Silicon Vilstal Partnership – a Draft

Collaboration with Bayern International

In 2017/18 two times a Delegation of Bayern International was visiting the Lake Toba area. Norbert Kehl, Dr. Anton Mangstl and Helmut Ramsauer teamed for the second delegation. They have met at the Lake Toba Area the Hotel and Restaurant Organization (PHRI), tour operators, the Institut Teknologi DEL, farmers, Rommy Fauzi from the Lake Toba Development Authority and other government officials….

There the idea came out to create a partnership between Bavaria and the Lake Toba region. The key´s for a success of this partnership can be based on this facts:

  • In the midst of  the last century, Lower Bavaria was a rather poor area based on agriculture. Meanwhile a lot of small and medium companies rise and also through the university of Applied science in Landshut and the University for Agriculture and the support of the Government for Entrepreneurship the region is getting more wealthy.  Here the Lake Toba region can look for a lot of examples.
  • The agriculture was getting at the one side fully automatized at the other side a lot of organic farmers started and they already have a nice income out of this, because the consumer even more want to buy organic products. In Bavaria 2017 on  20,7 % of the area was organic produced. As richer an area, more higher is the part of the organic farming.
  • The province Bavaria has had 2017  over 85 Million overnight stays, from this more than 70 % in the countryside. 560.000 people have an higher then average income directly out of the tourism. The tourism is based on family and small scaled business. (Tourism concept of Bavaria). It is a success story, where a lot of things are transferable to Lake Toba
  • Lake Toba and Bavaria has strong tribes and a living culture. This are fundamental essentials for tourism and for welfare and happy people. The behavior and the music of the Toba Batak people and the Bavarian have a lot of similarities. Even Jodelling is an Element in the Batak Music. Here an Article from 2012 about the similarities: (Die Alpenländler und die Bataks)
  • The hills around Lake Toba are a wonderful region for hiking, bicycling. the lake is perfect for each kind of water sports. But the infrastructure is until now very weak. There are no sailing boats, there are only a few marked hiking trials and there are only at some places organized accommodations. It is still rural. Maybe like Lower Bavaria around 1950. But this also make the area lovely. It is still the natural way, how the people are going around. Each tourist is welcomed and getting invited to sleep at the house of a family. Just on a carpet on the ground, but welcomed.
  • The Lake Toba Area is a place, where Bavarian people are welcome as guest, as specialists, as volunteers, as place for retirement.
  • For the Bavarian companies it can be a place, where they can increase their business in joint ventures for:
    • waste management
    • Building Solar boats, windsurfing equipment, sustainable transportation
    • Investments in hotels and touristic infrastructure
    • Education of carpenters and touristic services
  • For the Batak people Bavaria can be a place, where they can sell:
    • their touristic attractions like hiking holidays, watersports, Agrotourism, Coffeetravel
    • their agricultural products like Cacao, coffee, cinnamon, clove, Andaliman, lemmon gras, Mango Vinegar, Mango Sherry, Mango Jam

But the most important thing, is to share the hearts and the friendship in between of this two cultures, they have so many similarities.  In Bavaria it is “Servus” and in Batak it is “Horas”! Both of them don´t need a lot of words. They don´t have to say if somebody just open the door: “Thank you SO MUCH!”. It is just normal!

Silicon Vilstal initiative

Vilstal is a rural region in Bavaria 60 km east of Munich and 15 km south of Landshut and around 30 km away from the international Airport of Munich.

There Helmut Ramsauer started the Initiative: Silicon Vilstal ( Some aims of the initiative are:

  • Empower the people of the region to increase the potential in working together
  • Connect farmers to startups
  • Mix urban and rural people, so that they can learn from each other
  • Find synergies between farmers, artists, startups, IT etc.
  • Strengthen the original Bavarian culture, tradition and heritage and blend it with new inspirations from other branches or cultures
  • One the major annual events of the initiative is Silicon Vilstal Creative Festival, this year it takes place from September 21-23

First steps for a cooperation

After the first visits of Bayern International now a small delegation came to Vilstal and Munich in May/June to prepare shared activities for the “Silicon Vilstal Festival” from the 21st to 23rd of September 2018.

On 25th of Mai, a presentation of the Lake Toba travel delegation took place in Vilstal.

  • Slideshow with the impressions from Lake Toba
  • Presentation of the Coffee, Andaliman and Chocolate and other products
  • Discussion about a partnership between Lake Toba region and Silicon Vilstal with shared activities for the creative festival in autumn


Further meetings were held with the regional university and other stakeholders, including topics like

  • Volunteering and internship at Lake Toba
  • Travel to Lake Toba
  • Travel exchange between the regions by providing homestays

Cooperation with the University of Applied Science in Landshut

The Ecovillage Silimalombu at Lake Toba will provide internships  for the study of Social Work, starting from 2019 for community building at Lake Toba to stop the rural depopulation and to empower entrepreneurship for the poor.

Preparation for the Festival in September

A TV report from the Silicon Vilstal Event in September 2017

Already the festival in the Vilstal has a draft of the program. To get an impression you can look at a TV report from last year, from the first festival:

Just click on the Photo for the video.

This was just the beginning. After this it gave a lot of reports and much more of Dynamic.

For 2018 now after the Delegation Travel to Lake Toba a lot of new ideas came up, to integrate this in the festival, incl. a delegation of farmers and artists from Lake Toba to come to the village of Geisenhausen for the festival.

Also the famous Austrian Hermann Delago Manik is invited to take part at this event. He was 2014 with his 80 people Brass Band at Lake Toba and gave a concert for 5000 people there. He is married with a Batak and he composed all the Batak songs for a Brass Band. We will see, if we can arrange, that he can come with the whole band. But also he with some musicians and Guitar is impressive.


Further activities

In the meantime, further activities have started to collaborate between Bavaria and Lake Toba region. For an evolution into a direct selling strategy for the farmers, they have started to prepare the products and also the logistic, that the people in Bavaria can directly buy the products from Lake Toba. The beginning is already done. There is already a small webshop, that can be boost in the next month to show the products, which can be shipped directly from the farm: “Made in Geopark Lake Toba”