If you would summarize the news of the last months in a few sentences, it would look like this:

As the effects of climate change continue to push into the consciousness of our society, the rainforest burns and the ocean sinks into plastic. Right-wing spreading death lists with no negative impact on AfD survey results – in fact, the recent elections have produced record results for the party. Social inequality and rent prices are rising, much-needed social investment remains weak as the German state governments cuts costs at every opportunity in line with the ‘Schuldenbremse’, while Facebook, Amazon and Co. pay hardly any taxes on their exorbitant profits.

If Jan Hofer (well-known German news anchor) were to rattle off these facts in his best 8pm news-an-chor voice, we probably wouldn‘t even be surprised. Bad news has become all too common. We see too few answers to too many pressing questions. The invisible hand of the market was suppo-sed to eliminate its self-inflicted chaos, and policy-makers have been reduced to standing on the sideline. The result is a mar-ket economy that has long ceased to create prosperity for all and seems equally as incapable of addressing global challenges.

We should therefore not stay in line and remain silent. We must realise that social structures are not without alternatives. If we get involved and organise ourselves, we can make a difference. We are many, we are more! Movements such as Fridays4Future, Unteilbar and Ende Gelände have already proven this and we need to continue to build on these successes. The 250.000 demonstrators at the Unteilbar demonstration have not disappeared, nor will they suddenly change their minds overnight. The Fridays4Future movement, even if the hype should fade away in a few months, has already shaped a whole generation that does not agree with our cur-rent way of life.

We are at a turning point, and we decide where to go. So, stand up for the topics close to your heart!

Get engaged! Connect yourselves!

Football Tournament

On May 17, 2019, the 3rd HWR-internal football tournament took place on the sports field Vorarl-berger Damm 33 in Schöneberg starting at 12:15.Prof. Dr. Harald Gleißner, First Vice President of the HWR and responsible for university sports, opened the tournament with 17 teams and 180 participants.

In glorious weather, the teams played on two artificial grass pitches with four small fields at a very good level with fair sporting ambition to progress for the qualification for the final round.In two extremely exciting games in the semifinals, the „FC SWJ „(FB1) in the nine meter shooting with 2: 1 against the team“ 1899 BS „(FB1) enforce, in the second semifinal sat last year‘s winner“ FC Wadenkrampf „(FB1) against the team“ NGO „(FB 2) with 1: 0 by.

In the match for third place between „1899 BS“ and „NGO, which finished 2: 1, thus secured“ in 1899 BS third place and the team „NGO“ con-quered a good fourth place.After a thrilling and high-class final, last year‘s winner „FC Wadenkrampf“ won 2-1 against „FC SWJ“ and thus found a lucky but deserved winner and thus the best team of the tournament.

International Spirit

To the ‘Themenjahr International Spirit’ at the HWR Berlin

The starting point to this text is the call of the HWR to make 2018/2019 the year of ‘international spirit’. Within this context, I found myself warmly welcomed as an international student in the Winter semester of 2018/19, choosing to study at the HWR for a very particular programme that is extremely hard to find in Universities in my home country (Australia), in Germany and generally around the world: the Master of International Economics, with a brilliant, interdisciplinary approach to understanding modern social, economic and political questions. With my arrival, the international department at the University were always extremely helpful, as were the ERASMUS office and all the depart-ments directly linked to international students, which I discovered in the process of deciding to study further in Paris in the coming Winter semester of 2019/2020.

Clearly, the university has a relatively effective and well-organised plan for the warm welcoming of students from other nations to its grounds, and for helping its students to make valuable experiences in other national contexts. While there is still much work to be done in making all the university’s services available for students in English, I applaud the university’s efforts in making its ‘international spirit’ felt for international students.

However, beyond simply aiming to internationalise the student body, I expected the HWR’s international spirit to also include a much stronger willingness to engage academically with other, equally important aspects of the wider global context. To me, international spirit means reflecting deeply on the meaning of internationalisation and to actively build a university that fosters the ability of students to engage with real-world issues from many, more critical perspectives, and to give students the tools to participate in the change that is so sorely needed in the wider global context. In other words, it requires an aligning of the university and its programmes with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the globalised economic and political system, and all of the problems that are associated with it. As we are all aware, we face problems of persistent underdevelopment, global conflict, growing right-wing movements, widespread inequality of gender, class and race, and increased effects of climate change on the people who contributed the least yet are the hardest hit – to name a few.

Elsewhere in the academic and research world, especially in leading institutions, developments in the direction of true ‘international spirit’ are well underway.

