This year’s Transcultural Student Research Group focuses on the topic “European Relational Societies – Best Practices for Civil Society Cooperation" and is headed by the team of the Transcultural Caravan: Professor Josef Wieland, Dr Julika Baumann Montecinos and Jessica Geraldo Schwengber. As a follow-up project to the Transcultural Leadership Summit 2019 on Europe, it takes a closer look at the role of civil society in Europe and is conducted in cooperation with the Maecenata Foundation, whose director Dr Rupert Graf Strachwitz was a speaker at the Summit.
The project aims at addressing the observation that Europe is facing major economic, social and political challenges and transformations, not least within the frameworks of democratic societies, cross-border value creation, migration, and digitalisation. The Covid-19 pandemic will further increase the relevance and poignancy of this development. In essence, all these challenges are also, and above all, challenges of civil society involvement. However, there is currently no common understanding in Europe of the nature, role and productive capacities of civil society in the respective societies in Europe. Different historical experiences, political and cultural traditions and perspectives on the future of Europe play a fundamental role. As a result, this can lead to a situation with far-reaching negative consequences, both for the development of Europe, coping with the challenges described above and the relevance of civil society involvement in the various countries, not only in Europe but worldwide.
The Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin (LEIZ) at Zeppelin University conducts transcultural research within its project Transcultural Caravan in so-called “Transcultural Student Research Groups”. These groups are composed of student researchers who tackle one collective overarching research agenda, each of them writing a research paper on one topic and thus providing a distinct perspective on the overall research question. Both the students and their supervisors represent different departments and disciplines of Zeppelin University. In this manner, a phenomenon can be approached via different ways of thinking and with different methods, ultimately providing a multiple-perspective description of that phenomenon. Like a mosaic, each sub-project provides some aspects to compose the overall picture. Alongside the students, LEIZ researchers are involved in the research program, guiding the group but also contributing with their own research projects. One important ambition LEIZ pursues with its Transcultural Student Research Groups is bringing together young and established researchers from different cultural backgrounds.
This year, due to the pandemic the format of the fourth Transcultural Student Research Group had to be adapted. Instead of going abroad on the annual research trip the students partnered up with other European students to tandem their research and experience the transcultural approach in their research projects. The participants and LEIZ-researchers are now virtually connected all over Europe and are very happy about the international exchange online.
The Research Preparation Week aims to prepare the participants of the Transcultural Student Research Group in their data collection phase and to provide a platform for exchange and learning within the group.
We are very pleased with our cooperation with Maecenata Foundation and especially want to thank Dr Rupert Graf Strachwitz and Dr Siri Hummel for their expertise and for being part of this project.
LEIZ Communication Management
What is the Transcultural Caravan?
The Transcultural Caravan sees itself as a hub of global thinking. It follows three different pillars in its work: knowledge, network and exchange. It is a platform that brings together (student) researchers and practitioners from all over the world and supports them in their exchange, their further development and networking of their ideas on global issues.
Students at Zeppelin University, students of other universities as well as practitioners thus have the opportunity to discuss research questions in global contexts and within the framework of international Transcultural Student Research Groups, the Transcultural Leadership Summit as well as other Transcultural Encounters. This not only broadens the scope of research results, but also broadens the horizons of all those involved.
Furthermore, students from all areas are highly encouraged and welcome to take part in our projects. It is also possible to write your Humboldt, Elinor Ostrom, Bachelor or Master thesis within the framework of the Transcultural Student Research Group.
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