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Dennis J. Snower

Director, GES President, Kiel Institute for the World Economy


I welcome you to the Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2010. Here you will be involved in a strategic dialogue on global problem-solving. In this increasingly interdependent world, this dialogue is vital, since many of the most serious problems are interdependent as well. It is significant that the GES 2010 takes place in Istanbul, Turkey. For Turkey is a pivotal country in the endeavor to address a variety of global problems, including social integration, international security issues, energy security, political and social exchange across cultures, economic relations between East and West, and much more.

Along with the rest of the GES community, I am delighted that the Symposium is hosted in Istanbul. During the next two days, I would like you to keep the following three things in mind. First, the GES is a solution forum, not a discussion forum. So focus your questions, arguments and proposals on solutions to the major global problems.

The underlying analysis and commentary you find on our website, the Virtual GES. Please continue to feel free to study it and, where appropriate, contribute to it.

Second, the GES is concerned with problems that are global. They are the problems that extend beyond national boundaries and therefore cannot be addressed by any single country individually. They are thus also problems for which individual countries often do not take full responsibility. So when you enter the GES, you do so as a global citizen. You bring with you your expertise, insight and experience, but you leave your particular national, regional, cultural, and political interests behind. The aim is to work as part of the community of humankind, addressing problems that we all have in common.

And lastly, be creative and daring. See the GES as an opportunity to think out of the box, removed from conventional wisdoms, interest groups and the everyday constraints of politics and society. Be visionary. You will be in the company of some of the most innovative minds from the worlds of academia, business, policy making and civil society. Take advantage of it by thinking afresh about some of the most important challenges that the world faces today.

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