Mensa Germany, or Mensa in Deutschland e.V. ("MinD"), was founded in 1979 and currently has around 8.500 members in good standing, thereby constituting the 3rd largest national Mensa chapter worldwide. It runs various local groups and organizes a large number of gatherings. The average age is 34 years, roughly 31 percent of the members are female.
Mensa in Deutschland e.V. Governance
Mensa in Germany, usually abbreviated to "MinD," has a board of five voluntary directors, each of whom is elected for a two year term. The current chairman is Matthias Moehl. The other members are Tina Acham, Hermann Meier, Martin Weiß and Jens Wiechers.
MinD employs Birgit Rosenthal as its directive-bound executive director and has offices run by Cirsten Novellino in the Munich area. The last full election was held at the AGM 2010 in Dortmund, the next is scheduled for the AGM 2012 in Dresden.
Individual membership costs €44 p.a. The membership includes a bimonthly magazine called MinD-Magazin (commonly abbreviated to "MinD-Mag").
Usage of IQ-Tests for purposes other than clinical psychology is relatively uncommon in Germany and while there is some acceptance of the validity of IQ tests, there is also a considerable degree of skepticism as to the overall significance of the concept.
In recent years, there has been some positive change to the public perception and a number of private Universities as well as scholarship granting organizations have adopted IQ tests or closely related cognitive tests as an admission criterion; publicly funded job centers have also begun to regularly use cognitive tests to screen job seekers and the (recently) unemployed to determine the suitability for certain careers or occupational retraining.
Nevertheless, when two publicly funded Universities waived tuition fees for students who had a verified IQ above 130, the public and media reaction was largely negative and the programs were terminated in 2007 (University of Konstanz) and 2009 (University of Freiburg) respectively.
The Mensa IQ tests is therefore the most common way for prospective members to qualify for admission and more than 3000 test are taken each year. Of those who attempt the test, roughly 40 percent meet the criterion and between 70 and 80% subsequently join Mensa, suggesting a very high degree of self-selection.
To deal with the complex requirements and the sheer amount of data, Mensa in Germany has been using an integrated IT-based solution for registration, test management (including scoring), billing and internal member communication for many years.
Mensa Germany is subdivided into several regions, each led by a LocSec (= Local Secretary).
The MinD-Mag is a magazine published on a bimonthly schedule and serves as one of the primary avenues of communication among the membership. Nicolai Meyer serves as the editor in chief, heading a team of volunteers who compile and edit the materials to be published. The magazine, with the exception of those contents concerned with the internal business of the society, is also made available to the public free of charge on the MinD website.
In Germany a total of 16 Ortsblätter (= regional newsletters) are published. Each has a unique character and is run by voluntary Editors, colloquially referred to as Eddis. Many Ortsblätter can be considered as magazines in their own right rather than newsletters. The editors are coordinated by Baki Sinanoglu.
- Augusta for Augsburg and the surrounding area
- BreMensie for Bremen and the surrounding area
- Fragment for Frankfurt and the surrounding area
- Hamlet for Hamburg and the surrounding area
- Leipziger Freigeist for Leipzig and the surrounding area
- MeDUSa for Dusseldorf and the surrounding area
- Mensana for Munich and the surrounding area
- MeNü for Nuremberg and the surrounding area
- Milljöh for Berlin and the surrounding area
- MinSH for Schleswig-Holstein
- MiR for the Ruhrgebiet (area of Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg)
- Muh-Q for Hanover and the surrounding area
- Münsteraner for Münster and the surrounding area
- Rheingeist for Cologne and the surrounding area
- ThürMe for Thuringia
- Unterm Fernsehturm for Stuttgart and the surrounding area
- Zwingergeister for Dresden and the surrounding area
There are regular gatherings in all major cities and regions of Germany ranging from formal dinners to pub crawlings, clubbing and privately held game nights.
There is also a number of larger annual gatherings, among them:
- The Mitgliederversammlung and Jahrestreffen: This is the official annual gathering where the members discuss and decide on important issues concerning the development of MinD. The "Mitgliederversammlung" is the formal general assembly, while the "Jahrestreffen" is the program organized for recreation, meeting other Mensans and having fun. It is held in a different city each year. Most recently, it was held in Munich (2009), Dortmund (2010), and Passau (2011), it will be held in Dresden in 2012, in Muenster in 2013. Likely candidate for 2014 is Freiburg.
- Tag der Intelligenz - Intelligence Day, a weekend in September dedicated to the promotion of intelligence in general and the idea of Mensa. Admission tests with around 1000 participants in total, open houses and lectures in ca. 50 cities all over Germany draw much attention of local and national media and mark the beginning of a year end rally in testing and marketing activities.
- Silvesterfeier - New Year´s Eve is celebrated in a different city every year.
- Berliner Sommerfest - Each August more than 100 members meet in the German capital to have a good time together.
- Fifth Friday in February - The rarest event is the FFF which, as is obvious, can only take place once every 28 years.
In 2008 it was celebrated in Weimar. The next FFF will be held in 2036.