a Green Deal. Those Green New Deals are supposed to combine a new approach towards society and ecology. The message is clear: We can move into a brighter future, protect the climate and have a better life by using capitalist means. The question remains whether this is true nor not. Others argue that New and Green Deals – as they are proposed by different parties and organisations or the European Union – are rather stabilizing the existing economic order, which is – from their perspective – reason for the whole ecologic and social misery that we face today. We will have a look at different arguments and concepts – and what they mean for democratic participations and democratic decisions.

Democracy under construction: towards new participative forms (Roberto Nigro)

By assuming that forms of political participation have dramatically changed in the last decades, we intend to examine the reasons for these changes. In this connection we will explore historical transformations of capitalism, which include the emergence of new forms of subjectivity and of a globalized world, the digital revolution, the collapse of the political institutions of modernity and the rise of new modes of production. By focusing on such topics, we also ask ourselves, how we can live together in a post-media era and how we can overcome digital nihilism and look for new forms of life and relation.

Democratic Horizons: What Value Change Reveals about the Future of Democracy and the Chances for a Green New Deal (Christian Welzel)

The project groups are supposed to study academic articles about global cultural change and the generational transformation of human values and what this means for the future of democracy and the chances for a Green New Deal. In addition to academic writings, students should also research the data of the World Values Survey and study value trends in real data at www.worldvaluessurvey.org.

Philosophie, Kosmopolitismus und wissenschaftliche Weltregierung als einzig mögliche Lösung des Umweltproblems (Marco de Angelis)

Unser Seminar beginnt von der Feststellung des Unterschieds heutzutage zwischen Wissen und Weisheit. Wir verfügen über eine enorme Menge an Wissen, das uns zum Beispiel dazu befähigt, den Weltraum zu erforschen, aber wir haben kein angemessenes Maß an Weisheit, sodass der Planet, den wir bewohnen, derzeit in einer schweren Krise steckt. Wollen wir wirklich in den kommenden Jahrzehnten den Weltraum immer genauer erforschen, aber gleichzeitig unseren eigenen Planeten zerstören? Diese Gefahr spiegelt eben die Diskrepanz zwischen Wissen und Weisheit wieder. Der Trend soll unbedingt umgekehrt werden, d. h. der Fokus müsste in den kommenden Jahren mehr auf der Anwendung von Weisheit als von Wissen liegen. Dazu kann uns die Philosophie sehr helfen. Sie bedeutet „Liebe zur Weisheit“. Wir brauchen künftig die Einbindung philosophischer Motivationen in die Weltpolitik. In diesem Sinne zielt die neu gegründete Internetplattform www.philosophyforfuture.org darauf, die Grundlinien einer zukunftsfähigen weisen Weltpolitik in Teamarbeit zwischen Wissenschaftlern, Studierenden und Interessierten zu entwerfen.

Are there Indications that Democracy is losing its Appeal, especially fort the Younger Generation? (Dieter Friedrichs)

A number of scientists claim that democracy has lost its appeal, especially among the younger generation. We want to investigate whether this statement is correct, what evidence there is for it and what ideas and possibilities there are to counter this threat.

Afrotopia (Ilsemagret Luttmann)

According to Felwine Sarr, the author of the essay “Afrotopia”, Africa has been violently dominated by western modernity concepts that have damaged und distorted a meaningful development of the African continent. At the same time, it had destructive effects on Western societies as well who are deceiving themselves but still pretend to be rational and omniscient. Sarr calls upon Africa to emancipate itself from the Western thinking and to start looking and turning to their own value systems and ways of thinking, their long history. Thereby they have a lot to offer to the world in general. 

From urban citizenship to a decolonization of democracy? (Felix Lösing)

Based on national citizenship, participation in democratic decision-making is as much a right as it is a privilege – shielded against racialized subjects and migrant populations. As such, the constitution of our representative democracy itself facilitates structural racism and postcolonial power hierarchies. But what if cities around the globe claim their own citizenship, not based on nationality but on residency? Could urban citizenship be the new deal that fulfils the democratic promise of political equality? And could truly inclusive cities address the global challenges that nation-states fail to resolve?  

#green

Climate change, biodiversity loss, and unsustainable use of physical resources are fundamental challenges that threaten the integrity of socio-ecological systems around the world. In the face of these challenges, the European Commission has declared the European Green Deal in 2019 as a vision to guide all further developments in the Union and to help shape a fundamental societal transformation. At the national level, the German Advisory Council on the Environment stated in December 2020 that the next legislative period will be crucial to set the course for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 and 2050 climate targets. The urgency of designing and implementing a green and sustainable (New) Deal is thus undisputed, but key questions remain as to how this can be realized in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. 

