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31.01.19

Making the world a better place: students develop social projects

A kitchen on wheels in a remodeled school bus and a goodie bag with information on animal welfare – these are projects contributing to social change developed by KU students in the context of a teaching project in the 2018/19 winter semester. The module titled “Changemaker – shaping social innovation” was closed with a public presentation of the participants’ ideas before a jury.


Developing entrepreneurial solutions to overcome social challenges – this is the central mission of students in the “Changemaker” module. In the module, which is coordinated by the KU.impact team members Isabel Husterer, Erik Bertram and Adrian Röbke (middle), participants work together to develop different social projects. When the project team presented their results to the public, a jury consisting of Prof. Dr. André Habisch, Dr. Thomas Röbke and Dr. Andrea Funk (top left) gave valuable suggestions for their implementability.

Developing entrepreneurial solutions to overcome social challenges – this is the central mission of students in the “Changemaker” module. In the module, which is coordinated by the KU.impact team members Isabel Husterer, Erik Bertram and Adrian Röbke (middle), participants work together to develop different social projects. When the project team presented their results to the public, a jury consisting of Prof. Dr. André Habisch, Dr. Thomas Röbke and Dr. Andrea Funk (top left) gave valuable suggestions for their implementability.

In the teaching format offered by Prof. Dr. André Habisch (Professorship of Christian Social Ethics and Social Policy at the KU) and KU.impact, students learn to develop entrepreneurial solutions to different social challenges. Sophie Schwedux and Lana Vizjak dealt with the issue that production processes for many animal-based food products are not sufficiently transparent. By providing specific targeted information, they want to persuade consumers to favor products of companies with an exemplary approach towards animal welfare when shopping for food. “Many people think that you have to travel far to get good products”, explain the students. They have prepared cotton “Good Goodie Bags” which contain information material on local companies and production backgrounds along with food samples such as eggs and milk. In a next step, the team would like to think bigger and establish collaborations with regional farms and producers and the KU students’ environmental group to be able to start handing out the information bags as soon as possible.

The second group of Lucas Schmitt, Ronja Bauer and Theresa Kiermeier focused on the problem of social isolation and the lack of inclusion especially in rural areas, which often affects the elderly or refugees. Their project bearing the name “Essen verbindet” (eating connects) has the aim of remodeling an old school bus into a kitchen on wheels. The bus will then go on tour around the small villages and function as a place to meet and connect. Those who are interested can apply for a bus stop in their village via an online platform or by telephone. The project members want to collect recipes and personal stories of participating visitors in a cookbook and document how the community connects and grows. Due to the relatively high required initial capital for the bus, the team is currently still looking for funding opportunities.

The jury consisting of Prof. Dr. André Habisch, director of the Landesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement Bayern, Dr. Thomas Röbke and Dr. Andrea Funk, who are responsible for the area of digital formation within the “Mensch in Bewegung” project, provided the teams with recommendations of how to implement their projects. This is the final step in a learning and coaching program offered by the KU in which participants receive information on proper organization, funding opportunities and possible business partners. The program was developed in the context of the “Yooweedoo” project at Kiel University. At the KU, this module has been part of the study offer for two years. All projects in the module have the chance to win the “Yooweedoo” ideas contest and secure a seed capital of up to 2,000 euros.