The Freiburg Forum on Environmental Governance 2010
During the weekend from the 15th to the 17th of April, Freiburg University hosted the third Freiburg Forum on Environmental Governance. The 2010 edition entitled “The Role of New Media in Environmental Governance” was organized entirely by the students of the MEG 4 generation, as part of their study programme (Student Organized Event). A new addition to the event was to combine the Forum with a MEG-alumni meeting made possible thanks to DAAD funding. 42 MEG alumni traveled to Freiburg to meet their former colleagues but also to share their life and work experiences with current students. For more information about the event and to browse the photo-gallery, click here.
Two of the three conference days were “MEG-only” and only on the 16th the public was invited to participate in an array of interesting presentations, a talk-show session and round-table discussion. The topics varied from Transnational and Social Networks to Monitoring and Accountability and were covered by speakers from various institutions and organizations. Among these were the German Development Institute, and the Canadian-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Transparency International and Germanwatch. The organizers made use of ‘new media’ extensively, especially in the talk-show session which featured two speakers via internet conference, engaged in dialogue with the ones on the podium. The documentary “Age of Stupid” was featured in collaboration with the Uni film club as the closing mark of the day.
The part of the Forum dedicated only to ‘the MEG family’ took off on the 15th with a welcome speech by the programme director Michael Pregernig and a brief presentation from the Uni Freiburg Alumni Association. An important part of the day’s agenda and a key component of the entire Forum was the launch of the MEG online platform, a web- tool designed to connect students, professionals, scholars, practitioners and any individual interested in environmental governance. In the evening alumni and students continued socializing during a dine-out together offered by the organizers.
The closing day had the future of the Master in focus and aimed at concretizing the creation of an environmental governance network. This included a collective session during which all the students present registered on the online forum and gave their input about its feasibility. Examples of social networks were provided in the morning’s workshop, in which MEG alumni and journalist Craig Morris presented instances in which new media helped their ideas grow and gain momentum. The last opportunity for the participants to come together was for the evening’s dinner and wine tasting to celebrate the end of what was deemed “yet another very successful MEG SOE!”