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International Cultural Forum series

Liz Mohn, vice-chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, and Sonja Gandhi.
International Cultural Forum 2005 in New Delhi: Liz Mohn, vice-chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, and Sonja Gandhi (from left).

The societal change and exposure to cultural differences brought about by globalization poses a challenge to the political process, the economy and civil society. The ability to identify differences, similarities and concepts that bridge cultures is becoming increasingly important.

Originally initiated by Liz Mohn, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been organizing an International Cultural Forum series since 2001. “With our International Cultural Forum series, we are working to deepen our knowledge of social change in other cultures and develop a global perspective,” Mohn explains. “This is one way to garner ideas that can inform our project work, which is geared toward encouraging social change. We are also working to set up robust networks of experts and organizations in other cultures, which, in light of the global interconnectedness of all societal elements, will play an increasingly important role in our foundation’s reform efforts.”

The International Cultural Forum series, which brings together leading figures of different cultural backgrounds, will now highlight the unique attitudes and identities of non-European societies and their approaches to the processes of globalization and modernization. Key issues addressed in the series are the cultural challenges presented by globalization and how political, business and social leaders can foster trust, integration and solidarity within and among global societies. International Cultural Forum events are held in cities around the world that are undergoing particularly intense cultural transformation as a result of the globalization process. After events in East Asia (Tokyo, 2001; Beijing, 2004 and 2007), South Asia (New Delhi, 2005) and Southeast Asia (Hanoi, 2008), the series is now focusing on Asia and the fundamental changes taking place there.

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Katrin Mann

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