Karlsruhe is shaping the future

Early Digital Learning

If you want to shape the (digital) future, you have to think about the professionals of tomorrow today. This includes providing a sufficient number of daycare places to give working parents the best possible support – as well as a wide range of educational opportunities across all types of schools. But Karlsruhe goes one step further.

While the calls for early digital education and compulsory lessons in subjects such as media literacy and programming have been getting louder in politics and business for years, the Karlsruhe Technology Initiative has been inspiring young people in the fields of Mathematics, Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Technology (MINT) since 2014. Through working groups, robotics competitions, vacation programs and company visits, talents are discovered and promoted at an early stage. Every week technology and robotics groups at 100 schools and institutions reach over 1,500 students.
It is therefore hardly surprising that three of the 41 schools that have won the German Bitkom Smart School Competition come from Karlsruhe. With the Ernst Reuter School, the fan-shaped city even has a community school where media education is an integral part of the curriculum.

The aspiration to be a MINT region is also clearly evident in extracurricular activities: the CoderDojo Karlsruhe has committed itself to supporting young people interested in programming with free support. Every two weeks, volunteer mentors work with young people to program apps and websites or build robots. The Girls’ Digital Camps were launched in 2018 to attract more girls and young women to technical professions. As part of this pilot project, weekly Girls’ Digital Camps take place at secondary schools, especially in grades 6 to 8. Due to the success of the project, the concept is currently being expanded to the Northern Black Forest region.

Digital Industry Meeting Point

For many people, who have little interaction with digitalization in their daily life, topics such as artificial intelligence or robotics are not tangible. However, new technologies can only be successfully introduced if they are accepted by the people whose lives they are intended to improve. That is why it is important to let society take a look behind the scenes – and to shape digital change together.

The „Bunte Nacht der Digitalisierung“, which took place for the first time in 2019, showed what this can look like. As part of a city-wide festival, almost 100 companies, scientific institutions, cultural institutions, societies and municipal authorities from Karlsruhe provided insights into the fascinating world in which the technology and IT of tomorrow is being developed. 6,000 visitors took part in the decentralized event and spent a whole evening exploring Karlsruhe’s digital ecosystem. Due to its success, events of this type will take place regularly in the future.

The InnovationFestival @karlsruhe.digital, which was initiated in 2020, takes a different approach. As a hybrid event, it offers digital innovations from the Karlsruhe region a platform – on site and via live stream around the world. In top-class keynotes, representatives from science, business, public administration and culture showcase the extraordinary diversity of the digital landscape of Karlsruhe.

The exchange on digital society and network culture is meanwhile the focus of the Karlsruhe digiTALK, while the Gamification Congress bizplay and the Franco-German AI Conference AIxIA shed light on two other important facets of digitalization. In addition, LEARNTEC, Europe’s largest trade fair for digital education in schools, universities and jobs is located in Karlsruhe. It attracts over 15,000 trade visitors from all over the world every year.

Anyone who wants to discuss the digital age in a relaxed atmosphere or simply wants to make new contacts can do so at numerous after-work events – such as the regular netzstrategen Feierabend #nmfka.