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Global Economic Symposium 2012 Began

October 16th, 2012

The fifth Global Economic Symposium (GES) began with an opening ceremony and reception at the Real Astoria Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday evening. During the next two days, more than 600 high ranking businesspeople, policymakers, scholars, and civil society representatives from five continents and many countries who have registered to attend the GES 2012 at the Hotel Windsor Atlantica in Rio will seek to find solutions to urgent global problems.

The Global Economic Symposium 2012 is intended to provide new ideas for dealing with global challenges and to work out concrete proposals for strengthening global economic and business control mechanisms, international cooperation, and societal initiatives. The overarching theme of the GES 2012 is “Growth through Education and Innovation”.

At the opening ceremony, Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal, Ph.D., President of the FGV Foundation, welcomed the participants emphasizing that “the city of Rio de Janeiro appears to be the ideal setting for the GES 2012 discussions. Traditionally considered as a showcase for the country’s qualities, the city is experiencing a moment of optimism and has been the target of huge investments for the hosting of big inter¬national events such as the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the Olympic Games of 2016. The recent Rio+20 showed the international community its ability in planning and executing large-size events.”

Dennis Snower, president of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), pointed out: “In seeking to address global problems, participants at this year’s GES in Rio should listen not only to the voice of reason but also to the voice of care and compassion. The GES has always looked for global solutions based on evidence and thoughtful analysis: this year, care and compassion are added to the mix. The world’s challenges essential¬ly boil down into two: the problem of collective goods and collective action; and the problem of poverty in the midst of plenty. Solving these problems demands people across all parts of society prepare to commit to public service in a broad sense: willing to contribute more than they themselves will gain from an action.”

“When problems go global, problem-solving must go global, too. That is—in a nutshell—the idea of the GES”, said Aart De Geus, Chairman and CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. “It aims to be an opportunity for decision-makers, entrepreneurs and researchers from all across the globe to learn from each other, connect their knowledge, and transfer it into effective policies. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is proud of its role as the co-host of this important initiative from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.”

Prof. Dr. Klaus Tochtermann, Director of the ZBW – German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, emphasized: “The Global Economic Symposium 2012 brings together a unique community of keen thinkers, major decision-makers, distinguished researchers, and, for the first time, also virtual communities in the Social Web to come up with open-minded solutions for existing challenges related to this year’s overarching theme “Growth through Education and Innovation.”

Dr. Alessio J.G. Brown, Executive Director of the GES, added: “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 to envision something new.”

“The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2012 is being jointly organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).

Further information can be found at and at the official GES-blog at

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