"I am very grateful to you for the way you are involved and committed to your city"
Says Mannheim's Lord Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz in his welcoming speech. Only a few minutes later, this commitment is sharped in Mannheim's town hall. "We need a seal for sustainable regional products," explains a participant in the workshop ‘Sensible Consumption'. "Bring more ecological products into the department stores," writes a young man on a blackboard. "The city should only process fairly produced products in canteens," demands an elderly gentleman.
The people who spend their Saturday voluntarily here and discuss important topics, are shaping the future: Mannheim 2030 is the name of the city's mission statement to achieve the UN's sustainability goals. That this communicative feat works is also due to innovative events such as the Urban Thinkers Campus.
This meeting place was created in cooperation with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlement Program.
Mannheim's committed citizenship
In 2019, Mannheim for the third time was the only German who hosted the UTC - and once again made it possible to meet inspiring experts. Over a cup of coffee with city researcher Charles Landry or Andrew Kelly, the organizer of the Festival of the Future City, to reflect on urban futures- encounters that make the UTC unique.
"It is now a matter of forming networks together to put the Mannheim 2030 vision into practice," says Dr. Peter Kurz in his closing speech.
"We need changes not only in politics, but also in companies and individual behaviour. It is time to ask ourselves: What can I do - what can I contribute?"
It is local answers that give a global perspective, said the Lord Mayor at the end of the day, which was certainly not the last meeting of urban thinkers in Mannheim.
Mannheim offers its citizens a variety of opportunities to get involved in the city as it should be in 2030. The Urban Thinkers Campus is one possibility.