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Alessio J.G. Brown

Executive Director, Global Economic Symposium (GES) Kiel Institute for the World Economy

 

In the name of the whole GES Team I welcome you to the Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2011.

The GES 2011 builds on our established efforts in global problem-solving. While the thrust of our Symposium remains unchanged, our ambitions have grown. We have come to recognize that generating ideas and solution proposals is not enough. The next step is to create ongoing networks of decision-makers who are actively seeking to implement these ideas and proposals.

Furthermore, we recognize that creating these decision networks is also not enough. We seek to stimulate a change in social perspective to support the wider acceptance of the new ideas.

On this account, the GES is expanding its initiatives, both physically during the Symposium and virtually around it.

Our rising ambitions are powered by the launch of a new cooperation between the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the Bertelsmann Stiftung. This cooperation is substantially expanding our networks and expertise. It rests on a collaboration with the German National Library of Economics, which is taking responsibility for the knowledge base of the GES and contributing to our social networking.

In addition to our panels—aimed at producing solution proposals for our proliferating global problems—we now have created more opportunities for Roundtables, involving a free-flowing discussion of specific issues related to the panels.

We have redesigned our Global Economic Workshop to focus on the question about how the major current events—from the Arab Spring, to the nuclear disaster in Fukoshima, to the national debt crises in the Eurozone and the United States, and more—should alert us to the global challenges of the future.

This is the first GES to take place in Kiel, the home town of the Institute for the World Economy and the German National Library of Economics. It is the first GES to receive substantial support from the German “Mittelstand”—the small- and medium-sized enterprises that are the backbone of the German economy—in Schleswig-Holstein and Kiel, in particular. This support is both financial and intellectual. The Kieler Kaufmann Society is organizing two of this year’s GES Roundtables.

This is the first GES that reaches out to our local communities in Kiel and elsewhere in Schleswig-Holstein. Schools, civic organizations and church groups are organizing events that examine the local and personal implications of our global challenges.

These are all natural developments of the GES idea. After all, the Symposium was never meant to be merely one-off, annual activity, but rather a movement that leads us all to a new awareness of our global responsibilities.

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