Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

Future Day July 2012 in Berlin

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On July 2nd, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Future Challenges hosted our first Future Day event, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation. The aim of the day was to debate and prepare for the biggest challenges that we are facing as a global community.

To see an overview of the day, view the video below.

The morning sessions consisted of talks by Andreas Esche, Jonathan Stevens, Ole Wintermann, and Jan Arpe from the Bertelsmann Stiftung, as well as talks by Dennis Snower, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Jack Goldstone, author of the demographics chapter in the Megatrends in Global Interaction book and Director of the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University.

Jonathan Stevens and Ole Wintermann present the megatrends project and

Dennis Snower, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, gives a talk on economic globalization.

Jack Goldstone, author of the demographics chapter in the Megatrends in Global Interaction book and Director of the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University gives a talk on demographics.

The talks focused on the two megatrends economic globalization and demographic change. The speakers also held a question and answer session with the audience, which was a prelude to the afternoon’s discussion sessions.

Audience Q & A session with Dennis Snower and Jack Goldstone. Mario Sorgalla, our community manager, is in the foreground.

Our Regional Editors then told stories from their regions about the future challenges they anticipate. During the lunch break, we discussed the outcomes of the morning sessions with the Regional Editors.

Regional Editors meet and discuss.

In the afternoon sessions, our participants broke into three smaller groups to discuss the challenges and solutions for younger, expanding populations, the challenges and solutions for older, contracting populations, and areas of cooperation between the developing and developed worlds. Our Regional Editors led these discussions.

Participants discuss challenges and solutions for the future.

Over the course of the afternoon discussions, participants were encouraged to write their “napkin pitch” ideas and solutions on Future Challenges coasters.

Future Day CoastersFuture Day Coaster.

As an example, the solutions on this coaster include:

-Universal health coverage (access to basic health services) should be a universal human right (policy)

-Widespread adoption of new (less expensive), health business models (private sector)

-Advocating for common standards regarding provision of health services (watchdog role for civil society)”

All of the coasters have been photographed and compiled in a “Solution Gallery”, which is available here.

Some of the coasters from the Future Day.

We are glad to have the opportunity to come together at this event to discuss important issues that will affect our future and the ways in which we can influence events to create a positive and sustainable future society. Themes from the day’s discussions will feature in future blog posts, and we will continue to explore how we can creatively think about solutions to future challenges. Thanks to all who attended!

Discussion between: Mac-Jordan Degadjor, our Regional Editor for Africa; Jack Goldstone; and Jonathan Stevens.

*Photo credit: all pictures in this post taken by Anneliese Guess on July 2nd, 2012

Anneliese Guess Twitter: DCAnneliese

Anneliese Guess is a Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Washington, DC office. She joined the Bertelsmann Foundation shortly after completing a Master’s Degree in German and European Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Anneliese's research interests include immigration, integration, demographic change, and identity.