Richard von Weizsäcker Forum
Photo: Robert Bosch Academy/Außerhofer 

The Richard von Weizsäcker Forum 2017 took place in Berlin, Grimma, Leipzig, and Munich from 10 to 14 September 2017.

Richard von Weizsäcker Forum 2017

From September 10 to 14, this year’s Richard von Weizsäcker Forum brought together around 45 former, current and future Richard von Weizsäcker Fellows of the Robert Bosch Academy. In times of global political upheaval, the Forum provided space for multilateral and interdisciplinary exchange on the political challenges of our time and provided insight into the situation in Germany right before federal elections.

Shaping the future in a world of turmoil

On the first day of the Forum, the Richard von Weizsäcker Fellows discussed current global challenges with German and international experts under the heading “Shaping the future in a world of turmoil”. Input was given among others by the Permanent Representative to the UN and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chancellor Christoph Heusgen, political scientist Walter Russell Mead, British economic historian Lord Robert Skidelsy and Kate Crawford, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York. The debate was followed by a panel discussion with the Federal President Steinmeier at Schloss Bellevue.

Germany before the elections

After the start of the Forum in Berlin, the Fellows embarked on a study tour to Grimma, Leipzig and Munich in order to deepen their knowledge of “Germany before the elections” and contribute to the German discourse. They engaged in dialogue with, inter alia, the Saxon State Minister for Equality and Integration Petra Köpping, the Vice President of the Bavarian State Parliament Reinhold Bocklet and the Members of the German Bundestag Christian Flisek and Hans-Peter Uhl.

The Fellows further met stakeholders from business, civil society and the media. They visited the project “Village for youth” which enhances youth employment in the area of Grimma and talked to the human rights lawyer Mehmet Gürcan Daimagüler as well as to Oliver Decker, Head of the Center for the Study of Right Wing Extremism and Democracy at Leipzig University. Topics of the meetings were the key priorities for the next federal government, in particular the current challenges regarding integration and migration as well as the potential of rural areas in Germany.

The Richard von Weizsäcker Forum is the largest event of the Robert Bosch Academy. The yearly event focuses on current social and political issues in Germany. The Forum further provides Fellows with the chance to engage in dialogue and strengthen the Community of Fellows of the Robert Bosch Academy.