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Welcome Addresses


Dennis J. Snower, Director, Global Economic Symposium (GES) President, Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Dennis J. Snower

The challenge addressed by the GES is simple and profound: We live in an increasingly interconnected world, in which people from different nations, cultures and walks of life required to make costly contributions for the benefit of the wider human community. Many global problems that we face—ranging from financial crises to climate change, from deforestation and overfishing to pockets of poverty in the midst of plenty—require us to contribute to the common good, knowing full well that our contributions will be inadequate unless many others make these contributions as well. The accumulation and aggravation of these problems over time has led many to doubt whether humanity has the capacity to achieve just and sustainable outcomes—a broadly distributed prosperity that does not go at the expense of future generations.




Aart De Geus, Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung

Aart De Geus

Since its founding in 1977, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has worked to identify and address key social challenges. In keeping with the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder Reinhard Mohn, we have striven to provide concrete solutions for concrete problems. As national economies and polities have become more intertwined, so have these problems. Demographic change, financial instability and sustainable development are by no means confined by national borders.
When problems go global, problem-solving must go global, too. That is—in a nutshell—the idea of the Global Economic Symposium (GES). 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.



Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal, President, FGV Foundation

Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal

FGV Foundation takes great pleasure in receiving you in Rio de Janeiro for the GES 2012 event. FGV’s role in this event has been gaining significance since 2010, when we were invited to participate in panels and debate sessions which brought together representatives with a renowned knowledge of the themes being addressed. With the support of Bertelsmann Stiftung and of ZBWLeibniz, and through an important partnership established with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the GES is being held this year in Brazil for the first time. The GES is being reinforced as an important initiative for the generation of ideas, as well as practical and concrete proposals to help solve the main problems that we face in the contemporary world. At a time when the world is being rocked by instability, and when many countries are suffering the effects of an extended crisis, it has become increasingly important to rethink our societal organization, as well as the political and economic models currently in effect.



Klaus Tochtermann, Director, ZBW-Leibniz Information Centre for Economics

Klaus Tochtermann

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.” The solutions will be produced within the context of economic growth and welfare and due to its very nature the Global Economic Symposium 2012 will ensure that the solutions will be both radically new and implementable.




Alessio J.G. Brown, Executive Director, Global Economic Symposium (GES) Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Alessio J.G. Brown

You have joined the Global Economic Symposium (GES) to think afresh about solutions to some of the most important challenges that the world faces today. 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. In our panel sessions practical visions and concrete solution proposals for our proliferating global problems will be developed. Our Plenaries, Roundtables, Ideas Fair, and Labs generate seminal ideas, with the aim of leading to practical visions in the future, or deal with concrete projects that serve as examples of how our practical visions are being implemented or can be implemented.


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