The Summer School Neckar Now was a one week international programme at our School of Engineering and Architecture with nearly 35 participants from 14 different countries – an exciting programme for those considering future studies in Water Technology (M.Eng.) or Architecture (B.A. or M.A.). All joined their hands together for a common cause to find “transformative approaches for a sustainable future”.
Sustainability and water have an inseparable bond – therefore talking about water conservation without considering sustainability as the other side of coin is not long lasting. On 16th August, 2020, we started with a brief introduction and a short city tour along the shores of the beautiful Neckar River. The second day started with an opening ceremony led by the rector of the University, Prof. Dr. Diener, followed by various input sessions from Prof. Dr. Gerber, Prof. Dr. Gayh and B. Zevallos. In the following days, we formed groups to find solutions to different challenges and to find ways to create sustainable living as a new way of life. There were four different challenges around Heidelberg which required immediate attention. With the help of brainstorming and other scientific methods we derived possible solutions to those challenges. The obtained solutions were then examined to find the most feasible one and each group started to work on it. We also had the chance to go for a city tour in a very different and engaging way, which helped us to get to know our fellow group members and the city in a way that we had never seen before. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many participants to join the programme in person, most of them were able to join online and contribute to each challenge thanks to the technological advancements. Reaching a consensus with the online and offline team during meetings was one of the great challenges we had to face, however it was all made possible with the expert opinions and guiding from the programme coordinators. From the perspective of an international student, the Summer School Neckar Now provided the perfect opportunity for us to meet and mingle with new people and exchange ideas to formulate solutions for problems, which otherwise would go either unnoticed or unattended, while working in a multicultural team.
Here is a video about Neckar Now: