Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

Lessons from TTIP: In the internet era, participation is a necessity

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It’s that time again: re:publica (#RP14), the meeting of likeminded people who for the rest of the year seem to be in their own universe, will happen again at the beginning of May. This large national and international convening of the Blogosphere offers the annual opportunity for people, even those that live in the countryside, to meet at a central location and exchange ideas with people that they may have previously only known online.

Tolerance, diversity, relaxed interaction, and broadening horizons are the values that make it worthwhile to spend a full three days in Berlin, in order to take a piece of this inner attitude back from the city.

A special session for the planned free trade agreement TTIP will be offered at # RP14 by our international blogger platform (founded by the Bertelsmann Foundation) in cooperation with the Internet and Society Collaboratory. The purpose of the panel will not be to analyze individual regulations on genetically modified corn or chlorine-washed chicken, but to ask, given the framework of the # RP14, the why the values of participation, transparency, the redefinition of global trade, and the wishes of the people have appeared to fall short in these negotiations.

In an agreement in which the internet itself has become a subject, why is the internet not used to involved the people who will be directly affected by the trade agreement?

The basis of these considerations has been presented in recent publications by both partners. The discussions are by no means a rejection of free trade; instead they question how a modern definition of free trade can be implemented which includes the internet and is in collaboration with the nearly 1 billion people on both sides of the Atlantic.

We welcome you to join us on May 6 for a discussion on these issues:

Glyn Moody, journalist (Keynote)

Joachim Buehler , Bitkom

Kara Sutton, Bertelsmann Foundation DC

Bruno Kramm Gert , Pirate Party

Solana Larson, Global Voices Online

We aim to establish an open, tolerant, but also critical debate on the controversial free trade agreement TTIP and invite all interested parties to participate.

Ole Wintermann Twitter: @olewin

Hi all – my name is Ole, and I’m the head of In my opinion, the Internet is going to play an essential role in coping with global future challenges. Currently, I see economic globalization and global governance as the two most central issues. These trends, and how they interact with others like demographic change and security, make the lives of people around the world complex and insecure, and make it tougher for political and economic decision-makers to make good long-term decisions. We need new rules and methods for decision-making. Dear politicians: please consider all of us when you make important choices. It’s our world, not yours. Please follow me also on my personal blog