MaExchange allows incoming students to register at the beginning of each semester to borrow household and everyday items, primarily kitchen utensils. These can be borrowed for a deposit amount for the duration of the stay and returned at the end of the semester. The project also accepts donations in kind from students leaving Mannheim, allowing the items to be reused. In this way, MaExchange provides an alternative to the conventional “buy and waste” approach and helps to promote the local circular economy.
The MaExchange project prevailed in the final of the Sustainable Impact Contest against the projects “Sonnenkinder” and “Stifte Hoffnung”. The winners were selected by a jury consisting of Joachim Lutz, Dean of the Business School of the University of Mannheim, Bettina Meltzer, Marketing, Communications & Diversity Manager at Mannheim Business School and Prof. Dr. Moritz Fleischmann, Vice Rector for Sustainability and Information Provision at the University of Mannheim. In addition, the projects were able to collect points in an Instagram vote. The jury agreed that the project was action-oriented in both supporting students and contributing to a sustainable circular economy.
“MaExchange is an impressive example of students' creativity and commitment to a more sustainable future,” said Business Administration Dean and jury member Joachim Lutz: “Through such initiatives, not only are resources conserved, but awareness and responsibility for sustainable action are also promoted.”
Luca Knörzer, a member of MaExchange, emphasizes: “We are thrilled to have made it through the final round of the Sustainable Impact Contest among other inspiring projects. We have become big fans of Sonnenkinder and Stifte Hoffnung (definitely check them out!). In this regard, we want to express our gratitude to all supporters who made this award possible through their votes in the online voting. We look forward to repaying this trust in the coming semester with full energy through the further development of MaExchange.”
The MaExchange team believes that with the large number of exchange students comes a responsibility to promote and potentially externalize the issue of sustainability through international students. In addition to conserving students' ecological and financial resources, the project also sees itself as a point of contact for new students and wants to make it easier for them to settle in Mannheim, among other things by providing support with household items and advice.
The Sustainable Impact Contest was announced by the Business School of the University of Mannheim and the Mannheim Business School. The winning project will receive the proceeds from the wine sale of the upcoming bachelor graduation ceremony, which will be doubled by Mannheim Business School. The prize money will be used to increase MaExchange's inventory. So far, second-hand markets and stores such as the Markthaus in Mannheim have been used. In addition, the project team is looking for a central storage room for the inventory, which will also serve as a “meeting place” and contact point for international students. Furnishing this space, including cabinets and seating, is another use of the prize money.
Further information on MaExchange can be found on the website of the student initiative Infinity Mannheim e.V. here.