In sports, ‘dream match’ refers to an encounter of two opponents in which a rare combination of competitiveness and difference promises a tantalizing game. With its series Spannungsübungen, the ICI Berlin aims at enabling such dream matches in the cultural and intellectual fields. The objective of this roundtable series is to address basic tensions of the present within a relaxed setting. The name ‘Spannungsübungen’ refers to the inaugural core project ‘Tension/Spannung’ of the ICI Berlin. It also aims at marking a divergence from mass media’s stagings of tensions. Fundamental differences are to be displayed without dramatizing them, exploring ways of productively and playfully dealing with tensions. Last but not least, the name ‘Spannungsübungen’ underlines the experimental character to which the institute is committed to.