Successful completion of Hamburg participatory project "MUVE - Understanding and Dealing with Multiple Crises”

Final event and exciting experience reviews from the “Research Workshops Crises!” at Hamburg Central Library

Together with many participants, the project partners celebrated the successful conclusion of the participatory research project MUVE at the central library in Hamburg.

Global warming, pandemic, wars: while one crisis is still brewing, the next is already on the horizon. The effects of these multiple crises also pose great challenges to Hamburg’s citizens and politicians. But how exactly do rising food prices and heating costs or the integration of war refugees affect daily life in the different districts of the city? What conflicts develop? And vice versa: what forms of cooperation or solidarity are evolving during these difficult times?

A team of researchers from the University of Hamburg and representatives from civil society have come together to answer these questions. That is how the project “MUVE – Understanding and Dealing with Multiple Crises” started. In a number of “Research Workshops CRISES!”, which took place at the Central Library, the Bücherhallen in Wilhelmsburg, and the Elbvororte, citizens from all over Hamburg exchanged their experiences and thoughts with the scientists. For the researchers, including Prof. Dr Ursula Schröder und Prof. Dr Christine Hentschel, it was particularly important to haven an open discussion about the participants’ personal crisis experiences, coping strategies and future visions.

On 22 November, the project members presented the first results of these research workshops at the public final event at the Central Library Hamburg.

A deep look inside German society

Yara Hijazi was an enthusiastic participant, attending numerous workshops across the city. She was born in Lebanon and has only recently been living in Germany. Hijazi shared her personal impressions of the different workshops. The discussion about high rents and heating costs, global warming and the fight against pandemics has helped her to understand the societal challenges in Germany at a district and national level.

Demands on Hamburg's politicians

Participants from the audience also reported on their experiences. For example, a participant from Wilhelmsburg said that he really enjoyed the exercise “Wilhelmsburg 2024” and that he benefited from it. Many other contributions contained wishes and demands on Hamburg’s politicians.
Steffen Ries, representative of the Hamburg Authority of Social Affair and former Head of the Hamburg Corona Crisis Committee, responded to the wishes and suggestions of the citizens. He also gave insights into his work. Furthermore, he explained how the crisis management mechanisms and the experiences gained from the pandemic were adopted and implemented in case of Hamburg’s accommodation allowance. In that specific case, Hamburg would – as during the pandemic – quickly assemble a task force that would process the accommodation allowance applications quickly and solely.

Different perspectives on crises in Elbvororte and Wilhelmsburg

Prof. Dr Ursula Schröder, who had led three workshops, explained what she found particularly interesting from a scientific point of view. She reported about people who have lost confidence in welfare and instead rely on local actors such as community centres or clubs. It was also interesting to see how people perceive crises differently depending on the districts: while in Blankenese the focus was on future crisis, in Wilhelmsburg it was more about the everyday handling of crises. In addition, Prof. Dr Ursula Schröder observed in all the workshops a strong interest and willingness for social change in order to cope with the manifold challenges of our time.

Gero Goroncy, Head of Youth Aid & Family Support, BI Beruf und Integration Elbinseln gGmbH and close supervisor of the research workshops in Wilhelmsburg, pointed out that the City of Hamburg needs to focus more on local and customized solutions to problems arising from multiple crises and multiple discrimination.

The project team summarised the findings and experiences gained from the research workshops in a brochure (available in German only).

About MUVE
MUVE (Understanding and Dealing with Multiple Crises), is a joint research project of the IFSH and the profile initiative “Violence and Security” at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences (WiSo), University of Hamburg (Prof. Dr Christine Hentschel, Prof. Dr Ursula Schröder) in cooperation with the Bücherhallen Hamburg and the State Agency for Civic Education Hamburg (LpB). It is financed by the funding line “Science for Society” of the State Innovation Funding of the Federal Office for Science, Research, Equality and Districts (BWFGB).

This project is part of the IFSH research focus „doing peace!“.

Learn more about „doing peace!“