A German university is offering $1,900 scholarships ‘for doing nothing’

A German university will award you $1,900 if you can come up with a good reason to do nothing.

The new scholarship offering comes from HFBK University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, Germany, and it’s open to applicants from all over the world.

In order to receive one of the three $1,900 stipends being offered, applicants must answer a series of questions about what they don’t want to do and why it’s important for them not to do it.

“Scholarships for Doing Nothing,” as it’s called, is the brainchild of Friedrich von Borries, a professor of design theory at the university.

Von Borries came up with the idea for the scholarship program in order to promote the idea of “active inactivity” — or the conscious decision to stop doing something.

“The world we are living in is driven by the belief in success, in growth, in money. This thinking was leading us into the ecological crisis — and social injustice — we are living in,” von Borries explained to CNN. “We wanted to turn that upside down — giving a grant not for the ‘best’ and for ‘doing a project,’ but for doing nothing.”

The university’s call for applications comes at the perfect time, as during the global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to stay home and do nothing.

“During Covid, we stopped being busy not only to protect ourselves but to protect others,” Von Borries explained. “That is something I find very important and I hope we will be able to transfer this attitude into the post-COVID times.”

Submissions for the “Scholarships for Doing Nothing” program are being accepted now through September 15. On November 5, the three winners will be announced at the opening of an exhibit called “The School of Inconsequentiality: Exercises for a Different Life” at Hamburg’s Museum of Art and Design. All of the applications will also be anonymously featured in the exhibition.

Ready to explain why doing nothing is the best thing you can do? Submit your application here.

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