»Ich wusste damals noch nicht, welch großer Schritt das in der Geschichte war. Meine Eltern bestimmt.Das wichtigste Ereignis meines Lebens: Ohne die Wiedervereinigung wäre ich jetzt nicht das, was ich bin. Mein Leben und Arbeiten wären so nicht möglich gewesen.«

Manuela Meyer from Jena, born 1975 in the DDR, was on November 9, 1989 im Bett vor dem Fernseher

The Centre for German Unity and European Transformation in Jena is a sustainable place in two senses. It is a building in which the energy supply, (facade) design and furnishings are based on ecological guidelines and, at the same time, a space that contributes to the sustainable development of our society far beyond its location. This is achieved by renowned experts and visitors from all over the world researching, communicating and discussing how transformation processes can be shaped sustainably together, but also by visitors and users experiencing and trying out in practice what sustainability means.

For this purpose, the Centre for German Unity and European Transformation finds partners at the university and the university of applied sciences: Questions of ecological, but also social sustainability have been at the centre of research in the social sciences at Friedrich Schiller University, but also at Ernst Abbe University, for years.

In the Centre for German Unity and European Transformation, valuable practical knowledge is passed on between the generations: From gardening and preservation to sewing and do-it-yourself construction to repairing (electrical appliances as well as clothing), practices survived or developed in the GDR and Eastern Europe that ecologically committed people in particular (but not only) find important today and that can be found in a wide variety of initiatives in the city – from the repair café to urban gardening to practically oriented sustainability groups. Without glorifying permanent scarcity, the Centre for German Unity and European Transformation in Jena creates spaces to share these practices along with personal stories, while strengthening intergenerational dialogue and conveying mutual appreciation.

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