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Gunter Thielen

CEO and Chairman, Bertelsmann Stiftung Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Bertelsmann AG


On behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, I am delighted to welcome you to the Global Economic Symposium 2011. In keeping with the longstanding social commitment of its founder, Reinhard Mohn, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is dedicated to serving the common good. Our work is based on the conviction that freedom, competition, social inclusion and civic engagement are essential for social progress. We view ourselves as a catalyst for social change and a driver of reform.

Working with a wide range of experts and partners, the Bertelsmann Stiftung aims to anticipate potential challenges early on and develop exemplary solutions to address them. For us, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy is an outstanding partner and I am very pleased that from now on we will jointly host the Global Economic Symposium (GES). In the short period since its inception in 2008, the GES has achieved an international reputation as a leading solutions-oriented forum for the global challenges we face. In cooperation with the IfW and its own worldwide network of thinkers and decision-makers, the Bertelsmann Stiftung intends to further develop the GES into an implementation-focused institution for innovation.

Truly global: The venue of the GES will alternate between Germany and international locations. Our goal is to open the dialogue on global challenges for regional perspectives, like we did last year in Istanbul and will do in 2012 in Brazil.

This year’s GES topic —“New Forces of Global Governance”—highlights this intention. Our current system of multilateral governance has proven to lack the needed scope, effectiveness and foresight. Which new rules and perhaps which new institutions could tackle these far-reaching problems? Which role do civil society actors play in this process? These are just two of the questions I look forward to discussing with you in Kiel.

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