Education for the smart city of tomorrow

Jun. 2022

Smart Cities and Social Care: This was the motto of the theme evening on 31.05.2022 at the NEXT500 Pavilion on Augsburg’s Rathausplatz, hosted by the PATRIZIA Foundation and PATRIZIA AG. Around 70 people attended the event. As part of a panel discussion, Alexander Erbgraf Fugger-Babenhausen, Senior Council Chairman of the Fugger Foundations, spoke with representatives of PATRIZIA Foundation and PATRIZIA AG. The main topics were the city of tomorrow and the importance of social investments and especially education on the way there.

Dr Marc Lucassen, Managing Director of the Swabian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, emphasised in his welcoming address how many companies from the region are committed to education worldwide as partners of the PATRIZIA Foundation. “Economic success and social responsibility are not a contradiction, but ideally complement each other. Our Bavarian-Swabian companies particularly stand for social commitment, a sustainable mindset and innovative concepts. PATRIZIA AG and PATRIZIA Foundation are thus exemplary in a long tradition of responsible Swabian entrepreneurship,” said Lucassen.

Urbanity of the future

“Only a social city can also be a smart city,” emphasised Marleen Bikker-Bekkers, Head of Investments Europe, PATRIZIA Netherlands B.V., in her keynote speech. In the urban structures of the future, people need the ability to shape their own lives. Marleen Bikker-Bekkers does not see urban planning as a task for politicians alone. Private companies could make a decisive difference with financial resources, but also with know-how. “Our goal is to create cities where people of all generations and income levels can live well. This can only be done with the help of investors,” says Marleen Bikker-Bekkers.

Enabling young people to live self-determined lives

“Our society needs the private-sector commitment of courageous entrepreneurs like Wolfgang Egger more urgently than ever,” emphasised Alexander Erbgraf Fugger-Babenhausen during the subsequent panel discussion. For today, too, there are many challenges, both locally in Augsburg and globally. Egger, CEO of PATRIZIA AG, thanked the Fugger family for the opportunity to jointly organise the Sponsor Circle Talk. For him personally, it is important to provide added value for society and to bring this idea into the company as DNA:

“Instead of ‘me first’, it should be ‘we first’. We carry this spirit forward and let it grow. As a foundation, we take responsibility and enable young people to lead self-determined lives.”

Angelika Jacobi, Chairwoman of the Board and Managing Director of the PATRIZIA Foundation, explained that education is a long-term investment that is passed down through generations and enables people to live in dignity, even in the poorest regions of the world. “The PATRIZIA Foundation is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Education is key to social advancement around the world.”

The participants in the discussion agreed: sustainable investments and people-friendly supply infrastructures will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future. Education infrastructure in particular is important for the social and just society of tomorrow.

Every donated euro goes to good use

The great interest that companies in the region show in social investments was also reflected in the feedback from the guests after the discussion. “With my commitment as a Sponsor Circle Member of the PATRIZIA Foundation, I can give something back to society,” said Hellmut Golisch, a self-employed real estate agent from Augsburg. “I appreciate the work of the foundation because it is based locally, works absolutely transparently and every euro that is donated goes to the projects.”