Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik
Land of Ideas

Land of Ideas

The concept behind the  "Germany - Land of Ideas" campaign was to use the 2006 World Cup in Germany as an opportunity to showcase the many imaginative and innovative ideas generated by Germans past and present. Out of over 1,200 candidates who submitted applications in a nationwide competition, 365 winning locations were selected and each assigned a specific day in 2006 on which they had the opportunity to present themselves, their ideas, and their innovations to the general public. Every year since, locations have been selected as “Ort im Land der Ideen” or “Selected Locations”. Patron of the initiative is the German President, Christian Wulff. His predecessor Horst Köhler coined the term "Land of Ideas". The Hasso-Plattner-Institute is a supporter and cooperation partner of the initiative. 

Hasso Plattner Institute part of the expert jury for "365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" 2012

Die Jury für 365 Orte im Land der Ideen 2012 - Foto: Land der Ideen

With great dedication, creativity and passion, people across Germany accomplish outstanding feats. They explore new approaches, successfully put ideas into practice, and create successful innovations for their country's advancement. In doing so they help secure the future of Germany and serve as role models for others. The "365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" competition aims to raise public awareness of their outstanding ideas and projects, provide them with a platform and promote them. 

An independent expert jury awarded the best ideas of Germany. It consists of scientists, business executives, journalists and politicians. Prof. Christoph Meinel, director of the Hasso-Plattner-Instituts, is a member of the jury.

More about the Competition

The HPI as a "Selected Location" in 2008

On July 11, 2008, the Hasso-Plattner-Institute was nominated a "Selected Location" for the third time in a row. Following the motto "Innovative and Creative Team Work", the jury thus recognized the work of the HPI School of Design Thinking: "Printing, the light bulb, the Internet - these inventions prove how good ideas can change the world. But only very few people come up with such brilliant ideas while brooding alone in their study. The Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI) in Potsdam encourages students to be creative together. The institute offers an add-on program that is unique in Europe: "Design Thinking" - inventive engineering. What is special about this approach is that three to four students work in a group with professors and researchers from different fields of study. Computer scientists thus work hand in hand with designers, business economists, medical scientists, biologists, social scientists and others to generate novel solutions and prototypes. During the one-year academic program, students learn to develop particularly user-friendly IT products and services and to let their thoughts run free. The Potsdam school brings together today's creative lateral thinkers to develop tomorrow's innovative ideas."

The HPI as a "Selected Location" in 2007

On October 2, 2007, the HPI was chosen as a "Selected Location" for the second time: "Who is to say there is no top-level research in Germany? The Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI) for IT-Systems Engineering in Potsdam inspires students and researchers internationally with its ideal working conditions. Of course Germany's only entirely privately-financed university institute maintains excellent contacts with companies and institutions worldwide. For example, the 400 students and researchers swap ideas with their colleagues at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a regular basis. For the year 2007, institute director Prof. Christoph Meinel has announced an even closer cooperation with China - a choice that is by no means accidental. After all, there are two anniversaries to be celebrated in 2007: five years ago, computer science students in China participated in English-language, online-televised lectures from Germany for the first time. Twenty years ago, China's very first email began its journey through the emergent Internet with the help of a present-day HPI professor."  The award ceremony took place on September 18, 2007 as part of the event "Germany and China - an Innovative Partnership in Information Technology".

tele-TASK recording of the award ceremony

The HPI as a "Selected Location" in 2006

On April 12, 2006, the Hasso-Plattner-Institute was awarded the title of "Selected Location" in the "Land of Ideas" campaign: "You work at a Selected Location - a compliment to the 120 applicants who join the Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI) each year as students in the IT-Systems Engineering program. Hasso Plattner is one of the founders of the software company SAP, a multi-billionaire and founder of the institute that bears his name. The province of Brandenburg donated the property to the elite institution, while Plattner's private contribution to the HPI amounts to 200 million Euros through 2020. The successful institute has top-level equipment and staff at its disposal and is unconcerned about the much-debated German education crisis. The renowned institution accepts only highly-talented applicants. The students - many of whom worship Plattner like a sort of guru - are from the beginning familiarized with the cycle of research projects and practical company tasks. The sought-after IT engineers will in the future supply the software industry with new ideas and trends." 

At the so-called Bachelor Podium 2006, about 60 Bachelor's students demonstrated how they would independently address a complex practical problem from the field of information technology in teams of four to eight people and came up with innovative solutions for businesses and society.

The podium was attended by Brandenburg's research minister, Johanna Wanka, the CEO of FC Deutschland GmbH, Mike de Vries, numerous decision makers from politics, business, academia and society, as well as friends of the presenters and interested high school students. 

The „Walk of Ideas“ during the 2006 Soccer World Cup

As a supporter of the “Land of Ideas” campaign, the Hasso-Plattner-Institute realized a virtual walk past six gigantic sculptures that were exhibited in Berlin during the 2006 World Cup to symbolize the creativity and innovativeness of German writers, composers, researchers and academics, engineers and inventors.

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The project was realized by the HPI's Computer Graphics Systems group. Prof. Döllner's team contributed a selection of video clips showing virtual, but extremely lifelike views of the sculptures surrounded by a three-dimensional model of the city of Berlin. They provide views on the complete "Walk of Ideas" as well as other prominent buildings and places of the Berlin cityscape. The geo data for the virtual city model was provided by Berlin Partner GmbH and Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH.

The Computer Graphics Systems group at HPI developed the basic software "LandXplorer" in cooperation with the HPI spinoff company 3D Geo GmbH. The software enables users to take a virtual walk through their city or neighborhood without leaving their desk. The technology is already being used by businesses, universities, and public administration.