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Michael Vassiliadis, Member of the Council

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Intergenerational Dialogue in Practice –
Citizens Initiate Sustainability

Intergenerational dialogue competition
Prize winners honoured in Berlin

Award of the project Wohnverwandtschaften as a lighthouse project of the competition - © The German Council for Sustainable Development

The Federal Government and the German Council for Sustainable Development held an awards ceremony for the 40 winners of the "Intergenerational Dialogue in Practice – Citizens Initiate Sustainability" competition in Berlin on 27 May 2009. Ten of the most outstanding initiatives from the field of entries were honoured as "lighthouse projects". To photo gallery of awards ceremony

The members of the 40 volunteer groups from across Germany are shining examples of how to promote interaction between the young and old. Thanks to their high degree of personal commitment in a variety of areas, including education sponsorships, intergenerational housing projects and neighbourhood networks, they enhance a sense of community within Germany’s changing social fabric.

"The competition shows how consciously and positively many people in Germany are dealing with the demographic transition in Germany," said Hans Geisler, jury chairman and Member of the German Council for Sustainable Development. The professionalism and, in many instances, the sense of environmental responsibility among the volunteer groups as they work toward intergenerational dialogue is "impressive and encouraging," says Geisler. Many of the award-winning initiatives are more than just socially exemplary. They also excel in terms of energy-efficient buildings, regional procurement and the use of renewable sources of energy. List of prize winners and photos

"Despite the differing nature of their commitment and regardless of whether the initiatives are launched by younger or older people, all of the selected projects have one thing in common: bringing people together and promoting shared experiences," said Gerd Hoofe, State Secretary at the Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. They prove that “everyone benefits from citizen’s commitment – individuals as well as society, says Hoofe.

A total of EUR 100,000 was awarded with the prizes, and 336 project groups took part. Entries were evaluated by a jury consisting of representatives of community umbrella organisations, the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu), the scientific community, the German Council for Sustainable Development and experts on civil society involvement and local sustainability.

Background

Dr. Volker Hauff on the competition´s awards ceremony on 27 May 2009 - © The German Council for Sustainable Development

"Intergenerational Dialogue in Practice – Citizens Initiate Sustainability" is a contribution to the national sustainability strategy made by the Federal Government which jointly sponsors the competition along with the German Council for Sustainable Development. The Government is represented by the Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, the Federal Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Urban Development. By staging this competition, the Federal Government and the German Council for Sustainable Development seek to honour and support the many forms of voluntary civil involvement.

Entrants

The competition is primarily aimed at civil society players dedicated to furthering intergenerational interaction. This may occur, for example, through private individuals, neighbourhood groups, clubs and associations, self-help groups, local educational institutions, regional economic co-operations, environmental groups, consumer protectionists, culture initiatives, citizens’ foundations, churches or trade unions.

Conditions of entry

Entrants were asked to meet the following criteria:

  1. They are an expression of civil involvement and of the active formation of social processes.
     
  2. They have, for the most part, a social, ecological and economic bearing on the Federal Government's sustainability strategy which seeks to merge economic efficiency, the conservation of natural livelihoods and social responsibility in such a way that developments are lastingly viable.
     
  3. They strengthen the intergenerational networking of all players.
     
  4. They are at a well-advanced planning stage or have already been completed.
     
  5. It would be desirable if, e.g. the support or involvement of foundations, companies and municipalities, or the support of the project through regional planning were documented.

  6. They are models or role models and inspire others to copy them.

Award

A total of EUR 100,000.00 was awarded to 40 exemplary projects. The awards were presented at a ceremony at the Federal Press Office in Berlin, with the involvement of the German Council for Sustainable Development and several federal ministries.

Jury

The projects were evaluated by a jury consisting of members acting in an honorary capacity who had been invited by the Federal Government. It is comprised of representatives from community umbrella organisations, experts on local sustainability, the scientific community, the German Council for Sustainable Development and the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu). The Federal Government took on an advisory, non-voting role during the jury's deliberations.

Logo "Citizens Initiate Sustainability" - © The German Council for Sustainable Development

A competition by
the Federal Government
and the German Council for
Sustainable Development

Logo of the Federal Government - © Federal Government

Contact

Eike Meyer
German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)
Office c/o GIZ
Potsdamer Platz 10
D-10785 Berlin, Germany
 
Ph.: +49 / 30 / 338424-171
Fax: +49 / 30 /338424-22-171

E-mail: eike.meyer@nachhaltigkeitsrat.de