ZEW Student Team Presents Ideas for the Allocation of Childcare Places in the YES! Final

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Virtual South-West Regional Final of the YES! – Young Economic Summit School Competition

There was great excitement surrounding the virtual regional final of the YES! – Young Economic Summit: Who would make it to the grand national final? In the end, two teams prevailed – the Albert-Magnus-Gymnasium Stuttgart mentored by economists from ZEW Mannheim, and the European School RheinMain from Bad Vilbel mentored by SAFE Frankfurt. In addition, the Lise-Meitner-Gymnasium from Maxdorf, also mentored by ZEW, received a wildcard for the federal final in September. ZEW President Achim Wambach, who was live on air, emphasised how “great it is that so many teams, so many teachers and researchers continued despite the difficult circumstances.”

Both teams will represent the South-West Region in the grand final in September. The student team of the Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium from Stuttgart convinced with their solution for “Efficiently Organising Day-Care Allocations for Children”, mentored by ZEW economists Nicolas Fugger and Tobias Riehm. In many cities, the allocation of day-care places is very complicated for parents, day-care centres and the city administration. With their approach of using a ranking system, the students not only aim to standardise and simplify this process, but also minimise the actual number of unfilled day-care places. The wildcard team from the Lise-Meitner-Gymnasium developed a concept to make it easier for immigrant women to enter the working world. Their topic “Access to the German labour market: How can we strengthen the integration of refugees” is supported by ZEW colleagues Kathrin Sommerfeld, Katia Gallegos Torres, and Paul Berbée. The European School RheinMain from Bad Vilbel, which is supervised by the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE, will compete in the national final with the topic “How can we measure the value of marketing? What is a brand worth?”. They have come up with an app and a sophisticated system which wants to give smaller companies the opportunity to explore and evaluate their marketing options more thoroughly in order to be more visible on the market.

Since the end of last year, the student teams from the South-West region (Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Saarland) have been working on their ideas for solutions to Germany’s largest school competition on economic and social issues. The concepts have been discussed and further developed during regular project meetings, most of which have been held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is already the fourth year that ZEW is supporting the YES! competition as a scientific partner. This year’s topics by ZEW are:

  • Efficiently Organising Day-Care Allocations for Children, mentored by Nicolas Fugger and Tobias Riehm
  • Gründerzeit now! Through Innovative Start-Ups to Green Economymentored by Marius Berger and Johannes Bersch
  • Facts vs. Fake News – Why Digital Science Communication Is Getting More Important, mentored by Daniela Heimberger and Theresa Heep
  • “My House, My Savings Account, My Retirement”: Saving for the Future: Dealing with Low Interest Rates (2 teams), mentored by Karolin Kirschenmann and Jesper Riedler
  • Making It in the German Labour Market: Strengthening the Integration of Refugees (2 teams), mentored by Karolin Sommerfeld, Katia Gallegos Torres and Paul Berbée

Teams vote democratically on who should participate in the final

The students themselves decide which solutions should be implemented after the YES! – Young Economic Summit. In a democratic process, the YES! teams vote on the best ideas, which are then summarised in a petition and handed over to selected institutions and organisations that – jointly with next generation – are capable of bringing about change.

About YES!

The YES! – Young Economic Summit falls under the patronage of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The YES! programme, a joint project by the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Joachim Herz Stiftung, is one of the biggest German school competitions aimed at getting young people to engage with global economic and social issues. Over the course of a six-month mentoring programme, student teams tackle pressing issues facing future generations. Researchers from various Leibniz institutions in Germany support the students by providing scientific expertise. In 2020, 16 partner institutes are participating in the competition. ZEW forms part of the South-West region, in which the LOEWE Centre SAFE (“Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe”) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO are participating for the first time. By participating in YES!, students explore immediate political, social, economic and environmental challenges, giving them the opportunity to contribute their voices to current economic policy discourse.

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