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Interview with Sandra Breka, Member of the Board of Management, about five years of the Robert Bosch Academy

Why was the Robert Bosch Academy established in 2014 as part of the Robert Bosch Stiftung?

The Robert Bosch Academy came to life in order to strengthen the multilateral and interdisciplinary cooperation of international decision-makers, and to find new and holistic approaches to questions of global relevance. The Robert Bosch Stiftung created this unique institution to bring international expertise into decision-making processes, especially in Germany. And through it, international experts and opinion leaders gain better access to Germany and Europe. We consider diverse perspectives essential to the development of future-oriented policies. The Robert Bosch Academy provides a space for the solution-oriented exchange of ideas at the heart of political Berlin.

 

What is the Richard von Weizsäcker Fellowship to the Robert Bosch Academy?

The Fellowship is the centerpiece of the Robert Bosch Academy. Our Fellows hail from all over the world and spend several months outside of their normal professional commitments working in Berlin. The Academy arranges meetings and events for each Fellow that allows them to exchange ideas within their expert community, as well as with the public. Since its establishment, the Academy’s Fellows have held around 5,000 background discussions with German and European decision-makers, opinion leaders, and experts. Through their public appearances, they have contributed to ongoing social and political debates.

 

Why the variety of topics and the focus on global issues?

Global challenges need global answers. The Academy fosters that approach in the spirit of Robert Bosch, whose social and political commitment embraced a broad array of topics and a holistic approach to issues. Not least, the Robert Bosch Academy mirrors the variety of topics important to the foundation. Ever more often, German decision-makers and experts come to us to call upon their expertise – not least because of our thematic diversity.

 

How have you experienced the Robert Bosch Academy’s development?

The first years were dynamic and provide us with numerous insights for further development. As is usually the case with a young institution, there is always potential for more development. We have created an international fellow community consisting of outstanding personalities who interact outside of the Academy. We are encouraged by the Fellow’s positive feedback. They report that their time at the Academy has had a sustainable impact on their work, and has provided them with important knowledge about and access to Germany. This attests to the Academy’s value.  

 

Where do you see the Robert Bosch Academy in five years?

The Robert Bosch Academy will continue to bring together the knowledge, experience, and ideas of influential figures on global challenges. In the future, our work should be even more solution-oriented and disseminated beyond Berlin. Confidential, open exchange and controversial debates will continue to inspire the Academy. This requires an atmosphere – in the line with our guiding principles – that facilitates freethinking and debate. The Academy will further gain in profile through the foundation’s new thematic focus and other changes. We also envisage new kinds of cooperation with institutions abroad.

 

Five fellows share insights into their personal experiences and visions here

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