Civic engagement and higher education: the SENSE project

The SENSE project sensitizes our students to the social and ethical aspects of economic activity.

The project, funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg with 1.5 million euros, makes the social and ethical dimensions of economic activity tangible in a unique way and transferable to later decision-making situations. SENSE - Center for Civic Engagement and Responsible Management Education is intended to enable students to "learn from experience" through practical training modules. The SENSE project is a further building block to emphasize the vision of the Karlshochschule and its claim to Re-Thinking Management more clearly. The project is therefore the impetus for a long-term implementation at the Karlshochschule.

But what does this look like in concrete terms?

The project is made up of three components that build on each other and a cross-sectional component:

  • Community-oriented projects in and around Karlsruhe

By working on a concrete task in and with social organisations, associations, initiatives or social enterprises, the students get to know practical work oriented towards the common good. They sharpen their team skills, solution orientation and social skills. They gain a better understanding of social contexts and reflect on their own role and ethical questions.

The students take part in groups of 4-6 persons in the 3rd or 4th semester of a project oriented towards the common good. Over one semester they work on a concrete task set by the partner organisation - which has a direct or indirect relation to the study contents. The task can be very practical or conceptual and should be a real problem for the organisation for which it would like support. The students are prepared for their assignment in workshops and training sessions, receive accompanying coaching and subsequently take part in reflection seminars.

  • International Projects

During or after their semester abroad, i.e. in the 4th or 5th semester, students have the opportunity to participate in another project: this time individually and with an intercultural aspect. Here they are accompanied by a digital learning platform and after their return a reflection takes place.

  • School projects

During the transfer week in the 6th semester, students can deepen their experience: Learning through teaching. In cooperation with schools in Karlsruhe, they pass on their experience and knowledge and develop projects together with students. They are prepared for this in a workshop on didactics. The special focus on the subsequent reflection is also realized here.

  • Ethics in Digitalization

Informed decision making is a key competence for leaders in times of digitalization and automation. In order to help students consider different ethical viewpoints, the SENSE project sets a focus on "Ethics in digitalization". This means, that students are encouraged to reflect on how ethical reasoning can be applied in the digital world in context of civic engagement and our society as a whole.

The project is currently in the conception phase and is preparing pilot phases for all components.