Date: Monday, 14 December 2015, 07:30 pm
Location: at the Berlin Representative Office, Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH Französische Straße 32, 10117 Berlin
  • Sonja Licht, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Academy, and President, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence
  • Professor Gesine Schwan, President and Co-Founder, Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform

About the event

In light of recent events – like the terrorist attacks in Paris, the refugee crisis and the war in Syria – it is clear that in the 21st century we face new challenges requiring innovative approaches that go beyond conventional state-led actions. Governments see themselves confronted with new parameters requiring not only new solutions, but also new actors.

The inability of governments to quickly react to new developments became obvious when hundreds of thousands of refugees made their way to Europe. While European nations were blaming each other, members of civil society stepped up to help refugees by providing housing or in-kind donations. Did European governments really fail in the refugee crisis? How well do they manage other current challenges such as the war in Syria? Are other actors needed? And what role does civil society play in addressing current challenges?

Sonja Licht is the President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence in Belgrade, Serbia. She was part of the Yugoslav dissident movement from the late 1960s, and in the mid-1980s she founded numerous local and international non-governmental organisations, including a number of women’s organisations.

Gesine Schwan is Co-Founder and President of the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform. Prior to that, she was the President of the Europe University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). She was nominated by the SPD and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen as candidate for the office of the Federal President in 2004 and 2008. She is a German political science professor and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and Chairwoman of its “Commission for Fundamental Values”.

The event will be held in English.

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