Wunderbar Together, is a year-long, collaborative initiative by the German Foreign Office, Goethe-Institute, and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) that presents participants with diverse projects and events related to politics, business, education, culture and science. Wunderbar Together celebrates the enduring friendship and longstanding cultural and economic ties between Germany and the United States with over 250 partners and more than 1,500 events spanning across the United States.
In October 2019, the BMW Group participated as a key sponsor of the Wunderbar Together PopUp Tour in Portland, Oregon, to emphasize the importance of German-American unity and its commitment to creating sustainable solutions that improve the future of mobility. The Portland PopUp tour featured a culture tent with mobile presentation modules and numerous edutainment elements with programs ranging from conferences, panel discussions, and science slams to art exhibits and concerts.
“We came to Portland because it is the model of a vibrant, sustainability-focused, and environmentally conscious metropolis,” stated Lisa Errion-Saums, Vice President of Government and External Affairs for the Americas at the BMW Group. “With its many highly reputed research and education institutions and a fertile ground for the creation of start-ups, Portland provides ideal conditions to create sustainable solutions for the mobility of the future.”
The week was filled with events that allowed the BMW Group to connect and engage with a diverse group of Portland stakeholders to hear firsthand about their vision for sustainable mobility and issues being faced by metropolitan areas world-wide.
Discussions on Future Mobility
Taking a deeper dive into the topic of future mobility, the BMW Group hosted two panel discussions: “Electromobility and the Grid”, a discussion on how to empower the mobility and energy transformation in Oregon, and “Shaping the Future of Urban Mobility through Innovation”, a discussion, in collaboration with URBAN-X by MINI, highlighting examples of successful start-ups who have implemented innovative, disruptive concepts to help shape the future of urban mobility. Both panels presented participants with a safe space to exchange ideas and gain valuable insights on the need for improved solutions for the future of mobility.
Short Talk: “Design for Mobility”
Designworks, the design innovation studio for the BMW Group, presented a series of short talks on “Design for Mobility”. During this event, participants gained valuable insights from design experts on their work on mobility, future mobility trends, and sustainable system design for urban areas.
Science Slam: “Our City 2040”
Organized by Policult, the BMW Group also hosted Science Slam: “Our City 2040”, a moderated TED-talk style competition featuring young scientists from the United States and Germany. Kerry Aszklar, from Portland State University, was the winner of the competition, winning a four-day trip to Munich, Germany to visit the BMW Group Headquarters, the BMW Museum, and the BMW Welt. Her submission focused on physical activity in future mobility and the gender gap in bicycling.
Other winners included:
- Johannes Kretzschmar – “Frankenstein’s Electric Car”
- Sabina Roan – “Infrastructure Solutions for Earthquake Hazards”
- Benjamin Panreck – “Robot Myon and the Knee Bend”
To learn more about Wunderbar Together, please visit https://wunderbartogether.org