Strengthening the globally sustainable community with creative ideas - The 7th Stuttgart Forum for Development on October 9, 2020

What do you think of the idea of ​​setting up a so-called “dare checkout” in the supermarket where you could examine the ecological footprint of your purchases? Or about setting up a matching platform on which you could introduce the concerns of your city partnership in order to find the right partner city in the global south? Do you think both ideas are exciting? Then they would just have to be implemented and a further contribution could be made to the globally sustainable community.

That's exactly what the almost 70 participants at the Stuttgart Development Forum thought on Friday, October 9th, who developed their ideas within a few hours in design thinking workshops.

In total, the participants developed ten ways to promote globally sustainable development in and with the municipality, in the areas of digitalization, procurement, business and culture. To ensure the most creative approach possible, the design thinking method was used. This not only ensured that all the walls were covered with colorful Post-Its, but also ensured that the participants had to think outside the box and approach problem solving in a playful way.

A methodical approach with tangible results that also found an open ear from Minister of State Theresa Schopper, who is also Chairwoman of the SEZ Board of Trustees. “I think your ideas are important and correct. I will take them with me and feed them into our homes.” Because, said the minister, in view of the global crises and the fact that there are only ten years left to implement the 2030 Agenda, we need to step up a gear. It is important that the much-vaunted solidarity with the global south is backed up with action, both at the federal and state level and in the local area. “With the ideas workshop today at the Stuttgart Forum, we made a really important point.” She emphasized the “reliable structures and contacts” at the municipal level and pointed out that the state should strengthen the development policy of the municipalities and expand existing networks even more clearly want to interweave with the federal level.

Philipp Keil, the managing director of the SEZ, also emphasized the importance of the municipalities for development. “Development begins locally and very centrally in the municipalities,” he said at the opening of the 7th Stuttgart Forum for Development. In his speech, he emphasized the need for local responses to the global responsibilities that we all have. Development policy, emphasized Keil, must be something that every citizen can take for granted. Everyone must take global responsibility for their own actions.

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing us to rethink and find answers to the question of where we want to develop. “With this year’s Stuttgart Forum for Development, we want to provide impetus and find new ways in which development policy can be understood in municipalities in the future. Because local development policy means making communities suitable for grandchildren,” said Keil.

Prof.hcDr. provided the necessary input to challenge creativity in the design thinking phase. Chirine Etezadzadeh, founder of the SmartCity Institute. In her lecture, she dealt intensively with the municipalities of the future and stated that there is “a spirit of optimism that we must take advantage of” worldwide. We would have the chance to realign our economy and return production to the regions and municipalities. This would also contribute to greater resilience in communities. “We need resilient cities, we need a culture of resilience that is based on social cohesion,” said Etezadzadeh. The prerequisite for this is sustainability: “There is no sustainability without resilience and no resilience without sustainability.”

Keywords that were heard by the participants and motivated them to develop creative solutions to problems that showed them that it is worth continuing to fight and help develop the community - despite and especially because of this pandemic.

The 7th Stuttgart Forum for Development is a cooperation event between the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) and the Service Center Municipalities in One World from Engagement Global with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing Baden-Württemberg, the Baden-Württemberg Cities Association and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

Background to the SEZ

The Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) wants to raise awareness among the Baden-Württemberg population about globally responsible action and show how everyone can do something for a fairer world. The foundation promotes and networks private, municipal and regional initiatives to improve and deepen development cooperation with countries in the global south.

Press contact:


Konrad Witt, Tel. 0711 / 2 10 29-35


7th Stuttgart Forum for Development - A look into the plenum
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