Stiftung Mercator in China
China’s significance for Europe
In an increasingly globalized world, China is a region of key importance for Germany and Europe from a political, cultural and economic perspective. Stiftung Mercator, one of the largest private foundations in Germany, would like to engage long-term with German-Chinese relations, which is why the Foundation has made China one of its three focal regions within its Centre for International Affairs.
Cooperation requires understanding
The objective is to bring about mutual understanding of our different cultures, to dismantle prejudices and to promote cooperation on joint projects. The guiding philosophy of Stiftung Mercator in the area of international cooperation concentrates on understanding one another, learning from one another and jointly overcoming international challenges. Today, China already has enormous influence in the world, so a cultural and intellectual exchange is desirable in all matters relating to cooperation.
Projects to promote international understanding
“Zukunftsbrücke: Chinese-German Young Professional Campus”: Organized by the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) and Peking University in cooperation with the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), the project took place for the first time in 2012. 15 young professionals from China joined 15 of their counterparts from Germany in a discussion of trends, visions and models of sustainable urban development in Germany and China, political challenges for urban development and general issues relating to German-Chinese relations. Stiftung Mercator is making available a total of 345,000 euros for this project.
Low Carbon Future Cities: “Low Carbon Future Cities” is the title of a research project run by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy; its ambitious goal is to draw up and put into practice comprehensive municipal climate protection strategies in the Chinese city of Wuxi and the German city of Düsseldorf. The research project is being conducted in cooperation with other German and Chinese scientists. The Foundation’s aim is to interlink two central spheres of action: its commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and its support for German-Chinese exchange on key future issues. Over three years, Stiftung Mercator is making available a total of 1.65 million euros for this project.
Klima-Macher! International: How big is China’s carbon footprint? How is energy generated and used? How are these things dealt with in Germany? What role does climate change play in Germany and China? These are the central questions that school students from China and Germany have been focusing on since the 2009/2010 school year, initially in the “Thinking Ahead” project and, from 2011/12, in the “Klima-Macher! International” project. In the 2011/12 school year, around 120 students from six German and six Chinese schools are exploring the question of “How would a city look in which I would like to live?” Over three years, Stiftung Mercator is making available a total of 222,000 euros for this project.
Mercator scholarships for school students: In cooperation with AFS Intercultural Programs, Stiftung Mercator has since 2000 been granting scholarships to school students, enabling them to spend time in China, among other countries. Other project partners are YfU, experiment e.V. and the Goethe-Institut. Partial scholarships make it possible for students to spend time abroad, thereby improving their future prospects. So far, more than 700 students have been abroad thanks to Mercator scholarships. Over three years, Stiftung Mercator is making available a total of 735,000 euros for exchanges with China.
Cultural manager exchange: In early September 2009, a three-phase training programme was launched for young Chinese executives working in the area of cultural management. The objective of the project is to establish lasting and sustainable international networks in cultural management and to reinforce the transfer of knowledge between China and Germany. The training programme for young Chinese executives in cultural management is a project of the Goethe-Institut, the Institute for Cultural and Media Management at the Free University of Berlin, and Stiftung Mercator. Over three years, Stiftung Mercator is making available a total of 160,000 euros for this project.