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Opening Event and Reception
The official opening event of the Charrette in Emmendingen took place on the evening of February, 4th 2011 in the council chamber city hall. Around 60 guests attended, amongst them local citizens, politicians, entrepreneurs and businessmen, as well as representatives of institutions, organizations of the city and the region “Dreilaendereck”.
The chairs of the Charrette presented the topics and subject matter of the three-day planning workshop. Described in detail was the concept of the College of Human Ecology for Europe modeled on the US-American environmental science and liberal arts College of the Atlantic. Also discussed was the main issues of finding the right location and of obtaining funding. Another topic was how the College is to be integrated into the German higher education system.
Greetings were read from the president, David Hales, and the academic dean, Ken Hill , both from the College of the Atlantic.
In his speech, Mayor Stefan Schlatterer emphasized the amenities of Emmendingen as a splendid location for industrial production, business services and as a family friendly place to live and work.
Nader Maleki, president of the International Bankers’ Forum and CEO of the Maleki-Group Frankfurt, highlighted the necessity and feasibility of a privately initiated college as a driving force of vivid interdisciplinarity, professional communication and sustainable and economic efficiency.
“The college will improve the image of the city and the region by being the fore rider in social innovation management and state of the art environmental research and development. The city,with its important historical substance, will profit through the new technologies in energy rehabilitation and conservation.”
Ernst-Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel of UNEP and resident of Emmendingen, pointed out the advantage of the liberal-art-concept. The initiative to found a College of Human Ecology for Europe has to be seen as a clear alternative to the so called “European-Bologna-Model”. Instead of pure conditioning, the COHE would encourage the development of the creative potential of innovation, so highly needed today.
Weizsaecker called the College of Human Ecology for Europe a unique opportunity for a region oriented towards sustainable development, to be the precursor of uncoupling wealth from the consumption of resources.
Andreas Nebelung addressed an informal reception afterwards about “The Beginning of a Journey – Horizons of Academic Landscape”. His address tied together the literature, liberal arts and the enriched traditions of State of Baden and the city of Emmendingen.