Welcome to Planet B - A Different Life is Possible. But How?
4 weeks, 200 international students, an international faculty, and an opportunity to address some of the greatest challenges of our time:
A prominent international symposium in support of technology & art organized by the Ars Electronica Festival, and Upper Austria's largest educational institution, the Johannes Kepler University Linz, opens in new window! The second annual special Festival University summer program took place during August and September.
August 18 - September 14, 2022
The event has passed.
Together with international faculty members, 200 students from over 70 countries around the world explored issues as to how we - as a global community - can address the effects of climate change. Mentored by renowned international experts, the participants developed strategies and solutions to experience the complexities of one of mankind's greatest challenges, particularly as part of an international mock environmental court.
Sophia, 24, is from the Philippines. She studied industrial engineering and is currently a process analyst at the University of Asia and the Pacific. She was particularly impressed by the program’s diversity and the participants as well as the many interactive program points: "The 'Robotics & Origami' workshop showed me how much we can benefit from bringing the practicality of technology together with the beauty of art."
Lasse, 23, is from Germany and is studying mechanical engineering at the TU Berlin. He manages a project workshop at his university that is held by students for students. His course of 20 students majoring in 16 different subject areas. Together, they built a hydroponic system, opens an external URL in a new window to grow lettuce and herbs using a method that involves growing plants in water rather than in soil. This project has already given Lasse first-hand experience as to just how valuable interdisciplinarity is and serves as one of the main reasons for applying to be a part of the Festival University program: "The Festival University delivers a wide range of insight and inspiration, which is unique. I've had a lot of space here to push beyond my own boundaries and limitations." He is certain that this is exactly what we will need to shape our "Planet B": "In the past, we often pursued a very one-track approach, and the only way to break that up is by working together and thinking in interdisciplinary terms. The Festival University is showing us just how this could work."
Komal, 25, is from India, and recently completed her studies in Exhibition and Spatial Design. She sees the Festival University as a unique opportunity: "I think one should take advantage of any opportunity to learn and I have learned a great deal here, even from those younger than me or those who have completely different backgrounds. This change of perspective has been enormously enriching."
Ashraf, 24, is from Lebanon and studies computer engineering at the American University in Beirut. He is also a game developer and runs a wildlife sanctuary (Animal Encounter), opens an external URL in a new window with his family. Ashraf was particularly excited about the international faculty: "During the Festival University program, I had opportunities to work and interact with many experts in various fields. Knowing that there are so many people dedicating their knowledge and expertise to climate change and our planet every day gives me confidence for the future." He added, "The Festival University program has made Linz the center of something completely new. I have so many great memories and I'll be back for sure!"
The first Festival University took place in 2021 under the motto "Transform Your World". Together with leading international scientists, academics, and artists, participants at the 2021 Festival University worked on planning and developing ideas in support of digital transformation: What are the big issues of our time? How do we create more awareness about issues and problems and a willingness to find solutions? What will - and how should - the future look like?
Program funding for the Festival University has been generously provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science & Research.