Summer Academy Europe: Discussion forum bringing together next-generation leaders for over 10 years
Current and coming challenges such as globalized markets, international terrorism and increasing social disparity can no longer be effectively met by nation-states acting alone. Europe’s process of unification can therefore be seen as one response to today’s challenges. A historically unique undertaking, European integration is a social model that provides Europeans with the possibility of coming together to face the problems posed by global change -- a possibility that Europe’s political, business and social leaders are dedicated to taking advantage of.
For more than 20 years the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been analyzing the process of European integration and developing strategies for creating a Europe that is democratic, transparent and proactive and that responds to the needs of its citizens and member states. The Heinz Nixdorf Foundation, in turn, carries out activities that promote individual self-development and that help individuals further develop their talents and skills. One of the key goals of both organizations is to promote social solidarity within a free society.
Given their common commitment, both foundations came together to launch the Summer Academy Europe in 1999. The annual event serves as a forum that brings together up-and-coming political, business and social leaders to discuss the challenges currently facing Europe.
The Summer Academy Europe thus provides participants with a venue for taking a fresh look at the most pressing issues impacting Europe and its policies. In particular, it focuses on group discussions and the development of strategic solutions. Each year’s agenda, moreover, reflects the tasks currently facing Europe’s policymakers. Key issues include creating democratic, transparent structures of political governance within the EU, ensuring Europe’s business community remains competitive over time, fostering good relations between Europe and its neighbors and examining the EU’s role on the global stage.
Summer Academy participants include next-generation leaders from Germany and other European countries. All participants are nominated by national policymakers, the heads of recognized economic, political, and social organizations, CEOs of internationally active corporations, and leading German-language media representatives. Once they have been nominated by a mentor, participants apply to attend the Summer Academy and their applications are then vetted by a selection committee.