Casino Global: The Winner Takes It All
Our main campus includes buildings that were former military barracks of Lüneburg. The university also has two other buildings in other areas of the city. But what does all this have to do with ISF? We are one of the few universities in Germany that offers a course in environmental sciences. I am studying cultural sciences, and sustainability is top of mind for most everyone at Leuphana. In fact, the university has tentatively planned to introduce a new course of study named ‘Environmental and Sustainability Studies’ in the winter 2012/2013 term.
Sustainability is also a big part of our daily college life. Every year the “Konferenzwoche” takes place. This is an event especially for students in their first term. This year students prepared presentations and exhibitions for the three-day event, which was called “Casino Global – The Winner Takes It All,” named after the James Bond movie “Casino Royale”. The theme of the event was all about sustainable development following the “Rio Conference”.
In 1992 the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, thus the “Rio Conference”. NGOs, or Non-Governmental Organizations, and headmasters of over a hundred governments came together to discuss sustainable development.
2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the “Rio Conference” and we wanted to discuss what has and hasn’t changed over those years. Our “Casino Global” event included leading authorities in the field of sustainability from Germany and many other countries. Lennart Olsson, Director of the Lund University Centre of Sustainability Sciences (LUCSUS) in Sweden, gave a lecture with the support of Helena Lindberg, a Swedish sustainability Scientist. Jakob von Uexküll, Founder of The Right Livelihood Award and Initiator of the WFC (World Future Council), honored us with a visit. Tim Jackson, former environmental consultant for the British Government also attended.
All those amazing and inspiring leaders gave us the chance to learn so much about sustainability through their talks. This way of learning during the conference was called “Arena”. Other ways to get in touch with our guests were through “Specialties” and “Workshops”. For example, some people got the chance to cook with Matthias Carl from the University of Heidelberg, a doctor who shows sustainable ways of cooking.
We even had our own “Eco Fashion Show” where attendees were informed about bio cotton, fair trade and a sustainable way of using clothes. We were introduced to some labels that pay special attention to being very fair and sustainable. Those labels know where their cotton comes from, what the working conditions are like and how their products are created. We also learned that if we pay more attention to our shopping behavior we could afford to purchase more “fair” clothes.
It was really interesting; the prejudices of eco clothes being old, scruffy or ugly were disposed. I especially liked the label of “Naturschutz macht sexy” (Environmental Conservation is Sexy) and bought myself a linen bag afterwards. This is the best way to start helping the environment, plus the statement of the label is printed on the bag. Forget about plastic bags; buy linen! In my opinion this is a great idea to carry sustainability into the world.
Learning is much more effective when you enjoy what you are doing. Organizing this event with the help of other students and getting in touch with so many great people was an amazing and inspirational experience. I could tell you so much more, but I think this little article gives you all insight on what my university is doing to promote sustainability.
Because we are the future, it is our job to make ourselves strong for the world we want to live in. Until I enrolled here I didn’t know that my university goes to such great lengths to promote sustainability. Now I think this one of the great aspects about Lüneburg. We offer exchanges with other universities, too, so you could think about doing a year abroad here!
So, I showed you what we are doing toward sustainability at my college, now it’s your turn: What does your college do to promote sustainability? Or what do you think the world must know about you and your ideas?
Thank you so much and remember: “Environmental Conservation is Sexy!”
Viktoria (Vicky) Mühlbauer
The Leuphana University of Lüneburg ‘14
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