On Thursday, December 7, 2023, experts from academia, society, and politics will come together at the University of Bremen for a major regional conference of the federal government on the topic of sustainability. Anke Semrau, head of the President’s Office, and her team are involved in the organization of the conference. up2date. spoke to her.
Under the title “Shaping the Future – Transformation, Together, Now!” (“Zukunft gestalten – Transformation, gemeinsam, jetzt!”), the federal government is inviting participants to the regional conference of its nationwide “German Sustainable Development Strategy – Further Development 2024” discussion series at the University of Bremen in order to jointly further develop the German Sustainable Development Strategy (DNS).
How did this conference of the Federal Government come to be held at the University of Bremen?
We were delighted when in spring, we received the request to host this sustainability conference at our university. The topic and format of the conference are exceptionally well suited to the university. We are committed to social responsibility, particularly through sustainable and climate-friendly action. Our aim is to follow up our strategies with concrete measures and actions. We want to continue to develop and support a culture of sustainability at all levels of the university’s activities. And, we are most creative and effective when we are in constant exchange and engage in discourse with each other. This seems to be perceived beyond Bremen. We warmly welcome the conference participants to the university and look forward to exciting discussions.
“We want to continue to develop and support a culture of sustainability at all levels of the university’s activities.”
Who will be taking part and how many guests are expected?
In addition to Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, Bremen’s Senator for Climate, Environment, and Science, Kathrin Moosdorf, and Sarah Ryglewski, Minister of State for Federal Government-State Relations and Sustainable Development at the Federal Chancellery, will also be taking part in the event. We will welcome 250 to 300 participants to the regional conference at the University of Bremen. The group of participants is very diverse – this format is intended to facilitate a broad discussion. We are expecting experts from politics, business, and academia. In addition, we are inviting interested citizens, students, and school pupils who want to join the discussion on the topic of sustainability.
What was the challenge in organizing the conference?
The conference is organized by the Federal Press Office in cooperation with the Bremen Senate Chancellery and us. This is the Northern Regional Conference (Regionalkonferenz Nord). The national conference of this discussion series was held in Berlin in October 2023. Another regional conference will take place at a different location. The organization was and is exciting for us and in some aspects challenging – because working with the federal government and the Federal Press Office is not something we do every day. We learned about structures and coordination processes at federal level in a different and more hands-on way. This meant that we sometimes had to be patient and wait before we could take the next steps here on site, for example, in terms of space, route, and security planning. But, overall, everything went very well. Everyone pulled together to get the conference off the ground and we met new colleagues and made contacts from the participating institutions.
What is the conference program going to be like?
Discussion is at the heart of the conference. For this reason, there will be a mixture of formats: keynote speeches, plenary discussions, questions from the audience, on-stage talks, science pitches, and workshops. And, of course, there will be networking during the breaks. We are looking forward to a creative and stimulating atmosphere in order to create an open dialog at our university.
The event “Shaping the Future – Transformation, Together, Now!” (“Zukunft gestalten – Transformation, gemeinsam, jetzt!”) will take place on December 7, 2023 on the campus of the University of Bremen and will start at 8:15 a.m. The entire program is available at dialog-nachhaltigkeitsstrategie.de/programm/ (in German only).