The future is strongly influenced by technological developments. We want to make it possible for young people to openly and reflectively engage with developments that will have a relevant impact on their lives and their work in the near future. Our commitment promotes active positioning and shaping through dialogue and discourse instead of passive consumption.
"Young people will shape the future. We want to support them with innovative projects as they do this. At TouchTomorrow, students can discover and try out future technologies for themselves. Never in an isolated manner though, but always within the specific context of appropriate educational and career paths. We want to show young people that sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are an essential foundation for many good and important things in their daily lives. Role models and reference persons play an important part in this process. Four scientists travel through Germany in the TouchTomorrow Truck to engage in a dialogue with young people on equal footing. In addition, numerous "MINT pros" from partner companies and institutes describe their career paths and their accomplishments in the MINT field. But the project does not intend to leave it at the truck's one-time WOW effect. That is why all students receive a new RFID storage medium to collect information in the truck to then access it again from home and explore their interests online in more depth. This enables them to stay connected with TouchTomorrow in the long run. About 10,000 students visit the truck every year and we aim to reach even more young people with the TouchTomorrow idea through social media. Other projects of the Dr. Hans Riegel Foundation are also strongly focused on the future: The student papers that are awarded with the Dr. Hans Riegel Awards increasingly deal with topics such as renewable energies, digitalization, or the reduction or avoidance of pollution. Former prize winners also visit events about subject areas such as feeding the world, robotics, and much more in the course of our MINT TANK program."
Talented young people need sustainable and valuable support. We want to make it possible for young motivated people to discover their gifts and develop their potential. We actively look for and "find" talents. Supporting and connecting go hand in hand in our work. By supporting and connecting talents, we facilitate their individual and collective development.
"The German economy needs well-trained and interdisciplinary-minded specialists more than ever to remain competitive on an international level. Education is key for progress and prosperity. This is where the foundation for the future is laid – and this is how our founder had already seen it and what we continuously focus the efforts of the Dr. Hans Riegel Foundation on. But we can only overcome the challenges of the future if all active players join forces and see themselves as part of a chain of effects.
In our projects, we try to lead by example and consistently promote networking: With the Dr. Hans Riegel Awards, we collaborate with 15 German universities to support around 200 promising talents in the STEM fields in their transition from school to university. We then continue to assist them through our MINT TANK program. The competition supports the exchange of information between schools and universities as educational institutions and forsters talent. The program for former prize winners focuses on interdisciplinary learning and activities using a variety of formats. In the TouchTomorrow Truck project, we work hand in hand with regional divisions of the Federal Employment Office to directly connect forward-looking ideas with the best possible career guidance. The field of early childhood education is not left out either: Our Scientist Foxes project supports kindergartens throughout their region, enabling them to benefit from sharing concepts and experiences and hosting free training courses for the day care personnel of nearby institutions as “Lighthouses”. You find numerous other examples of our foundation's networking endeavors in this annual report."
We will only be able to meet the challenges of the future by working together. Our aim is to get all active players to join forces and see themselves as part of a chain of effects. Interdisciplinary networks play a key role in the development and decision-making process of young talents in science and business. That is why we want to build bridges between people and between institutions to facilitate the exchange of experiences and knowledge and to create synergy effects.
The conservation of values is based on the appreciation of values. We aim to pass on the values that were very important to our founder, Dr. Hans Riegel, to the next generations and to preserve them in the long run. This particularly includes immaterial values such as being close to nature, imagination, creative drive, and responsibility as well as material values such as art and works of art.
"There is no future without a past. In times of ever-accelerating progress and change, we have to pay special attention to values. Dr. Hans Riegel clearly established the conservation and preservation of artistic and cultural values in our foundation's charter. This is a path we are happy to follow, for example in projects such as the visualization of Zick’s frescos in collaboration with the Middle Rhine Museum in Koblenz. Just like our founder though, we believe that our mission in terms of values is by no means limited to the narrower sense. To the contrary: Global values like being close to nature, public discourse, and a sense of cohesion are very important to us and play a key role in our commitment. In the painting contest Inspired by Nature, elementary school kids explore nature in an artistic manner. The intergenerational approach of the Deutsche Museum Bonn is an important aspect for the financial support we provide them with. Children and grandparents frequently visit the museum together to find access to technology and explore the beginnings and the roads that have brought us the high tech we have today. We believe that this approach of learning together and from each other is absolutely worth supporting and building on. Because of the rapid pace of development though, we unfortunately often miss out on these types of interpersonal experiences. The same applies to public discourse. That is why we intend to initiate reflection and discourse wherever we can - for example through technical sociology with TouchTomorrow, addressing the question how the presented future technologies will impact our society. Our financial support for the Elenoide project is also based on this: We want to help ensure that human-machine interaction with humanoid robots is explored at an early stage to create a suitable discussion platform that does justice to both the fascination as well as the fears and concerns."