Our scholarship holders
Our scholarship holders
Every September, the convention of the scholarship holders of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation takes place at the Theodor Heuss Academy in Gummersbach. Around 100 scholarship holders came together at #zauberberg for nearly four days of discussion, of organising, of networking, and of presenting plans for 2020. How can liberal politics create a framework for innovation and progress to ensure long-term prosperity? Especially considering current challenges, like climate change. After a welcome by Professor Karl-Heinz Paqué, Chairman of the Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Dr Hans-Peter Klös of the German Economic Institute in Cologne shared some thoughts on progress and growth. Then Johannes Vogel offered some insights from political practice. He focused on the following important measures: implementing a flexible retirement age to safeguard personal prosperity, midlife BAföG [student grants and loans] for individualised further education as part of lifelong learning, and freedom of research combined with the necessary openness to technology to address climate change. He stressed that, above all, a focus on freedom and individual responsibility were the fundamental characteristics of a liberal framework. The lighthouses this year went to Mr. Stefan Wennike for his scholarship commitment, to Julian Krauskopf for his social commitment as founder of the association "Schlüssel zur Gesellschaft" and to Martin Thoma as an outstanding alumni scholarship holder. But the convention was not all about political discussion, it was also a space for developing ideas and working on new projects. One successful example of this was the establishment of Kiron – the ‘Online University for Refugees’ – by former scholarship holders Vincent Zimmer and Markus Kressler. A trip to Ukraine was chosen as the 2020 international academy. The scholarship holders will visit the regional office in Kyiv and spend a week getting to know the country in the company of liberal partners. The chosen domestic academy for 2020 will be entitled ‘Changing energy production in Germany’. Participants will visit Lusatia (lignite), Enge-Sande (wind power), and Greifswald (nuclear fusion).
Stefan Wennike, Julian Krauskopf und Martin Thoma erhielten Auszeichnungen für ihr herausragendes Engagement (v. l. n. r.)