On Friday, April 21, 2023, the Amerikahaus was the spot to be for Alumni in Bavaria of U.S. exchanges. The first Bavarian U.S. Exchange Alumni Summit was hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Munich, Fulbright Alumni e.V. and us, and it took place as part of Transatlantic Innovation Week 2023. The day centered around the central topic of “Alumni engagement”, and was a great chance for alumni to be inspired by panel discussions and speakers. It was also a great networking opportunity for exchange alumni amongst the different alumni cohorts in Bavaria. In attendance were about 60 exchange alumni.
Bonding through Exchanges
Our CEO Dr. Meike Zwingenberger, along with U.S. Consul General Timothy Liston and a representative of the Parlamentarisches Patenschaft Programm (PPP), partook in a panel discussion titled “Building bridges with Exchanges,” moderated by Allie Drexler of Cultural Vistas Europe and PPP.
During the networking lunch, alumni were able to meet each other and the panelists and speakers of the day. There was an atmosphere of familiarity among the alumni as they shared and compared details of their U.S. exchanges and how their transatlantic experience has deepened their understanding on a number of topics.
Consul General Timothy Liston welcomed the alumni.
U.S. Consul General Timothy Liston (left) and Dr. Meike Zwingenberger (middle), CEO of the Amerikahaus, partook in the panel discussion titled “Building bridges with Exchanges,” moderated by Allie Drexler (right) of Cultural Vistas Europe and the Parlamentarisches Patenschafts-Programm (PPP).
Daniel Hofmann (left) spoke to Fulbright alumni during the panel "Mobilizing Alumni Communities".
The afternoon kicked off with a second panel discussion on mobilizing alumni communities, focusing on how alumni associations and networks have kept alumni connected post-exchange. The panelists represented many of the alumni groups present at the summit.
Following a brief interlude, the afternoon continued with two inspirational speakers, retired NASA astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger (NASA) and Yasmin Al Douri, founder of Diverse Young Leaders and graduate student at the TU Munich in the field of AI ethics. Dottie spoke about her journey to becoming an astronaut and how she continues to share her story with the future generations of space enthusiasts. Yasmin spoke about her work and research in educating young people in hands-on ways about finding solutions for ethical dilemmas like mis- and disinformation surrounding social media and internet use.
An Inspirational Day of Transatlantic Conversations
To wrap up the summit, alumni were invited for a final networking round with drinks and snacks, which gave participants a chance to exchange contact information, discuss the inspiring ideas from the day’s events and enjoy the evening sun. As the Bavarian Exchange Alumni Summit concluded, many of the participants thanked the host institutions for an inspirational day of transatlantic conversations and contents.
We want to cordially thank our co-organizers and everyone participating in the first Bavarian Exchange Alumni Summit at Amerikahaus!
Photo: Participants of the first Bavarian U.S. Exchange Alumni Summit ©U.S. Consulate General Munich