When young minds learn to fly

By Yannick GaaschEric Engel Switch to German for original article

In March, the 52nd edition of the Jonk Fuerscher competition took place at Forum Geesseknäppchen. A lot has happened since the humble beginnings in 1971 and with 50 projects, the competition reached a new high this year. The Journal took a look behind the scenes.

The first edition of the Jonk Fuerscher competition took place on 20 November 1971, organised once by the Luxemburger Wort. From then on, the organisation was run solely with the help of volunteers, so in 1977, the a.s.b.l. was created and since 1992, the Fondation jeunes scientifiques Luxembourg (FJSL) has been behind the competition. Last but not least, from 2017 to 2019, the FJSL and the competition were under the patronage of the Grand Duke and, since 2020, under the patronage of the Hereditary Grand Duke. Today, the organisation of the competition has long ceased to be a matter of pure voluntary work. With five employees, three of them full-time, the team continues to grow, which is also necessary, because the FJSL has long since gone beyond just organising the competition. The Lëtzebuerger Journal talked to three key people to learn more about the history, development and organisation.

Turbulent beginnings

Carlo Hansen has been president of the Jonk Fuerscher association for 15 years, making him the longest-serving member of the organisation. "I was at an evening at the Philharmonie and we were discussing sponsorship. A woman from the Ministry of Higher Education then suggested that I take over the office, " Hansen says about his beginnings. At the time, the Jonk Fuerscher competition was not well attended, with just two projects taking part (only those projects that stay to the end are counted here). "My wife at the time said 'Accept your responsibility. You've been talking about the competition for years!'", adds Hansen. Shortly afterwards, he submitted his candidacy and was elected to the board.

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