SOMAK 2019

Real-World Laboratory Central Germany – Discovering Opportunities for Structural Change

15. bis 17. September, Hohenmölsen

THE SUMMER ACADEMY (SOMAK)

of the Hohenmölsen Cultural Foundation sees itself first and foremost as an advanced training programme for our new academic talent.

THE CONCEPT

The combination of inter-disciplinary presentations with reference to the region, moreover looking beyond the borders, and an excursion through the Zeitz-Weißenfels lignite district in the European metropolitan region of Central Germany promises an interesting exchange between students, professionals, volunteers, the SOMAK team and our guests.

WHAT DOES THIS RELATE TO?

SOMAK is all about presenting and discussing your innovative approaches to future opportunities and problem areas in Central Germany. We also welcome contributions from other regions. The central focus is on life perspectives between home, work, structural and landscape change.

We are focusing on the following questions at this year's event:
  • How do we address the challenges of lignite phase-out in terms of regional and structural policy
  • Which experience gained from the structural change after 1989 will help us in the current situation?
  • What is different about a “prepared” structural change compared to back then?
  • What can we do better?
  • How can we merge the numerous ideas currently in circulation?
  • Which stakeholders can and must act how?
  • How can we develop a distinctive identity, so that inhabitants like living in their local area and guests can feel comfortable there?
  • What can be done to counteract outward migration?
  • Which industries have development potential?
  • What will be done in the future to provide for an affordable, secure and reliable energy supply?  
  • Which processes are promising for use of lignite as raw material in the chemical industry?

Shaping structural change starts NOW. We have the chance to contribute our ideas and proposals. Come be part of it!


WHO IS ADDRESSED?

No matter whether students, doctoral candidates, young people who are preparing for their A-levels, have just entered the work process or are still in the phase of identifying their direction - everyone over 16 years of age can participate!

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?

Apply with your own work result (for example project, student or final thesis, concept or idea sketch, special learning achievement). The one thing that is important is that the contribution fits the theme of SOMAK. The range can lie between the directions of technical engineering, social or scientific, commercial, tourism-related and media matters.

The list is by no means exhaustive - what counts for us is originality, innovation and commitment. Both individuals and teams are invited.

The total number of contributions to be presented is limited to 15. A pre-selection by the event organiser will take place if the number of applications is higher than this.

WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME?

We offer you a stage on which you can present your idea to a proven professional public. Thus contributing to a "pool of ideas" for Central Germany. You obtain expert feedback and are made aware of topic-related networks.
You get to know interesting fellow campaigners on the same subject and receive training in the inter-disciplinary communication of your approach that is necessary in practice. You can publish your idea promptly in the SOMAK documentation.
Moreover, you can win one of the Cultural Foundation's sponsorship prizes*. You will experience an exciting specialist excursion and visit locations to which you have no access in everyday life.

If you are present throughout and actively participate through your contribution (lecture or poster), your idea is also worth 100 euros to us. You will, naturally, receive a certificate of participation.

*The Hohenmölsen Cultural Foundation Sponsorship Prize and Recognition Prizes, which are worth 2,500 euros in total, are awarded.

WHAT IS EXPECTED FROM ME?

You present your idea to all SOMAK participants, including responsible actors in our region and talk about it in inter-disciplinary discussion sessions. You will be supported by a team of experts (from, among others, Merseburg Higher Education College, Leipzig University, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, the University of Mining and Technology in Freiburg and MIBRAG mbH).

Presentation formats (in German or English):
  • Lectures (15 min.) with discussion (15 min.)
  • Poster presentation and discussion (15 min.)
  • Videos with comments or other formats are also welcome.

We are looking forward to your suggestions!

Representatives of the Hohenmölsen Cultural Foundation, the SOMAK organisation team and decision-makers from politics, science, business and administration will be available as partners in discussion for all programme items.

STATEMENTS FROM THE PARTICIPANTS

SOMAK provided me with:
  • New contacts for further exchange and collaboration
  • Suggestions for further conceptualisation of ideas of my own
  • Breakthrough my own "tunnel vision" on the topic -
  • better assessment of feasibility and possible risks
  • Important input from scientists "from other fields" and wonderful feedback from "those within the research community"
  • One remains not only at the theoretical level but hears an opinion from practice.