What is the Panel Discussion with Researchers and Practitioners?

Following the tradition established with the “Weinheim Discussions”, the Freudenberg Foundation – together with the Marga and Kurt Möllgard Foundation and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence of the University of Bielefeld – has been inviting professionals from civil society organizations, public administration, politics, the media and academia to Weinheim every year since 2003 to discuss the consequences of the empirical analyses of the study on group-focused enmity. One key point of discussion is the identification of local settings where group-focused enmity can spread. In 2012, The Freudenberg Foundation changed the structure of the panel discussion so as to focus more on practical work and local levels. For this purpose, the “Weinheim Discussions” have been adapted to this subject, and the new models developed by the panel discussion to strengthen democracy at the local level are being put into practice. To this end, the Freudenberg Foundation has commissioned the association “Community Coaching – Institut für Demokratieentwicklung e.V.” under the management of Dr. Dierk Borstel. This association evolved from the experiences gained by the former “Center for Democratic Culture” and can look back on more than 15 years of experience of actively promoting democratic development at the local level in western and eastern Germany.

What are the goals?

The objective of the panel discussion is to review the results of scientific research and to gain practicable information that can be used by organizations working in the field to promote democratic culture at the local level.

What does the Panel Discussion do?

  • The Panel Discussion develops new forms of discussion and cooperation between researchers and practitioners,
  • It sets up a consultation round with the persons responsible for relevant programs in different ministries,
  • It provides an Internet-based service portal for the panel discussion presenting the range of subjects concerning the development of democracy in communities and schools,
  • It publishes a manual based on the Weinheim Discussions,
  • It uses the myriad experiences gained in practical work to promote democracy and the related networks of contacts to systematically draw up documentation of the current knowledge for the general public,
  • It looks for new forms of discussion and cooperation between civil society, politics, public administration, schools as well as business and industry.

Who is financing the Panel Discussion?

  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim

Which partners are supporting the Panel Discussion?

  • Amadeu Antonio Foundation, Berlin
  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, University of Bielefeld

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation holding the Panel Discussion?

The Panel Discussion, amongst other things, provides a networking platform for researchers and practitioners: it stimulates the practical projects of the foundation through scientific impulses and supports the scientific study of practical issues. Consequently, the cooperation between researchers and practitioners becomes a laboratory of new ideas and models for the foundation’s program area “Democratic Culture in Communities and Schools”.

Community Coaching – Institut für Demokratieentwicklung e. V.
c/o Amadeu Antonio Stiftung
Dr. Dierk Borstel
Linienstraße 139
10115 Berlin
Phone 0049-(0)177-6778039