The Heidelberger Club für Wirtschaft und Kultur e. V. (HCWK) is an independent, non-partisan and interdisciplinary student initiative founded in 1988 with the aim of supplementing university education through practical relevance and interdisciplinary exchange. To this end, the club organizes an annual symposium lasting several days on a current topic of social relevance.
In its 34 years of existence, the symposium has established itself as an integral part of the academic life of the city of Heidelberg and thus makes a significant contribution to a lively university culture. The aim is to create an interdisciplinary forum for lively and controversial debates in order to cultivate a culture of discussion and to come closer to the educational ideal of the holistic human being.
The implementation of the symposium enables students to combine theoretical knowledge with practical relevance. Effective collaboration with the team is both a prerequisite and a challenge. The preparation of such a large event takes the organizers involved over a whole year and ties them up a lot of time in addition to their studies. The tasks cover a broad spectrum of different activities and fields of application, so that each member can find a task profile tailored to his or her own interests and abilities: from program conception to PR work and fundraising, from speaker recruitment and support to tent set-up and the actual implementation of the three-day event. Although the work may be a test for one or the other team member, so far they have all been compensated by the result: not only is the feeling of having put something great together rewarding, but new friendships are made, skills are strengthened, curiosity is satisfied and knowledge is expanded.
As a recognized non-profit organization, its activities are supported by donations, the speakers' waiver of fees, and the voluntary commitment of the organizational team. Sponsors from business and the foundation sector as well as a top-class board of trustees support the club financially and ideally. For its commitment, the HCWK was honored by the initiative "Deutschland - Land der Ideen" ("Germany - Land of Ideas") as a "Ausgewählter Ort 2008" ("Selected Landmark 2008") and, with the Heidelberg Symposium 2010, was included in the "Jugend in Aktion" ("Youth in Action") program of the European Union. In addition to organizing the symposium, the announcement and awarding of the Heidelberg Art and Culture Prize (KKP) has also been carried out over the years.
For its commitment, the HCWK was honored as a "Ausgewählter Ort 2008" ("Selected Landmark 2008") by the initiative "Deutschland - Land der Ideen" ("Germany - Land of Ideas") and included in the European Union's "Jugend in Aktion" ("Youth in Action") program with the Heidelberg Symposium 2010. In addition, the club received the "Preis der Freunde 2013" ("Prize of Friends 2013") as the best student initiative from the "Gesellschaft der Freunde Universität Heidelberg e. V." ("Society of Friends of Heidelberg University").
Board of trustees
Dr. Franziska Brantner
Bündnis90/Die Grünen, MdB, MdB, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Bettzuege
Former ambassador, Professor of International Relations Boston University, Campus Brussels, University of Bonn, University of Antwerp
Dr. Kurt Bock
Chairman of the Board of Directors of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen
Prof. Dr. Carl-Heinrich Esser
Board member of the Karin and Carl-Heinrich Esser Foundation and Honorary Senator of the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim
Former Federal Minister of Health, Head of Health Care Practice at Pleon Germany
Managing Director of Karl Berrang GmbH, Mannheim
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Hommelhoff
Professor of law, former rector of the University of Heidelberg, partner in the auditing company KPMG, Frankfurt a. M
John C. Kornblum
Former American Ambassador, former Germany boss Lazard & Co. GmbH, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Thomas Maissen
Director of the German Historical Institute in Paris; Chair of Modern History (early modern times), History Department of the University of Heidelberg
Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c.Peter-Christian Müller-Graff
Director of the Institute for German and European Company and Business Law at the University of Heidelberg
Markwart von Pentz
President, Agriculture & Turf Division, Deere & Company European Office, Mannheim
Prof. Dr. Dr. Franz J. Radermacher
Head of the research institute for application-oriented knowledge processing at the University of Ulm
Director Strategic Alliances, Endress+Hauser Management AG, Reinach/ Switzerland, co-founder of the Heidelberg Club for Business and Culture e.V.
Michael-Benedikt Prinz von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach
Managing director of the Grand Ducal Schatullverwaltung GbR, board of trustees of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the Wartburg Stiftung Eisenach, self-employed management consultant, Mannheim
Dr. Kersten von Schenck, M.C.J. (NYU)
Lawyer, notary and author of legal publications
Prof. Dr. Matthias Weidemüller
Managing Director of the Physics Institute, University of Heidelberg, Founding Director of the Heidelberg Center for Quantum Dynamics
Former members of the board of trustees
Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Ammann †
Former Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt a. M
Dr. Hilmar Dosch †
Former member of the Supervisory Board, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Leonhard Gleske †
Member of the Board of Directors of the Deutsche Bundesbank i. R., Frankfurt a. M
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Siebke †
Professor of economics, former rector of the University of Heidelberg