Conference on July 8th, 2022



9:00 Edwin-Scharff-Haus
Silcherstraße 40, 89231 Neu-Ulm

9:30Main auditoriumOpening:
Greeting Carmen Stadelhofer, ILEU
Greeting online Barbara Bosch,
State Councilor for Civil Society
and Citizen Participation, Ministry of State Baden-Württemberg
Greeting Katrin Albsteiger,
Lord Mayor of Neu-Ulm

9:55 – 10:25 

Lecture 1
Ivo Gönner, former Lord Mayor of Ulm
Living democracy
10:30 – 11:00 Lecture 2
Dr. Kriemhild Büchel-Kapeller,
Office for Volunteering and Participation,
Landhaus Bregenz, Austria
From ME to US. Strengthening democracy by getting involve
11:00 – 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 – 12:15 main auditorium
Working groups:
5 working groups, topic „What does democracy need?“
12:15 – 12:45Wengenkirche, Wengengasse 8, 89073 UlmPresentation of the results

12:45 – 13:30
12:45 – 14:15

Market of Opportunities,
Living Library
14:15main auditoriumPresentation ViMA-Danube
Opportunities for cross-border encounters
14:35Presentation of the projects culture heritage
Codanec / Incult / Living Library
15:15Coffee break
15:45Conference roomsPresent working groups / projects / develop task and present results
Group 1: InCult – Marina Kuch
Group 2: ViMA danube –  Angela Pudda
Group 3: Democracy  and digitalization-
                 Dr. Markus Marquard
Group 4: Participation in the design of living spaces – Dr. Dušana Findeisen
17:00main auditoriumReports, planning in small groups, statement
19:00Campus Orange, Wiblinger Str. 37, 89231 Neu-UlmJoint evening

Pictures Lectures

Pictures taken by Hans Brendle

Results Working Groups

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Summary of the group work:

The second article of the Declaration of Human Rights contains various aspects of social life. „Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms … without distinction of any kind …“. During the meeting in Ulm, Germany, on 8 July 2022, we shared some reflections on this article. What aspects are still an issue today, what feelings do we develop about this topic? Unfortunately, tolerance and acceptance still have their limits and one of our first thoughts was to „demand the right to dislike things in a peaceful way“. Our personal sphere does not want to be harassed or even invaded by anyone. To interact peacefully and be a social unit, we are united by respect, which grows with curiosity, willingness to learn and knowledge. We have been struck by the word „race“, which has no reason to be quoted nowadays in relation to being human. Science has taught us that all humans, despite all diversity, are part of a common species. However, as long as our upbringing through family, school system and religion is characterized by prejudice, fear and arrogance, it is difficult to grant everyone else the same rights we demand. Finally, the question arises whether we humans might be able and willing to grant rights to all other living beings as well, and thus even improve our sense of democracy. What personal experience about this article would you like to share with us? What can we do to improve our daily actions to comply with this article?

Article 14

Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

Summary of the group work:

It was first discussed that the difficulty often also lies in distinguishing between those who really need help and those who may take advantage of it. It should be clear that support goes to those who really need it. How is this defined/recognized? A big point was also the fact that there are often different behaviors towards refugees from different countries. This often complicates the process of integration and sometimes raises the question of whether all arrivals always want to be integrated. This is often made more difficult by the media’s portrayal of refugees, e.g. Hungary actively portrays refugees as enemies of the country in order to turn its own society against them and reject them. This shows the great importance of education and also the formative role of the media in society. What does it take in these days to ensure a just implementation of this article?

Article 19

Everyone has the right of freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Summary of the group work

What is freedom of speech for you? „To say what I think without fear of the consequences.  At our Danube Networkers workshop, we asked ourselves this question and had a stimulating discussion about what freedom of speech actually means… Especially nowadays, with numerous social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and many others, it is probably more confusing than ever to determine where one’s own freely expressed opinion ends and where hate, agitation and so-called „fake news“ begin. Because one thing was clear to all of us today: freedom of expression and discrimination are not the same thing! But how can we avoid this in the future? How can we look beyond the boundaries of our own „bubble“? We have come to the conclusion that education, as often, is the key to our current problems. However, we must not only look at future generations, but educate everyone. What do you think about this?

Article 26

Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further promote the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

Photos taken by Hans Brendle

Working Groups in the Afternoon

Workshop 1 – In-Cult

In the workshop, the In-Cult project was presented by the participating partners from Alicante (Spain), Mola di Bari (Italy), Timişoara (Romania), Ruse (Bulgaria), Belgrade (Serbia) and Ulm (Germany). The focus of the project is the online game In-Cult:

The aim of this game is to bring selected cultural treasures closer to the users through a memory game and a quiz as well as information on the respective cultural treasures in all participating languages, including English.

In the workshop, the participants were able to test the game and get to know the selected cultural treasures of the participating countries. The feedback received in the workshop can then be incorporated into the further course of the project.

Workshop 2: Vima-Danube

One of the aims of the workshop was to familiarise the participants with the various functions of the online platform and to describe the possibilities of communication, also across language and cultural barriers.

The volunteer supporters of the test phase of ViMA-Danube made themselves available to the participants of the workshop, who had little or no prior knowledge at the time of the meeting, in order to access the platform via smartphone or tablet.

The macro functions were thus explained and the experiences of the volunteer supporters during the test phase were told.
All „newcomers“ were curious and enthusiastic about the functions and the possibility to discuss issues that concern us all across borders. One participant was already informed about the functions as a member of ViMA-Ulm.

New profiles were created, chat functions were tested and the results of the previously held working group on the topic of „human rights“ were embedded in a new discussion forum. Finally, different possibilities of dissemination and information about the platform were discussed. Mainly via social media, reports or articles in the local media.

Workshop 3 – Digitalisation and democracy

Digitalisation is reaching all areas of our lives. In many cases, this transformation is taking place unnoticed by many. There are not only older people who are at risk of being left behind. Especially as digitisation continues to accelerate and many developments are unpredictable. This makes it more important to involve citizens in design digitalisation and to enable digital participation. In the workshop, we will exchange good practices and develop visions for more democracy.

Workshop 4 – Participation in residential area design

The workshop encompassed two presentations respectively by German and Slovenian presenters  The first presentation consisted of descriptions of older people’s lives in EU countries. The second presentation resulted from the EU Dreamlike Neighbourhood Project .The topic was Older People’s Participative Inclusiveness illustrated by two public exhibitions titled City 65+ between Retreat and Urbanity. They were conceptualised by Slovenian Third Age University students.