There is a place where the boundaries between the academic disciplines, between cultures, between hierarchies and between economic theory and entrepreneurial practice disappears, at least for a short time. I imagine when I attend a conference at the Karlshochschule, I will feel at home.

Conference "Re-Thinking Service Learning" - February 25th, 2021

The service learning method combines academic content with practical, common good-oriented experience and reflective learning. It gives students the opportunity to sharpen their awareness of social justice and sustainability, to improve their ability to work in a team and to improve their solution orientation. Service learning also means active openness and cooperation between universities and civil society - a partnership that, in the best case scenario, acts on an equal footing and enriches both sides. The conference "ReThinking Service Learning - Good Practice and New Inspiration for Universities and Civil Society" promotes the interactive exchange of experiences and insights among practitioners and scientists. The event will take place on February 25, 2021. The focus is on the internationalization and digitalization of service learning, as well as the role of personality, competencies and leadership in service learning. Concepts for successful cooperation between universities and civil society are also discussed

Model United Nations Conference KAMUN X 2020

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KAMUN X – The Black Forest Summit is the annual Model United Nations conference hosted by the MUNIKA e.V. This year, it will take place from November 6 - 8, 2020 at the Karlshochschule in Karlsruhe, Germany.

But what is Model United Nations (MUN) in the first place? At MUN conferences, university students get the chance to authentically simulate the institutions, bodies, and committees of the United Nations. Through role-playing as UN delegates, participants research and formulate their country’s position which they use to negotiate and search for solutions later. Moreover, delegates discuss international challenges and crises to work out resolutions improving the delegate’s diplomatic, public speaking as well as Business English skills. Finally, being involved in multilateral decision-making processes boosts the understanding of international relations.

Nevertheless, cultural understanding and personal relationships between students all over the world are also facilitated by the Model United Nations spirit. Participating in a MUN conference renders feelings of team spirit, being part of a global network, and working jointly on a better future.

This year, KAMUN X - The Black Forest Summit is taking place for the 10th time. Therefore, many special opportunities are waiting for the delegates. You can discuss the freedom of expression and its repression in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the use of genetically modified crops to increase food security in the UN’s Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Issues (SOCHUM), or the combat of  the socio-economic fallout following COVID-19 in developing countries in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). However, next to these regular committees some highlights for more experienced students such as the open-agenda Security Council and the Joint Cabinet Crisis focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Gene Manipulation are offered, as well. Certainly, every delegate will find their perfect spot to apply their skills and interests.

Additionally, KAMUN 2020 will be a special experience as it will be one of the first conferences taking place in person again. Despite the precautions which are inevitably taken due to the virus (the FAQ on issues regarding COVID-19 can be found on the website), the conference will try to safely create alternative opportunities to build new international friendships and collect exciting as well as professional experiences in Karlsruhe.

If you are interested, you can find the delegate application here:

KAMUN X Website

ReThinking Management Conference 2014

Management thinking and management practice are largely influenced by traditional economic approaches that seek to conceptualize the economy positivistically and functionalistically according to rational-objectivist principles. For a longer time and in light of present crises, there has been no lack of calls for fundamental reformations of the economics and management theory, to conceive them anew as part of the social sciences and humanities. Although initial attempts for such reorientation and reconceptualization are evident, they are still in their infancy and in need for further advancement and realisation.

With the establishment of fields such as critical management studies (cf. Spicer, Alvesson, and Kärreman 2009) or the cultural economy (cf. Grossberg 2010) in academia, new ways of thinking and approaches have developed that supplement and often go against mainstream management theory and practice. What these approaches have in common is that they all are trying, in very different ways, to open up management for cultural studies, the social sciences and the humanities and to promote, in a broad sense, an independent “cultural turn” both for corporate and management theory as well as for management practice.

The conference on “ReThinking Management 2014: The Impact of Cultural Turns” begins with these orientations and pursues the goal of initiating a systematic dialog between current core concepts of the social sciences, humanities and management theory and practice. Here, in the spirit of Bachmann-Medick (2010), we believe that “cultural turns” are to be conceived as a plurality today. Following the general orientation of the humanities and social sciences towards culturally relevant issues, the plural “cultural turns” represent current moves, or new orientations that cut across and go beyond the cultural sciences. Topics and concepts such as performance, materiality, embodiment, space, mediality, narration, and sense-making as well as translation, interculturality and transculturality, have moved more and more into the forefront in the last few decades.

ReThinking Management 2014 pursues the main idea that management theory is not to be understood as a sub-discipline of economic sciences, but rather as an inter- and trans-disciplinary field with a decidedly cultural perspective. In fact, the topics and concepts listed above, along with related issues, questions and methods, play an increasingly important role. Their relevance, potential, and influence both in management theory as well as in practice are the central foci of this conference.