This year, graduate students at Harvard University were behind an open letter to Jair Bolsonaro, calling for continued funding of the disciplines of philosophy and sociology, after the Brazilian President threatened to cut funding for these departments at Brazilian universities. This showed the Bolsonaro administration’s rejection of “any sort of critical studies” and was clearly an ideologically motivated political decision by the right-wing government, accor-ding to Stephanie Reist, a researcher in Rio de Janiero. The open letter was signed by over 800 institutions worldwide, highlighting a global awareness of the importance that the social sciences play in voicing resistance in the age of populist governments.

As emphasised in a press release by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, social sciences approaches are crucial for tack-ling societal challenges, and research in these areas cannot be limited to national borders. Right-wing extremism, the effects of climate change, urban overpopulation, and coordination for refugee migration and integration, are all examples of problems that transcend the confines of national territories. For this reason, Anja Karliczek, 19the Minister for Research announced increased funding for the social sciences in Germany, with the aim of “understanding our society, shaping our future”.

Taking these trends into account, I find many developments within the University during my time extremely counterproductive and troubling. These include the threatened nature of the Master of Labour Policies and Globalisation (an international master focusing on sustainable development and the important role of interna-tional labour standards and unions), the removal of mandatory social sciences units in bachelor programmes, the exclusion of heterodox economics professors from participating in the process of shaping the development of their own departments (and more generally the divisions within Fachbereich I), and a seeming general project to turn the university into a top-level business school without also bolstering the HWR’s already-established strength in the social sciences (the two are far from mutually exclusive, as was argued extensively by Prof. Dr. Leonhard Dobusch at an IPE Forum in June4).These all represent to me a lack of will to create a university that thinks internationally in a wider humanistic sense. To do so, and to truly place it in the league of top universities, the HWR needs to develop its programmes based on an understanding of the value of fostering critical thinking towards societal issues of global importance and on the aim to develop students who have integrated a deep understanding of their position in the world – regardless of the name of their bachelor. The easy part of international spirit is on its way to being achieved. Bilateral cultural exchange is, after all, an im-portant aspect of bringing people with different backgrounds and experiences together. However, the more difficult and visionary aspects of an international spirit, responding to the rea-lities of the international system are not present for me. This leaves me unhopeful for the future of the university to shape minds with a true international spirit – or better yet, a global consciousness – deeply embedded in them.

Summer Party

The Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR) is one of the most important locations for plural economics teaching and interdisciplinary business studies in Germany. However, the plural and interdisciplinary orientation of Department 1 (Economics) is currently at risk. Heterodox professorships are threatened not to be reappointed, and profile-giving courses as well as contents are threatened to be undermined.

On 13 June 2019, a protest action took place in the backyard of the HWR, organized by students from the three plural Master‘s programmes International Economics (IE), Labour Policies and Globalization (LPG) and Political Economy of European Integration (POLEI). The aim was to make the displeasure of many students about the current developments at the HWR public. At a summer party – including good music and vegetarian barbecue – students were informed about the threat to the plural and interdisciplinary profile of the university. In various speeches, students*, alumni and representatives of the Plurale Ökonomik network stressed the significance and importance of the university as a place of critical science. A petition for the preservation of the LPG Master – whose continuation is doubtful as of the up-coming semester at HWR – was signed by 170 students and employees of all disciplines.


Representing the interests of students who think and act in a socially ecological way

You‘re using the semester ticket? You study at the HWR because you appreciate plurality?

The Social-Ecological Alliance at the HWR is for students from students. It stands for social and fair cooperation, for more ecological sustainability, democracy and transparency. We have joined together as a group of students because these values are important to us and we want to stand up for an even more supportive society in which every living creature should find its place! This can only be achieved with acceptance, understanding and by taking individual fates, outstanding talents and impairments into consideration. The semester ticket is a solidarity model in which every HWR student pays the same amount and can therefore use public transport at a super low price. We are committed to such models. The gap between rich and poor are already wide enough.

We find plurality particularly important. Therefore, a core topic that is particularly close to our hearts at the moment is the preservation of a plural teaching at the HWR. In economics and social sciences there are heterogeneous, i.e. not only one-sided views and theories. We want to learn diversity in our studies. Not only the common theories chewed by the powerful of the world are enriching, but also those that offer alternatives and inspire us to think further.

What have we as SÖB achieved so far?

• Today there is a language tandem program through the initiative of the SÖB.

• The need for sustainability issues, soft skills and IT skills has been perceived by the university and is to be integrated even more into teaching (at least on paper).