Regeneration First: In search of a new paradigm for business sustainability (Steffen Farny)

Business sustainability is at the crossroads. As the ‘business case for sustainability’ and the 'triple-bottom-line perspective’ have not inspired a sustainable transformation of organisational life, researchers and practicers call for new frameworks to guide organisations. In this project we will engage with the Regeneration First Manifesto and try to develop concrete suggestions for developing a ‘truly sustainable’ business for the future.

Invasive Species (Senan Gardiner)

In this project we will be examining the invasive species that are currently causing problems in Lüneburg and the surrounding areas. We will explore new ways of looking at actions to limit them - what is working, what isn't? We will not shy away from looking at their positive impacts. We will also explore what scenarios on our future relationship with invasive species might look like.

Democratic Tourism - Let's create a new deal for a sustainable future of travel (Steffen Pabst)

It is hard being a tourist sometimes. More often it is harder to be a local at a tourist destination. Rising consumer and housing prices, the disappearance of local stores and environmental damage are just some of the problems, that locals are experiencing, while the profits of the industry too often don't even stay in the local economy. It is time to rethink the tourism industry, so it does not only benefit the tourist and the locals alike, but also help sustain the local culture and environment.

Online: New deal: The future of green cities - Recycling and reuse of food waste (Daniel Pleissner)

The necessity to carry out a proper utilization of food waste is underlined by the amounts of resources needed for food production, processing and transport. A considerable fraction of food waste is energetically used, which is basically a wasting of resources. Food waste should be avoided in the first instance. If this is not possible, reused. And if a reuse is not possible, recycled in to recover nutrients urgently needed in agriculture. But what possibilities exist in urban areas to reuse and recycle food waste? What is missing in terms of infrastructure, technology and social behavior?  

Re-thinking Public Space (Teresa Kampfmann)

Public space is important. Places, where people can meet, where interaction occurs, where public life is visible. Great places in cities are places where people stay longer than they necessarily have to. What are examples of those kind of public spaces here in Lüneburg? What are your visions to improve public spaces in order to improve inclusiveness and public life?

Circular Society (Alexa Böckel)

The concept of the Circular Economy has arrived in the mainstream discourse around economic approaches, in politics as well as in the entrepreneurship community. However, social aspects as inequality, injustice and questions of power have not been included yet. Critical approaches such as degrowth and post-growth are also not connected to the Circular Economy debate which still believes in decoupling of resource use and consumption. In contrast to that, the concept of the Circular Society integrates criticism of growth, reflects power dynamics between the global north and south and supports value networks for the greater good.

Water, water everywhere! Blue-Green Ways to Urban Flood Resilience (Shenuka de Sylva)

The devastation caused by flood waters can be shockingly unprecedented as witnessed this summer when rivers in Germany swelled, burst their banks and swept away everything that stood in the way. As we come to grips with the realities and unpredictability of the impacts of climate change, and that engineering solutions are increasingly becoming less reliable and more costly to maintain, we are faced with a new challenge—Learning to live with water! What does “living with water” mean? Does “Green” mean “sustainable”? How might we adapt our towns and cities for flood resilience using “sustainable green” strategies? How might “green” flood resilience interventions reduce vulnerabilities and empower communities? How might we engage local communities in flood resilience discussions and initiatives? As stakeholders of urban environments this project provides you with a platform for brainstorming these questions. It invites creative strategies for inspiring and engaging communities and diverse stakeholders in mutual learning, teaching and bottom-up actions. 

#data

Data can play a central role for seeking out a new deal in society: The increasing availability and ability to analyze large amounts of data enables us to better understand how society works, and thus to determine how to improve it. For example, datafication thus can play a central role for creating efficient and fairer public service: with the help of data, we can trace citizen behavior and attitudes – from how they vote, to how they use public services. Also, economically speaking, data about the minutiae of consumers’ everyday lives holds great potential; data therefore often being referred to as “the new oil”. However, data is never neutral, and it can turn into a weapon of surveillance, lead to unfavorable (and undemocratic) decisions, or can be used to the advantage of some and the disadvantage of many. Within this hashtag we are dealing with the possibilities and potential obstacles of data facilitating a more fair, equal, and sustainable society and economy. In our examination of data, we see also reflect on the critical and political nature of data. 

Data and the City: Our City, our Devices? (Jan Müggenburg)

In this project we will deal with the many ways of how our digital devices are interconnected with urban processes and contribute to the transformation of the city. Mobile devices and ›smart‹ technologies not only shape our experience of urban spaces and contexts but largely influence what our cities are and will be. In order to better understand the transformative effect that our devices have on our city, we will use five analytical terms: ›smartification‹, ›automation‹, ›command‹, ›mediation‹ and ›play‹.