Conference Website

Touring Consumption Conference 2013

Touring in terms of travel, tourism or varying aspects of mobilities contribute substantially to particular conventions and rituals of consumer practices, especially with an eye towards the enactment of scripts. However, touring consumption delineates a kind of performance that is not only reproduced, but is productive and emergent in its own right.

Hence, the more traditional conceptions of tourist, pilgrim, vagabond, refugee, expatriate, international student or business traveler are becoming more and more diffused with notions of what are considered local, regular or insider, and need to be re-examined in the light of a differentiated, complex and individualized everyday perspective.

On the other hand, it is as important to consider a touristification of society in which touring as an everyday metaphor can be used to encapsulate new forms of mobilities as societal, economic, consumptive or scientific phenomena. At this conference, we wish to engage ‘Touring Consumption’ through interdisciplinary and cross-methodological approaches that collapse the poles of materialities and discourses, exteriority and interiority, body and mind, interpretation and meaning, presence and representation, ethics and aesthetics, and form and performance.

The Touring Consumption 2013 conference took place from 24th to 25th October in Karlsruhe and was organized by Prof. Dr. Desmond Wee, Prof. Dr. Stephan Sonnenburg and the TC2013 Team.

Conference Website

Re-Thinking Diversity Conference 2012

In a dynamic globalized world, change in societies, markets and organizations is becoming more and more crucial. From a competitive point of view, it is important to explore diversity and better comprehend its complexity. The narrative of a society or a culture is constituted by multiple layers of differentiation, segregation, social categorization and identity. The management of diversity in organizations and in society, e.g. in urban centers and their governance, has been of growing interest in the last decades.

Changes in the demographic structures of the population, the migration flux, multiculturalism, the rising awareness concerning minorities’ rights, gender studies and so on lead to a complex picture of what “diversity” means. It is largely acknowledged that diversity is a rather complex phenomenon, which defies simple definition. In many studies, nevertheless, the presumption that diversity can be described as a mono-causal matter remains unexpressed.

We know, however, that a mono-causal view does not lead to an adequate analysis of diversity. It is unlikely that diversity is aligned with only one of the common variables, such as age, gender, nationality, etc.. Diversity is closely linked to the constitution of social images, social constructions of reality. The perception of a reality of this kind is manifested in many different forms.

Therefore, we need to develop new perspectives on the topic, making use of inter-disciplinary, pluri-methodical, and border-crossing approaches. The aim of this conference is to advance knowledge about diversity by disseminating new research and best practices and by encouraging the evolution of new ideas, themes and questions. Karlshochschule International University aims to enrich the dialogue between academics and practitioners, who often approach diversity from different perspectives.

The conference adopted an international and interdisciplinary approach to address the theme in greater complexity. “Re-thinking diversity” in 2012 continued a series of conferences that reflect Karlshochschule’s interpretive approach towards business administration, strategic management and entrepreneurship, by introducing instruments of semiotics, linguistics, narratology and others.

The conference was dedicated to “diversity”: in a dynamic globalized world, change in societies, markets and organizations is becoming more and more crucial. From a competitive point of view, it is important to explore diversity and better comprehend its complexity.

Conference Website

Branded Spaces - Conference on Contemporary Branding 2011

The main objective of the Branded Spaces Conference (Pre-Conference Day, two-day Conference with Open Space, an innovative method for the moderation of large groups) was to illuminate the explorative and applied status quo of brand and space, to discuss the latest findings of research and practice and to provide the participants from home and abroad with a platform for interdisciplinary exchange.

Especially the Open Space workshop was intended to interactively and cooperatively develop new ideas concerning the view on brands and brand management in space. The Open Space was accompanied by moderators with relevant experience and their respective teams, who also ensured the infrastructural prerequisites, in particular the documentation.

The Conference took place in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th of September, 2011. On Wednesday 14th of September a Pre-Conference Day was held especially for students.

The Conference programme included speeches and paper sessions on Thursday and an Open Space workshop to discuss and develop the theme on Friday.

Conference Website

Narrative & Innovation Conference 2010

The first conference on “Narrative and Innovation” was organized by Prof. Dr. habil. Andreas Müller and Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker at Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2010.

It forms part of Karlshochschule’s interpretive approach towards business administration, strategic management, and entrepreneurship, by introducing instruments of semiotics, linguistics, narratology, and others.

The topic of the conference therefore is open to a bundle of scientific and industrial perspectives.

Conference Website