• Within the framework of the initiative of other students, the SÖB has been campaigning for an increase in the wages of student employees. Student wages rose by 1.52 euros.

• The SÖB organized new seminars, like the special seminar „My courageous way“ (seminar for the consciousness extension and strength identification)

• The SÖB sponsored the Plural Economy Festival and also had a stand there.

• The SÖB supported the preservation of the master‘s degree of the „Global Labour University“.

• On the initiative of the SÖB, there will be a UniGardening project starting next semester and a sustainability group in which YOU are also welcome!

• Even such small things as a better traffic light system on Campus Lichtenberg are important to the SÖB and they are committed to it.

What else do we want to achieve?
A lot!

We are committed to an even more social, ecological and democratic HWR! With enthusiasm and passion, we want to make your and our lives a little more beautiful. We would like to represent your university-political topics and stand up for an improvement! You can meet our members in Master‘s and Bachelor‘s degree courses, you can contact them at any time or write to us on FB.

The last elections were very successful for the SÖB. We thank you for your votes! We are represented with 12 seats in the student parliament, with 2 seats in the Academic Senate and with one seat each in the board of trustees, faculty council, central women‘s council and inthe women‘s council, faculty 1. Thank you for your trust! There is a lot for us to do next year.

Here are the points that we have not yet reached, but for which we will continue to work with full vigour:

sustainability should have the highest priority in teaching and in life. We want to create a sustainable planet in which our children‘s children or those of our friends or family can live happily and self-determined!

The new project: „Unigardening“ is to start at Campus Lichtenberg and then move on to Campus Schöneberg. We want to beautify the campus, green it and invite you to chill out there.

Holidays for interns should be compulsory! Our manpower is cheap enough. Also legally interns* actually have vacation.

The expiration of the student contracts!

More personnel in the university administration! They should not have no more time for us students due to stress!

Reduction of semester fees! The semester ticket is a great model, but it is even better and cheaper!

Transparency in the use of AStA contributions! The finances of the AStA are to be made freely accessible for everyone.

With the AStA contributions there should be still more meetings and HWR-Student parties!

Technical deficits in the university rooms should be finally overcome. We demand a modern equipment and sufficient sockets!

We demand a student housing for everyone! We want housing to be affordable for everyone.

We need more group work rooms, especially in Schöneberg. They should also be open on Sundays!

Attendance requirements do not correspond to the desired effect. They should therefore be abolished. During your studies you should have time to learn on your own, to volunteer and to gain your first practical work experience.

All these demands as well as previous achievements have come about through your suggestions and voluntary commitment. What we need always is you! We would therefore be pleased if you continue to turn to us with your ideas and wishes! You can simply join in, contact us and together we can develop and implement our goals!

A good start in this semester!
Your SÖB-Team

If you also feel like joining the SÖB, we are looking forward to every new and committed face.
Feel free to write us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sozial.oekologisch.hwr/

My future is your future

Pupils show it off – students, parents, researchers and many other people join in. They all have one thing in common. They stand up for our future, or more precisely for the future of our children and their children‘s children. Are they the only philanthropists? Philanthropy comes from ancient Greek and “philos” means „friend“, “anthropos” means „human being“. It‘s about philanthropic action and a philanthropist is a person who likes human beings. Aren‘t we all philanthropists? Then why don‘t we act?
John Boynton Priestley once said: „Today‘s man: the dumbest creature on earth: He crawls into the big city in his car like a snail, absorbs the environmental toxins like a vacuum cleaner and is proud of what he has achieved”. Now, we as students are not stuck in traffic jams every day to travel to Berlin, but you can still sometimes question yourself. Do I ever need a car? Do I have to fly? How can I make my contribution in order to harm the environment as little as possible? In February 2014, the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote „Smog in China – dealers run out of breathing masks“. To protect themselves from bad air, Chinese people buy breathing masks or air purifiers in Beijing, which they set up in their apartments. Here in Germany we do not have these conditions yet. If we continue in this way, however, we will also face the problem of selling breathing masks, because pollutants are nitrogen oxides just like CO2.

