Transcultural Student Research Group | TSRG 2020 / 2021

In 2019 the Transcultural Leadership Summit focused on transcultural leadership and cooperation in and with Europe. Europe faces major economic, social and political challenges and transformations, not least within the frameworks of democratic societies, cross-border value creation, migration, and digitalization. The Corona pandemic further increased the relevance and poignancy of this development.

In essence, all these challenges are also and above all challenges of civil society involvement. However, there is currently no common understanding in Europe of the nature, role and productive capacities of civil society in the respective societies. Different historical experiences, political and cultural traditions and perspectives on the future of Europe play a fundamental role. As a result, this can lead to a situation with far-reaching negative consequences, both for the development of Europe, the productive coping with the challenges described above and the relevance of civil society involvement in the various countries, not only in Europe but worldwide.

In order to provide adequate responses to these issues, to deduce opportunities out of the challenges and to proactively harness the inherent potentials, joint efforts in European civil societies’ cooperation networks may represent an important and promising endeavour. This also includes introducing into the discussion the various European traditions and understandings of civil society, the resulting possibilities and limitations for civil society, national and transnational trade and to do this explicitly, theoretically-conceptually and in the analysis of practical engagements. This analysis should reveal the practical possibilities and limitations of European cooperative networks as well as their respective social effects. Such an analysis can also point out new development paths and potentials of European civil society involvement. Last but not least, such a discussion can also contribute to further developing the theoretical-conceptual understanding of civil societies and its discussion.

It is in the context of these considerations that the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin | LEIZ and the Maecenata Foundation have initiated the Transcultural Student Research Group | TSRG 2020. In empirical studies, the student research groups analysed the current dynamics of civil society phenomena and intersectoral collaboration opportunities in Europe, particularly focusing on the following questions:

  • What are the main focuses of civil society involvement in selected European countries, and what specific development coordinates can be described that have led to these focuses?
  • How can the growth and the limitations of civil society involvement in different European countries be described?
  • What is the role of leadership in all this?

To look at this research frame from various disciplinary and cultural angles, to conduct research in an international network of partnering universities and to include individual research on different subtopics lies at the core of the format of the Transcultural Student Research Groups: Under the joint umbrella of the main research theme, the participating ZU students choose individual subtopics which represent the different ZU study programs. In this way, like a mosaic, each student’s research contributes a piece to the overall picture. 

Our thanks go to all our sponsors and supporters, particularly to Rolls-Royce Power Systems.


Dr Julika Baumann Montecinos
Jessica Geraldo Schwengber

Cooperation Partner

Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society

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