Technology––a Natural History? About (Post-)Modern Political Ecology. (Gottfried Schnödl)

With the emergence of the idea of a natural history of development (natural evolution) also comes the idea of a natural history of development of technology. The supposed co-evolution of technology and humans or human society has a significant influence on some concepts of, for example, the history of technology, media science, and increasingly also on everyday life: the debate about the Anthropocene, for example, is no more free of it than some of the discussions about a Green New Deal. This idea, naïve as it may be, opens up the questions about the relationship between technology and nature, as well as between technology and human beings, which will occupy us in the seminar.  

Datafication and Grand Social Challenges (Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich)

Our society faces a variety of grand social challenges. Grand social challenges are large unsolved problems that constitute barriers to the advancement of human existence. They are “societal” insofar as they affect many, if not all members of society and their environmental underpinnings. They are “grand” insofar as their effects are large-scale and potentially global. Key grand challenges include the emerging climate emergency, the digital transformation, or different forms of inequality. The increasing availability of data, collected through multiple devices and the ability to analyse large sets of data - a phenomenon also known as datafication - holds the potential to help governments, corporations and other societal actors to collectively address and potentially tackle grand social challenges. However, datafication itself can be considered a grand social challenge, as it also has considerable impact on society and entails practical, economic, political and ethical problems and considerations. In this project, we therefore want to explore when, how, and under which conditions, datafication may help to solve or tackle grand social challenges and thus achieve a new deal along practical cases and potential scenarios!

Measuring Sustainable Corporate Purpose (Patrick Velte)

During the last decades, there have been controversial discussions about the contents and goals of corporate purpose. Corporate purpose is a statement of a company’s moral response to its broadly defined responsibilities. Since the 1980s, corporations have mainly referred to shareholder value maximization as their corporate purpose from an international perspective. In this project, we develop a framework for measuring sustainable corporate purpose in line with the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and discuss useful recommendations for business practice, regulatory bodies and researchers.

The first step of the journey of data analysis: Which data is important for data analysis? (Lin Xie)

Automatic and interactive data analysis is instrumental in making use of increasing amount of complex data. Depending on the available data, various analysis tasks can be performed, using modern methods such as Data Mining and Machine Learning. As the first step of the journey of data analysis, the type and quality of the data has a decisive influence on the quality of the analysis. Three project groups will discuss different types of data (from different data sources) in intralogistics, team sports and transport.

Which data - who´s deal? How 'the right' data can shape our futures. (Robin Kuchar)

Which data makes a 'New Deal'? As catchwords like big data and datafication imply, many kinds of data we are producing in every day life seems to fuel our nowadays spirit of neoliberalism - from cool capitalism to platforms or issues of surveillance. Regarding big challenges like the climate crisis, scientific data though is broadly recognized by gouvernments and economic decision makers, but has not changed the culture of governing significantly yet. Paradoxically, during the Covid-19 pandemic, this relationship has turned completely as scientific data and science itself got considerable meaning to advice political measures and strategies to overcome the crisis. So, talking about future challenges and a new deal, the question is which data we need to create convincing arguments to initiate a change - and most important how this data could lead to a new polititical culture? 

"Go and Google it!" - Creating knowledge or being known? (Liselotte Hermes da Fonseca)

Much of our knowledge is drawn from and created in digital 'space'. But do we know how this knowledge is formed, communicated or how it engages us? What about the contradictory aspects of this 'knowledge': surveillance and manipulation or knowledge for everyone? Can we 'use' this 'knowledge' for a "New Deal" – for the good of the world? 

Datafication, (quantum computing based) Video Games, Memes, and the transformation known as the Next Society, or: Can we have fun while studying, understanding, and impacting the world? (And should we?) (Manouchehr Shamsrizi)

Modes of Thinking

Visioning

In the project work during the Opening Week, you develop a visionary video as a group – you thus present your vision in a video. But what exactly characterises a vision for the project work? And how do I begin visioning? In the following, you will find criteria for such a vision, which you can discuss with your group. By working along these criteria and through your continuous revision, you will be able to develop a “good” vision during Opening Week. 

Critique

The following guide to the appropriate exercise of critique in a university context has been developed specifi cally for your project work in the Opening Week. It sets out four steps for a critical approach to material in work with your group.

Questioning Mind

During Opening Week, you work together in a team on your project. To take on the project work as a questioning Mind can be helpful in many respects. In the following, you will find small exercises as well as questions that can help you to have good team understanding – particularly when you do not know each other well.

Cooperative Mind

Your project work during the Opening Week represents a playing field to try out the cooperative Mind: You will work with students from various disciplines towards a common goal. The quality of cooperation depends on the level of motivation of those involved in terms of the topic, the task in hand and collaboration. This interdependence also works in the opposite direction: Good cooperation can motivate. In the following, you will find tools which will make it easier for you to cooperate as a project group in a diverse team.