29.06.2023 - 10:10 Uhr

Sustainable Relations Worldwide

Pavillon der Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar @ BUGA 23
Dieser Programmpunkt findet auf Englisch statt.

Is Sustainable Development the cultural idea for a second Age of Enlightenment?

When 2016 worldwide 193 governments signed the UN Agenda 2030 they acknowledged a transformation of our world. 500 years after Martin Luther had caused a worldwide reformation of the Christian world today 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are changing the way modern societies have been acting and thinking. Worldwide citizens, scientists, politicians, economists and artists have become aware of unintended consequences of modernity and of fundamental historic burdens from exploitation of nature to colonization of other cultures. On Sustainable Development as well as on Decolonization there are different perspectives from the global north and the global south. Is the violence of today's world order against nature and cultures an effect of a special pattern of thinking coming from the western world? Is it a result of “I think, therefore I am”? Is it a shortcoming of the European Age of Enlightenment?

If humankind needs a new cultural mindset to cope with modern crises and to dare a break up into a common future of earth citizens, does this mean less than a new reformation? 38 years after Luther's Wittenberg proclamation the Augsburg religious peace brought back peace in the 16th century. More than 200 years before today it was Kant who drafted the vision and program of enlightenment, of everlasting peace and of global citizenship. Is Kant's near 300th birthday the time to break up into a new Anthropocene Age of Enlightenment in the 21st century, which leads to rethinking modernity and which will transform our world and our societies sustainably? Do we need ontologies beyond individualism and rationality from other cultures and cultures of the global south to overcome the self-constructed narrowness of western thinking? Can cultural leaders be protagonists of a second Age of Enlightenment?

Denkfest 2023 discusses these questions and ways of rethinking cultural premises and promises with Mannheim's World Mayor Peter Kurz, with African Writer and Peace Prize Winner Tsitsi Dangarembga, with political analyst and researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs Melanie Müller and with UNESCO City of Music head Rainer Kern.


  • Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • Dr. Melanie Müller
  • Rainer Kern
  • Dr. Peter Kurz
  • Dr. Ralf Weiß

In Kooperation mit dem Internationalen Literaturfestival Heidelberg feeLit, das vom 28. Juni bis 2. Juli stattfindet.