The Conference

The International Student Week

The conference (photo by Christiane Bredehorn)

The “International Student Week in Ilmenau” (ISWI) is a conference for students organized by students. It takes place every other year at the campus of Technische Universität Ilmenau. Over 300 participants from more than 70 different countries took part in the last ISWI in 2013. Compared to other similar events ISWI is known for its focus on group work, lectures and debates on a certain main topic, to which the conference is dedicated. As main topic the organizing committee always tries to find areas of tension that include recent problems and developments in the world.
The main aim of the ISWI is to bring young people from all over the world together and serve as a platform for exchange and getting to know each other as well as for discussion and working out ideas to solve recent problems. The official language of the conference is English.

The following list gives a review of the past ISWIs:

ISWIMottoMain TopicPatron
ISWI 1993Become friends - unite the worldmutual understandingHans-Dietrich Genscher (former member of German Bundestag (parliament), Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany)
ISWI 1995Get up and live - now!mutual understandingBernhard Vogel (former Minister-President of Rheinland-Pfalz and Thüringen)
ISWI 1997Let's build our futurefutureFrau Prof. Dagmar Schipanski (former Minister for education and culture of Thüringen and
president of the Landtag of Thüringen)
ISWI 1999Celebrating DiversitydiversityFederico Mayor Zaragoza (former Secretary-General of the UNESCO)
ISWI 2001Just FuturefutureEdelgard Bulmahn (member of German Bundestag (parliament) and Federal Minister of Education and Research)
ISWI 2003because the people mattersustainabilityBoutros Boutros-Ghali (6th Secretary-General of the United Nations)
ISWI 2005one world – one visionwar and peaceJody Williams (Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1997)
ISWI 2007time to thinkeducationProf. Dr. Gesine Schwan (former president of Viadrina European University)
ISWI 2009Right now!human rightsHina Jilani (former United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders)
ISWI 2011crossing bordersfreedomStéphane Hessel (diplomat, embassador, author, former French Resistance fighter and concentration camp survivor)
ISWI 2013moving YOUthyouthJose Antonio Abreu (venezolan composer, economist, politician, child care worker, activist and founder of the largest musical project in Venezuela, the Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana Simón Bolívar) & Vandana Shiva (Indian environmental and biodiversity activist, philosopher, womans rights activist, Right Livelihood Award laureate 1993)


The people behind ISWI: The association ISWI e.V.

ISWIeV 2014 (photo by Felix Dürrwald)

The “Initiative Solidarische Welt Ilmenau e.V.” (ISWI e.V.), established in 1992, is an incorporated society and NGO led by students who organize the projects as volunteers. Its status is that of a non-profit and benevolent organization. We set ourselves the goal to fight against social inequality, racism and intolerance as well as to promote mutual understanding. To reach this aim, we organize projects that raise awareness to recent problems and offer an open platform to get to know each other, exchange views and work out solutions for these problems. Our main project, the “International Student Week in Ilmenau” (ISWI), takes place every two years since 1993 at the Technische Universität Ilmenau.

If you are interested in more information on ISWI e.V. and its projects, please visit our homepage