The second day of the Urban Thinkers Campus in Mannheim’s Stadthaus N1 began with a welcoming speech by Charles Landry – followed by keynote speeches by Christine Auclair (Project Manager World Urban Campaign at UN-Habitat), Ana Lisa Boni (Secretary EUROCITIES), Astrid Meyer (Ministry of Economic cooperation and development), Richard Stanton (Director migration Work CIC, London) and Harald Welzer (director of “Futurzwei – Foundation”).
In four Urban Thinkers Sessions a wide range of topics has been discussed. In Session 1 with Prof. Dr. Andrea Römmele (Hertie School of Governance), Dirk Gebhardt (Marie Curie researcher at GRITIM University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona) and Rainer Kern (Mannheim of Mannheim) dealt with the topics of identity, integration and democracy. “The city of the future should have the right to grant the status of citizenship,” was one of the demands of the session’s participants. “The city evolves into a laboratory, in which future concepts will be tested. It is a complex system and its great potential is the diversity. The city of the future is participatory. ”
The UTC Session 2 with Tom Higham (CEO at Future Everything) and Oliver Rack (Open Data Rhein-Neckar) dealt with aspects of digital life and the new urban citizenship. In the subsequent virtual discussion the following statement was drawn up: “In a world with dwindling natural resources, the resources must be distributed equaly, such as the access to Open Data. Culture gains an important role in this transition. Overall, the digital transformation of all parts of society must become more conscious.”
In the session with Dr. Andreas Blüthner (Mannheim University) and Wolfgang Riegelsberger (Youth Ambassadors of UN-Habitat initiative) the UTC-participants discuss the multisectoral cooperation in the fields of youth and labor: “UN Habitat is one of the biggest challenges, seeking to find solutions to solve extremely high unemployment amongs the youth. This should be achieved by using already proven tools that need to be adapted to the national circumstances. Partnerships with the private sector and cooperation are of essential importance. ”
The reinvention of governance and the evaluation of the new urban age was the subject of another session – led by Alexander Heichlinger (European Institute of Public Administration) and Christian Hübel (City of Mannheim). Great attention was devoted to discussion of the potential of digital social media. Christian Hübel: “Three points were voted as key factors: first, participation and empowerment of citizenship – among others with town hall meetings. Second: an appropriate long-term strategy for orientation and third: a transparent and involving communication. The new digital generation must not be lost – therefore digital media and social media are to be used intensively for communication”.