Welcome to Berlin – 2nd Regional Final 2018

by YES! team

It was quite exciting for us to come to Berlin for the first ever YES! regional final in our new region. Hosted by the Leibniz Association, we welcomed six teams to present their solutions for topics that researchers from DIW Berlin and ESMT had provided for us.

The participating teams of the Regional Final East. Photo: (c) YES!

The first team, Georg-Büchner-Gymnasium Berlin, had chosen the topic “Sense and Nonsense of Economic Forecasts: Motivation and Methods for Macroeconomic Forecasts”.  Their idea was based on the fact that people under 19 are currently not observed when it comes to taking polls and generating economic forecasts from these data. They wanted to use polls on Instagram to gather data related to young people only that would then be integrated into economic forecasts.

Getting people to participate in science projects was the challenge for the second team of the day from Alfred-Nobel-Gesamtschule Potsdam. Their approach was focused on elementary schools, where students could participate in outdoor projects and conduct tasks suitable for their age – for instant counting animals in a certain area – and so even at their age can contribute to gathering scientific data.

“All set to tackle technological change with further training?” The answer to this question was given by the School Schloß Hansenberg: Future Fund – a concept of a training system for digital skills with low entrance fees for the trainees and shared financial support by government and companies. The team provided a very detailed presentation, even making a sort of business case for their potential company.

Being well trained is critically related to earning more money. Yet, there is a gap between what women make compared to men. What to do about that? The team Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium Berlin explained their solution to the audience, including strengthening women in their demand for equal pay, starting with girls at an early age, implementing transparency and anti-discrimination laws and better care support for working women and their children. How difficult it is to handle such an issue showed a small experiment by our moderator Ursula Weidenfeld. By asking the girls first to give remarks on the presentation, it quickly became obvious that they were more reluctant than the boys to raise their hands. But it worked out after some encouragement by the moderator – hopefully in the larger scale as well.

The final double session with two teams from the Berlin International school dealt with climate protection and financial inclusion. First, Team 1, came up with the idea of the “Greenest Student Competition” – awarding students for their environmentally friendly behaviour. Team 2 of Berlin International School developed the concept for an app they named “Virgo” as a financial ecosystem to digitalise the informal economy, especially in developing countries.

Again we were deeply impressed by all the teams and their dedicated work. And, unlike the others in the audience, we as a team have followed them over the past months on their tasks. So it is even harder for us to know that the journey in the competition will end for all but three teams here.

Yet, in the end, there needs to be a vote. And the three solutions that got the most votes by the other teams were Georg-Büchner-Gymnasium Berlin, Berlin International School Team 2 and Alfred-Nobel-Gesamtschule Potsdam. Congratulations, you surely deserve to represent the region East at the national final.

We have had a great time, thanks to Leibniz Association for being great hosts. We are already set for the next event. We are looking forward to Friday in Mannheim at the Regional Final South-West at the ZEW.

Your YES!-Team