July 20, 2011
From 8 to 9 July 2011, the MEG 6 class travelled to a secluded part of the Black Forest behind Hinterzarten to conduct a series of workshops in preparation for next year’s Student Organised Event (SOE). The workshops were held at the University's historic forest hut known as Mathisle Mühle. The 18th century hut provided the perfect setting for the students to present their ideas for the SOE to a critical jury, receive feedback and to focus on the next steps required to bring the SOE to fruition. The weekend was capped off with another wonderful international dinner prepared by the MEG students.
The MEG students arrived at the Mathisle Mühle on Friday afternoon following classes. From Hinterzarten train station, the MEGs hiked up-hill for around 30 minutes before being greeted with a view of the picturesque wooden hut nestled in amongst dense forest. There was not much time to take in the view however, as the MEGs were required to present their final concept for the SOE, which will become the 2012 Freiburg Forum on Environmental Governance, to the critical panel of Program Director, Prof. Michael Pregernig, and MEG Program Staff, Dr Phillipp Späth and Ms Leonora Lorena.
During the ensuing presentation the MEGs outlined their innovative ideas for the SOE. Focusing on the topic of sustainable consumption and the power of the consumer, the MEGs intend to integrate academic and social perspectives of sustainable consumption through various media and a creative approach to the subject. In a unique treatment, the core of the event will be a scientific theater, where academic inputs from keynote speakers will be combined with performances as artistic expressions and audience discussion. Additionally the MEGs intend to create a documentary film, interactive webpage and a sustainable consumption guide for the city of Freiburg to inform about local opportunities for sustainable consumption.
The SOE concept was generally well received by the members of the critical panel, who were able to provide an important and constructive critique. Their comments allowed the MEGs to focus their efforts to begin to transform the conceptual ideas into reality. Following the presentation the students and program staff retired to the campfire where they were treated to an Asia-Pacific international dinner including a combined Philippino and Korean barbeque and desserts from Australia. This dinner was part of the international dinner series, which the MEG students regularly prepare for each other, making the most of the unique cultural diversity in the program.
The following day the MEGs continued working on preparations for the SOE and had an opportunity to explore the wonderful surroundings of the Mathisle Mühle including spectacular walks through the forest past pristine lakes and up mountain passes. There was also much merriment to be had around the campfire with many stories and entertaining games shared between the students and staff.
Be sure to keep reading the news section of the MEG website to keep updated about the progress of preparations for the 2012 Freiburg Forum on Environmental Governance.