Under the motto "Lost in Consumption, Rethinking Economy" the upcoming festival will deal with the themes of consumption and economy, which are always closely connected. Together with the participants we want to take a close look at our role as consumers. It seems that for many people in Europe consumption has become the centre of their lives and the single key to personal happiness. Private income coupled with the abundance of products determine the number of material goods that can be purchased.
Nevertheless the consequences of such a steadily growing consumption should also be kept in mind. At a first glance we can consider direct environmental impacts, climate change and also the limited ressources of our planet. For example, what are the consequences of our high and continuously increasing meat consumption or the desire for unrestricted mobility based on fossil fuels? In the context of the festival the social consequences of our consumption are also considered. For example through a mentality of "the cheaper the better" we foster inhumane, health-threatening or even life-endangering working conditions in the producing countries. But are we Europeans really willing to accept this for the sake of material wealth? Why do we so often act against the generally accepted moral values? Is it because the consequences don't affect us any further?
Next to the exploration of the present (consumption-) situation and the experiences of life of the participants, above all we want to discuss possible attempts towards a solution. What influence can we as consumers produce by our daily choices of purchase and how can a socially and ecologically more sustainable way of economic activity be ecouraged by this? Positive developments can already be seen, for example in the steadily rising shares of ecologically produced goods and fair trade distributions. Also, concepts like food production in muncipal communal gardens lead to a more sustainable lifestyle through local production.
Furthermore, we want to take a look at the European economy which at the moment is suffering from a severly distinct crisis. Especially the high rates of unemployment among youth in wide parts of Southern Europe and a strategy for fighting it pose an enormous pan-European challenge. Are economical growth and global trade the only solutions to meet this problem? Especially the theme of constant growth is discussed controversially. Is unlimited growth even possible? And what price would we have to pay, among others concerning the exploitation of the environment? Surely at this point a discussion of the established economic system will not stay out. Which strenghths does it have despite all the present problems and where are certain corrections possibly needed? How could a more equal distribution of employment, income and goods be realised? Nowadays increasing impulses of the culture of common properties are very interesting: For example Wikipedia provides knowledge free of charge and thus uncouples it from the financial capabilities of the individual.
During the festival time several experts will give input lectures on the festival motto followed by open discussions with all participants and other interested students from Greifswald. We are currently searching for interesting lecturers. If you have got any suggestions, please send them to info[at]gristuf[dot]org.
In the following you can find the descriptions of the workshops, whereas every single one deals with a defined aspect of the motto "Lost in consumption - Rethinking Economy". Please note, that the contents might change slightly over the time as the not yet determined workshop leaders will have an influence on it.
Such an extensive event like GrIStuF 2014 can not be run only by the quite small GrIStuF Team. So, would you like to support the international students festival without beeing a long term member and without spending too much time? Perfect, then you should become a helper!
Well, and what do helpers do?!
The helper "jobs" are highly various, reaching from guiding the participants from the train station to the Check-In or the support for cultural events, e.g. including entrance or bulding up and down everything.
I have heard that I could become a SUPERHELPER?!
Yes, those people take their time during the whole or parts of the festival time, so that they are always flexible. What a great thing!
Cool, I would like to help you, what should I do now?!
You can contact us via the email adress helper[at]gristuf[dot]org. Moreover you can talk to us for example when we are walking around to find hosts. We are very happy to welcome you on board of the GrIStuF 2014 team!
Below you can find the high-resolution version of the festival poster. Please click the right mouse-button and choose "save target as".
Here you can find the passionately designed programbook - Enjoy!