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Outstanding support for the Future Center in Jena


About 70 participants from business, politics, science and from Jena initiatives accepted the invitation of the candidate team for the Future Center in Jena to the Volksbad on Monday evening and offered their continued support.

Among the guests were State Secretary for Research, Innovation and Economic Development in the Thuringian Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Society, Katja Böhler, and Member of the Bundestag Holger Becker. Also participating were Representatives from: Eichplatz-Bürgerwerkstatt, Jenoptik, Schott, Zeiss, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund Thüringen, Verdi-Thüringen, University of Jena, Stadtmuseum Jena, Fanprojekt Jena, political groups of the Jena City Council, Verein für Universitäts- und Stadtgeschichte, JenaWirtschaft, Grünes Band Thüringen, Initiative Innenstadt Jena, JenaKultur, ProBahn Thüringen, Zentrum für Digitale Transformation Thüringen, Jena church representatives, Impulsregion Thüringen, City of Apolda, City of Kahla and the twin city of Erlangen.

Impulse from the co-initiator of the Future Center

Also online in the evening was Dr. Judith C. Enders, who as a member of the commission "30 Years of Peaceful Revolution and German Unity" co-initiated the idea for a 'Future Center for European Transformation and German Unity'. In her presentation, she said what she thinks the Future Center must do for people: "In a Future Center, there must be an inter- and transdisciplinary view of the topics of German unity and European transformation. It should not be a nostalgic museum that merely deals with the past, but must take a visionary look at topics of the future and transformation experiences. Citizens should be able to inform themselves, get involved and participate there," said Dr. Judith C. Enders. A personal and emotional approach to transformation topics is important in order to bring people along. In this context, she also praised the campaign of the city of Jena, which includes personal narratives about German unity and experiences of awakening on its website https://diezukunftbleibtanders.de. Narratives that will be further discussed and explored in a future center.

Letters of support collected

In addition to the letter of support from the Thuringian state government, which is a prerequisite for a successful application, numerous other partners and organizations have already sent letters of intent to the city. These outline the potential of a future center for the city and region. In the evening, the partner city of Erlangen also handed over the letter of support. In it, Mayor Florian Janik writes: "German unity and transformation within the framework of European cooperation have been at the center of our city partnership since 1989 at the latest and find expression in many joint exchange and development projects in business, research, but also culture and urban society."

The board of Beutenberg Campus e.V. highlighted in its letter to the city: "The Beutenberg Campus Jena e.V. links nine institutes of the Max Planck Society, the Leibniz Association, the Fraunhofer Society and the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena with the start-up centers and companies on the Beutenberg Campus, in the city and far beyond. Bridges can be built and contacts strengthened via the currently approximately 3500 employees from more than 80 nations, including many of Eastern European origin. The planned and presented Future Center is an important building block both in terms of the further development of the Beutenberg Science and Innovation Campus and for the city of Jena and the Free State of Thuringia."

As chairman of the Association of Christian Churches (ACK), Superintendent Sebastian Neuß writes: "As representatives of the ecumenical community, we are involved in the transformations ourselves with individual congregations and groups and at the same time strive to help shape them. We support the clearly noticeable promotion in Jena of freedom of opinion and belief, of plurality and democratic culture of discussion, in which people from Christian motivation also play a significant role."

Reasons for a Future Center in Jena

In the evening, Mayor Dr. Thomas Nitzsche and University President Prof. Walter Rosenthal once again made clear how Jena will score points in its application for the Future Center: With excellent scientific and interdisciplinary structures on site, with excellent networking into Eastern Europe, with transformation narratives that can also show the successful development of the city and companies after the phases of upheaval in 1989, with city-surrounding area relations and a lived citizen participation, the continuous commitment to pushing back right-wing extremism - most recently through the NSU memorial project Kein Schlussstrich - as well as with a central location on Eichplatz that can be developed by 2028.

Here's how you can support our campaign:

Additional letters of support can be sent to zukunftszentrum@jena.de. In addition, everyone is invited to share their own stories about German unity or experiences of departure on the website www.diezukunftbleibtanders.de or via social media (@diezukunftbleibtanders.de).

Dr. Judith C. Enders, Mitinitiatorin des Zuknunftszentrums für Deutsche Einheit und Eusopäische Transformation
Dr. Judith C. Enders, Mitglied der Enquete-Kommission "30 Jahre Deutsche einheit und Friedliche Revolution", war aus Berlin für einen Impulsvortrag zugeschaltet. (@Tina Peissker)
Unterstützung aus der Partnerstadt Erlangen - Oberbürgermeister Thomas Nitzsche und Peter Steger
Unterstützung aus der Partnerstadt Erlangen: Oberbürgermeister Thomas Nitzsche nimmt das Unterstützungsschreiben von Peter Steger entgegen. (@Tina Peissker)