Virtual Academy Spotlight HWR Berlin: Who says field trips have to take place in person?
The mid-point in the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin (HWR Berlin) and University at Albany (UAlbany)‘s COIL project on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility was marked with a rather unique session that led to students reflecting on a range of cultural and legal aspects.
The project led by the teaching team Debernee Privott from UAlbany and Peter Ries from the HWR Berlin encourages students to compare legal traditions and varying approaches to corporate social responsibility and corporate governance in the US and in the EU. The second of three synchronous transatlantic sessions focused on how corporate governance models differ across the world.
The session kicked off with a virtual tour of Peter Ries’ municipal courthouse - alongside his work as a professor of civil law at the HWR Berlin, Peter is also a sitting judge at a municipal court in Berlin. Filmed by his student assistant Felicia Caplan, the film introduced students to the working of a court and touched on some of the darker sides of the court’s history. The tour provoked wide-ranging discussions from students from both sides of the Atlantic. Topics discussed included both countries approaches to remembering their history, the advantages and disadvantages of the different judicial systems around the world. Students drew not only on models in Germany and the U.S. but also their experience of other systems such as those in India and the UK; the project features exchange students from a variety of countries across the world, making for truly trans-global interactions.
After the tour and lecture from Peter Ries on corporate governance, the discussions continued and were followed by updates from the students on the asynchronous groupwork taking place in parallel to the live sessions. Students highlighted some of their achievements and challenges so far. Due to the time difference between the U.S. and Germany, planning and communication were flagged by the students as key to successful collaborative international teamwork. The groupwork continues and all participants are looking forward to the final live session on April 30th 2021 when the groups will present their findings related to topics such as CSR, corprorate governance and Black Wall Street.
The UAS7 Virtual Academy pilot phase is funded by DAAD and BMBF.