FH-Personal / Future Democracies

2021 – 2027
Total funding: 1.1 million euros

How do we want to shape the basic rules of our coexistence in the future? What does democracy mean in the 21st century? Karlshochschule has developed a new location for these essential questions – the “Future Democracies” real-world laboratory (FH-Personal).

A real laboratory means that we turn the scientific laboratory into a real place and bring reality into the laboratory. Questions that people in Karlsruhe and the global village are asking of future democracies are being negotiated at Karlshochschule as part of “Future Democracies” in dialog with science and art, politics and economics. There are a number of topics that will be examined from various perspectives in the “Future Democracies” real-world laboratory.

On the one hand, the “Future Democracies” real-world laboratory brings science to the table of civil society and culture – and at the same time questions the role of SCIENCE in a future democracy. How do we construct knowledge through research, how do we separate different types of knowledge from one another and how do we manage to organize a consensus of knowledge in times of fake news, on the basis of which they can make decisions about living together? Together with cultural organizations, we want to ask what role culture can play in a sustainable society. In addition to the three dimensions of the triple bottom line – social, ecological and economic – is there also a dimension of cultural sustainability?

As a management university, Karlshochschule also asks in its teaching what role the economy can play in a future sustainable democracy. Which future economies will the democracy of the future lead us to, which rules of the markets will dictate our game – how can we define the rules of the game in the future? However, people are not only citizens in a democracy, but also consumers in markets. The Reallabor therefore also wants to understand how cultures of consumption work and what transformation potential they have.

When we ask how we want to live as citizens in a democracy, it is always about ethical considerations, about the question of the right action – as can be discussed theoretically and philosophically on the one hand, but which can also be a deeply embodied emotional experience on the other. We would like to discuss this type of embodied ethicality and its role in the challenges of the future with people from Karlsruhe, the region and the world as an open forum. And last but not least, we are also moving in the digital space, in which we want to trace the effects of digitalization on our coexistence, on the digital ecosystems in which we live.

Last but not least, we must also ask ourselves: when we talk about the future of our democracy, what possibilities do we have to bring the future into the present and make it describable? How can we even create a visualization of the future? We want to enter into an exchange on this and all other questions with you and with all organizations, institutions and companies that are interested.


Partnerships with the City of Karlsruhe, KA-News and many other civil society organizations in the region.

Project results

At the end of the project, corresponding publications are planned, which we will present here.


Coordinator: Björn Bohnenkamp (reallabor@karlshochschule.de)

Further information about the project can be found at: https://www.fh-personal.de