Today, we sent an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen -- via email and post. In the letter, we propose an #EUYouthBonus and recommend to grant DiscoverEU tickets to all 330,000 recent applicants, instead of issuing only the earmarked 60,000 tickets. We argue that after two years of pandemic lockdowns -- which upended most international youth experiences -- such move will be true investment in not just EU youth will, but in European integration mo
Last Thursday, we were invited to speak at a digital event on gender equality & men held by the Merck Group. The event featured leaders and employees from the company's European and American hubs. We shared some insights out of our work as German HeForShe catalysts with a particular emphasis on common points of male resistance or skepticism regarding the quest for gender equality. We also highlighted strategies and methods for progress. After our speech, the event brought to
We are excited to announce that as of November 1st, we are part of the 2021/22 cohort of fellows of the Charlemagne Prize Academy. This program is the newest line of the prestigious Charlemagne Prize Foundation and seeks to foster academic and research work on the future of European integration. Every year five individuals or teams are selected to do this kind of in-depth research. Our research will revolve around two policy proposals that we deem worthy of further public deb
After our reading in Saarbrücken, we took a train to Munich for yet another book reading. This time, our hosts were the FES Bayernforum and the European Academy in Bavaria. The reading was booked out and the audience was highly involved in the discussion of ideas and proposals for a better future of the EU. We are particularly impressed by the event's moderation of Polina Gordienko, a freshman local politician and activist. Overall, we say a big thank you for a great evening!
On Thursday, we had another book reading. This time in Saarbrücken's Villa Lessing. The audience, that joined us both on- and offline, was interested in a thorough discussion of some of our theses and certainly proved that the future of Europe is a topic of wide-spread concern. Thank you for the invite, Villa Lessing!
Last week, we published our second FreeInterrail policy paper. The piece brings together perspectives from a variety of stake-holders, including youth organization, transport, tourism, inclusion, and EU integration, and makes concrete recommendations to adjustments and add-ons for the further implementation of the DiscoverEU scheme by the European Commission. We are very grateful for all the support we have received in writing this paper and do hope that it contributes to mak
On Friday, we moderated the 2021 UN Women Germany conference on the topic of "A New Deal for Gender Equality. Building back better after the pandemic." The event featured expert speakers and stake-holders from Germany, the EU, and beyond. Central theme was the need to centrally include feminist perspectives in any effort to rebuild our societies in a post-pandemic world. It was a good event with different perspectives and creative ideas on finding this New Deal. The photo fea
On June 22, we delivered a keynote address at this year's assembly of female employees at the Berlin waterworks company (Berliner Wasserbetriebe). We particularly addressed reasons why some men hesitate to join efforts for gender equality and what to do about it. We also presented concrete ideas that could be implemented at large companies or organizations to strengthen gender equality at the workplace. We finished our input by joining a paneldiscussion that also featured the
On Friday, we joined a FidAR lunch time discussion and gave a talk on men & feminism. In particular, we highlighted the most common excuse by men to not engage with feminism or work for gender equality. We also shared ideas on how to tackle this systemic lack of interest by men and ways to foster gender equality in companies and large organizations. The session concluded with a productive open discussion in which many of the participants joined in. The whole event can be rewa
On May 6th, Martin moderated the presentation of the 2021 ETL Mittelstandskompass, a study on the current state of medium sized businesses in Germany. Notable speakers at this event were parliamentarians Claudia Müller, Johannes Vogel, Bernd Westphal, as well as researchers Prof. Dr. Christina Günther and others. A German summary of the event can be found here.
ZDF ZoomIn ran a piece on men and feminism. We were happy to contribute and join Jutta Allmendinger, Karin Nordmeyer, Lara Wichels, and Liske Jaax in sharing perspectives on this topic. You can watch the German piece here.
On Saturday, we joined a digital conference on feminism, hosted by Friedrich Naumann Foundation. We got to speak with some 60 student scholarship holders on the role of men in support of feminism and gender equality. Thank you for an open, constructive, and really interesting debate. As always with these kind of events: we're grateful for all the new insights and ideas shared with us, enriching our work and perspectives.
On Wednesday, Vincent moderated an event on the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), which was hosted and organized by the European Commission. The online event featured experts on participatory democracy in Europe and enabled attendees to share ideas and discuss ways and means to more effectively use this tool of direct democracy to participate in discussion on the EU-level.
On Monday, we were invited as guest lectures for a seminar at the Lübeck Academy of Music (MH Lübeck) to talk about our book #TunWirWar, change-making, activism, and the power of ideas. We particularly talked about our learnings from both the #FreeInterrail campaign and our #EsIstZeit open letter on marriage equality. The entire event happened online and featured a wonderful and lengthy discussion with the BA and MA students attending. Thank you for this great experience, we
German national news broadcast ZDFheute did a feature on our work as German HeForShe catalysts for UN Women Germany. The video gives a good overview of our activities in engaging more men for the quest of gender equality and even dives a little into our personal motivation and stories. Check out the piece (in German) here.
On March 29, Martin was part of a panel at the official launch event of the European Commission’s European Year of Rail 2021 under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event offered an opportunity for the railway and European community to debate the benefits of rail for travelers, economical and ecological considerations, as well as the challenges facing the creation of a true single European rail transport market without borders. In his contrib
We wrote an op-ed for Cicero magazine that was published on International Women's Day (March 8th). In the piece, we do some self-reflection on how we became interested in feminism and why men need to listen and believe women on the effects of day-to-day sexism and discrimination. Only this change of perspective will enable men to cease being part of the problem and instead become allies in the quest for gender equality. The whole article in German can be found here.
On February 10th we participated in the FidAR Forum 2021. The event focused on increasing the number of women in positions of leadership in the economic and public sectors and was co-hosted by the German Federal Foreign Ministry and featured high-ranking stake-holders and leaders from politics and civil society. Our contribution -- in our roles as HeForShe catalysts for UN Women Germany -- was a workshop on how men can become allies for gender equality. We are grateful for al
On 25th of January 2021 our #FreeInterrail initiative and work received a special accolade at the 2021 European Railway Award for being an ‘outstanding citizen’s initiative‘. The award aims to honor “bright ideas, ingenious innovation and bold policy initiatives devised to enhance, grow and strengthen the rail mode today and for the future.” The jury highlighted, that “the FreeInterrail initiative has made rail travel and the fascination for Europe a dream for the young gener
Our new book will be published in the summer of 2021 and will be entitled Europe for Future. 95 Thesen für Europa -- was jetzt geschehen muss. The book is the culmination of years worth of research and traveling through this continent. We are presenting 95 concrete ideas on how to foster and grow the European project and improve the European Union. A first book preview has been made avalaible by our fantastic publishers Droemer Knaur in Munich. Find out more here.