Germans need in average about 4 times of one Earth – Don’t we have only one?
Everyone about the ecological footprint. It is indicative of the biologically productive area that is necessary to make the standard of living of an individual possible in the long term. On average, Germans would need 5.3 to 10.7 hectares of planted land per person. The fair ecological footprint would be 1.7 hectares per person. This means that Germans would need about 2.6 to 5.2 soils. With these statistics a clear call for action becomes apparent. Above all flying has an extremely bad effect on the environment. With two flights a year, we already consume more than the average German citizen. The longer the flight, the worse for the environment. Even if we otherwise pay attention to everything: live vegan, buy organic products, use only the bicycle or the public transport, heat sparingly, cause little garbage – unfortunately it remains a lifestyle on too large feet. Compared to my grandmother as a child, I already live in luxury, already as a student – compared to the average Brazilian woman, too. Both would have given a much better ecological footprint than me. A child growing up in Germany consumes 4 times as much as a child growing up in Pakistan.
We are never the course of the problems.
Of course, we don‘t usually see the problem with us, but with others. The MEPs, for example: It is outrageous that the Green MEPs flew so much in 2018 as never before and even more than the MEPs from other parties. It is also outrageous that, in addition to their Bahncard 100, MEPs are simply reimbursed for every domestic flight and many international flights! We should draw attention to such abuses – take to the streets and demand immediate change, but do we live totally kosher in environmental terms?
„I think the environment is very important, but you can‘t pay attention to everything“, student HWR Berlin.
„The plane would fly anyway,“ student HWR Berlin.
„It‘s very important to live in an environmentally conscious way, but I have to fly to Stuttgart, otherwise I won‘t be able to do it on time“, administration of the HWR Berlin.
We always manage to talk our way out of things in an excellent way, especially when it comes to one particularly bad polluter: flying. Another common argument is that population growth is the worst polluter. The population in parts of Africa is growing rapidly, but it‘s not Africans who pollute the environment the most, it‘s us. This is where action is needed.
We need legal regulations and taxation!
Politics must, of course, do something. Consumer goods that pollute the environment should become expensive, but of course this is usually to the detriment of the poorer population. The rule must be: socially weak people must be relieved on the other side.
Save the environment by gaining more money for other things!
However, you and I can also do something to make our planet future-proof. This depends very much on our consumption and the principle of Erich Fromm applies: „To have instead of to be“. In principle, this simply means consuming less and being more in the here and now. Reflecting on what you have and what you really need can make you feel good. Personal relationships and beautiful experiences are worth much more than money. On the consumption side, it is of course good to do something. So why not picking up food, others would not eat anymore, but still very good? You can do this though for example: foodsharing.de or “Sirplus” (sirlus.de). The fashion now is a used look. Why not trying more to fix your things or buying what has been worn? (Kleiderkreisel, Fleamarkets, …). Reduction of space is good. Are you sharing your apartment or it is tiny? You automatically need less energy, resources and in the same time your wallet does not empty as fast as the next night when you can spend the money to have some bears with friend. Why not inviting them, as you have more money now? Giving is one of the best feelings in the world. You could as well cook with food from the UniGardening project…
Never fly again? No more Currywurst?
Nobody should be condemned for their own behaviour. There must be no „flight shame“ and no shame that if you have no money, you simply go to the supermarkets that exploit the environment and farmers (Lidl, Aldi and co.). What
there should be is global attention and mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh, a mediation master, sees the possibility of getting out of the climate crisis in each of us. We no longer need to run and search for it, but simply reflect on ourselves and thus better understand ourselves and the earth.
Maybe we take a look at what a great life we actually have here in Europe, especially in Germany: We were born in a privileged society, rarely have to fear dying from an attack or an illness and are even allowed to study for free. Which person on our planet has so many advantages? Let’s meet for the next holidays as beautiful Caribbean Lusatia.

Urban Gardening

Urban Gardening

What, How, Why?

We will start in spring 2019! With what? We are making our campus greener! Would you like to join us?
The „Fridays for Future“ movement shows what is really important in life: making our planet future-proof and finally living CO2-neutral!
With the UniGardening project, the AStA wants, with your help to move a little closer to this goal.
The aim of the UniGardening project is to beautify both HWR sites and at the same time to take a step towards more biodiversity and ecological sustainability. Urban Gardening means the use of fallow land in urban residential areas for the planting of useful plants. This has been shown to improve the microclimate and biodiversity. The local production of food can save CO2 emissions through long transport routes. Above all, it is great that the sustainability dimensions: Social, economic and ecological aspects can be reconciled with the help of urban community gardens. In concrete terms, this means that flower and vegetable beds are brought into cities in the form of municipal community gardens. At our campus, we want students to do their utmost to build these gardens and make a small and important contribution to fight against climate change.
You also want to participate? You don‘t know anything about gardening or you are a professional?

Simply contact us at nachhaltigkeitsgruppe@asta-hwr.de
We are happy about everyone who has the desire and time to invest in a sustainable future!