Marshall Seminar Berlin Explores New Avenues for Economic Inclusion
Twenty five alumni of GMF's leadership programs from across Europe and the United States came together from December 10 to 13 in Berlin for the Marshall Seminar on “Leading Toward an Inclusive Economy and Workforce.” Participants met with high level government, corporate, and third sector leaders to exchange best practices for advancing inclusive economies and workforce in Germany’s dynamic and diverse capital city.
The Seminar’s opening night highlighted the perspectives of leading French CEO Thierry Déau, founder of the company Meridiam; State Secretary for the German Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Thorben Albrecht (MMF ’08); and Deutsche Bank Head of Human Resources Hilger Pothmann. The cohort benefited from site visits to SAP’s Innovation Center, as well as to Brillat Savarin, Berlin’s leading vocational school. On the second night, young diverse leaders from across Germany taking part in the first mini-grant alumni project of GMF’s Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network (TILN) joined the group for a lively discussion about increasing opportunities for advancement with inclusion advocates. These advocates included film maker Mo Asumang, journalist Ali Aslan (AoCIF’10) and Integration Commissioner Gun Tank (TILN ’12). Additional highlights included a conversation with professor Alfredo Valladao from Science Po on emerging trends in the global economy, and with executive vice president and head of Global HR at SAP, Janet Wood, who discussed leadership essentials in a highly integrated world.
Against the backdrop of the German setting, the cohort was able to learn from the experiences of key leaders in a country that is currently the first economy in Europe and the second most popular destination for migrants after the U.S., with approximately one fifth of citizens with a “migration background.” The group found that Germany’s leadership is showing earnest commitment to developing strategies to adjust to the new realities of a highly automated manufacturing sector and to becoming more inclusive in education, business and government. The closing keynote discussion with Cornelia Quennet-Thielen (MMF ’87), State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, helped to bring home a clear-eyed understanding that the internet is here to stay and that demographic change, which includes a rapidly aging and shrinking population, makes inclusive policies the key to achieve sustainability, growth and success.
Participants also benefited from training in design thinking as part of the seminar. The Marshall Seminar Berlin was made possible in part thanks to the generous support of Meridiam, Deutsche Bank, and SAP. The next Marshall Seminar for alumni of GMF’s leadership programs will take place in Brussels in April 2015 and will examine emerging issues in global security.