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The future of Germany
A public dialogue organised by the Club of Amsterdam

Germany has been Holland's neighbour longer then we can imagine. As a small country balancing on the edge of a continent we are poised between a landmass and the sea. That has always been our position and we have been able to make the best of it by becoming a trading nation. Traders cannot afford enemies and so we also balanced our relations with the surrounding nations. Germany is out biggest neighbour and one of our most important trading partners. When it pours in Germany it rains in the Netherlands. The ties between the two countries have always been very close. German 19th century authors went on holiday in Zandvoort and rich Dutch went to Berlin.

German was taught at most schools and German philosophers were all the rage. Obviously the Second World War has made a breach in the relation between the two nations. Yet we are still connected on many levels: economically, culturally and linguistically. After 1945 the Dutch have set their course west and looked to the other side of the ocean for guidance and inspiration. Maybe it is time that we looked east and take some examples form the German rule book to learn from their amazing success.
Concept: Peter van Gorsel, Educational Business Developer, University of Amsterdam / UvA/HvA

Hanco Jürgens, Researcher, Teacher, Institute for German Studies at the University of Amsterdam
The German model: From sick patient to the leading political economy of Europe
Around the turn of the twenty-first century, Germany was considered the sick patient of Europe: Wages were too high, the labour market was not flexible enough, and the welfare state was a leaden burden. Today, Germany is the leading political economy of Europe. One of the explanations for this revival is the way Germany conceives its own future. The many debates about the future challenges of the federal republic has led to a sober and sensible policy, with an eye for checks and balances, and for the threats of a shrinking labour force in a globalizing world. We should learn from the way Germany discusses its future problems.

Roman Retzbach, futurologist, director, Future-Institute international, Berlin
The new future of Germany: 2012 - 2022, 2032
Four forecast scenarios and seven foresight factors influence the outlook of Germany.
Who will win and loose?
- the aging society will decide over the technological economy - or vice versa?
- pirate politicians or silver aged managers have the financial power?
- female shift or robot leadership?
- Europe united or the alliance of the big four countries?
and more about the future of the "Heart of Europe".

Frans Vogelaar, Professor, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Founder, Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin
Germany viewed from the west, has for long been considered as dull, inert and tardy. This inertness is not only a handicap - but also proving a strong point. With its conservative policy Germany has - against all advises - kept up industrial production. With a tradition in long term investment in excellence it faces today new challenges such as innovation in green technologies. And Berlin is becoming the cultural hotspot.

Moderated by Peter van Gorsel, Educational Business Developer, University of Amsterdam / UvA/HvA

the future of Germany
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Reception: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Location: Kamer van Koophandel Amsterdam - Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, De Ruyterkade 5, 1013 AA Amsterdam
The conference language is English.
This event is supported by the Kamer van Koophandel Amsterdam.

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