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2nd International German Forum: What matters to people - innovation and society

Author: Timo Schneider, Nicola Höfinghoff, Dr. Andrea M. Schneider
Published Date: 28 September 2015

This article is also available to read in German.

"Politics must address what matters to people." Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel

When Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel set up the International German Forum in 2013, she created a new format for international exchange on globally relevant future related issues. In many countries, society is facing increasingly complex challenges such as climate change, scarcity of resources, demographic change, urbanisation and digitisation. It is in this context that experts from the spheres of politics, business, academia and civil society come together at the International German Forum to debate ideas for social, political and economic transformation processes, share their experience and discuss concretepossibilities for action. The goal of the International German Forum is for participants to learn from one another through interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue and to establish a network for global learning in the long term.

The idea for the International German Forum arose from the Federal Chancellor’s dialogue on Germany’s future. Conducted in 2011 and 2012, she discussed the question “How do we want to live in the future?” with the public and with relevant experts.

Review: The 1st International German Forum 2013

On 5 June 2013, around 120 German and international experts from politics, the public and private sectors, academia and civil society convened at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin for the 1st International German Forum, entitled “What matters to People – Quality of Life and Progress”. The main consideration in the first forum was how quality of life all over the world could be maintained and improved for people alive today and for future generations. The forum centred around such questions as what the public, academia and the business world understand by quality of life and how the endeavour to improve it can be made even more of a focus for political action.

The 2nd International German Forum 2015 

Background Information

The 2nd international German Forum was held at the Federal Chancellery on 19 and 20 January 2015 and was entitled “What matters to People – Innovation and Society”. Improving quality of life remains the International German Forum’s overarching goal. The key question of the 2nd International German Forum was “How do our societies generate innovations that improve wellbeing in a time of complex challenges and digital opportunities?” Around 120 experts from 30 different countries talked about the capacity for innovation as a key factor in successfully developing solutions for economic, environmental and social challenges. The starting point for the dialogue was a broad interpretation of innovation, encompassing social and systemic change as well as technological and economic advances.

More information on the subjects, programmes and participants of the 1st and 2nd International German Forum, as well as video recordings of the events, are available on the website.

Read the report in full: 2nd International German Forum