Dr Baumann Montecinos, the 5th Transcultural Leadership Summit on the topic "New Silk Road(s) | New Perspectives for Europe?" will take place on November 5 and 6. The Summit, which is now internationally known, has become one of Zeppelin University’s flagship events. The Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin | LEIZ has thus succeeded in creating a format for experts, entrepreneurs, industry and academia with a very broad reach, which invites interdisciplinary exchange and is becoming ever more popular with its audiences. Looking behind the scenes, one is impressed that this highly professional event is mainly organised by students of Zeppelin University.
What is the formula for this?
Clearly, the event’s success derives from our student’ skills, commitment, motivation and creativity. For almost a year, they have worked intensively and very ambitiously on the topic and the event organisation, while being guided by LEIZ researchers. For us at the LEIZ, this is also about innovative didactics, about instilling skills into students which cannot be conveyed in lectures or seminars. It interlinks with our Global Studies Projects which aim at enabling students to engage in special learning processes through the experience of concrete transcultural cooperation - for example in the preparation and implementation of an event such as the Summit, the TLS.
Another important factor for the success of the TLS is its theme. The transcultural approach to cross-cultural cooperation is very plausible in today's networked world. The TLS offers a platform for people from all over the world and from different disciplinary backgrounds to discuss the transcultural approach and to illustrate its relevance by means of practical examples.
Then I would say that, despite the fact that the TLS is now in its 5th year, it is always something new. This time, with the New Silk Road, it is the first time we discuss a major political-economic project rather than a country or region. In addition, this year for the first time there is an art project reflecting the annual theme, which is created and presented by the students themselves under the guidance of an artist, Harald F. Müller from Singen.
Needless to say, it is above all the many supporters who have made the TLS to what it is now. In addition to the students and colleagues, it is our sponsors – first and foremost the main sponsor, Rolls-Royce Power Systems – and other partners to whom we owe a great deal of gratitude. The TLS is a joint project of many different actors, a truly transcultural project, and that is always great to experience!
How many students are on the organisational team this year and how have the tasks changed in 2020 due to the hybrid format?
This year there are again 15 students who are actively involved in the organisation of the Transcultural Leadership Summit. Although the hybrid format has slightly changed the range of tasks, the organisation of the TLS is no less complex. Technology evidently plays a greater part. For example, the technical implementation together with our service partner Bewegtbildwerft has moved more into the foreground, and online participation needs to be arranged in such a way as to ensure that the essential features of the event can be retained. International speakers will not attend in person but will meet in a virtual space. On the one hand, international networking has become easier, while on the other hand, that networking is obviously completely different in nature. In addition, for the first time there is an event app, "Whova", which will accompany the speakers and participants during the event and provide them with additional information.
Despite all this, however, many things have remained the same, such as the in-depth investigation into the topic from various angles and the intensive exchange among experts.
However, the path to get there differed from previous years. For the the first few months, all team meetings took place online, there was no personal "getting to know each other" and "team building" as we have known it before.
Nevertheless, the students managed to set themselves up as a team, assign tasks, develop modes of cooperation and a common spirit – for me as a supervisor this was really very uplifting to observe.
In 2020, the TLS addresses the New Silk Roads - what are the criteria for the annual topic selection?
The TLS is mainly about how transcultural cooperation and transcultural leadership can succeed. We would like to offer opportunities to learn from and with each other by means of best-practice examples and success stories. We are interested in the widest possible range of perspectives from business, politics, civil society, academia, fine arts and culture - and especially the interfaces between these sectors. So far we have focused on countries and regions, but this year we have decided to focus on a broader topic: the emergence of new economic areas with all its political, cultural and social consequences. By focusing on European perspectives on the New Silk Roads, we are also following up on the 2019 Summit on "Europe". In a sense, our interest in the New Silk Roads has thus emerged from the previous conference and ties in with it.
Is there still a possibility to buy a ticket?
Yes, on our website via the ticket store. We are very pleased that the online format this year allows us to bring people from all over the world together at the conference without them having to travel. The Summit is therefore "borderless" in the best sense of the word – anyone and everyone can register and join in, from anywhere in the world. This is a great opportunity for our event. And with Bewegtbildwerft, we have an excellent partner to make this format technically appealing, innovative and interactive. So the TLS should be something very special this year!
Thank you very much for these insights and the interview!
The interview was conducted with Dr Julika Baumann Montecinos, Head of the Research Group Transcultural Competence & Project Manager Transcultural Caravan, and Evelyn Pachta, Manager Communications and External Relations, both Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin | LEIZ.
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