Berlin conference "Trying Times": Participants from all over the world discuss social cohesion.

Trying Times

The international “Trying Times” conference brings together personalities from all over the world to discuss the way we live together in our societies in the future.  

Foto Stephan Vopel
Stephan Vopel
Foto Ulrike Wieland
Dr. Ulrike Wieland
Senior Expert
Foto Sabine Lößer
Sabine Lößer
Project Assistant

We live in challenging times. Everywhere in the world, the forces of globalization, digitalization and demographic change are transforming the way we live together. Globally networked economic value chains and technical innovations are impacting our working lives and living conditions, demanding that people today show ever more flexibility. Social relationships too, whether inside the family, within circles of friends or at the workplace, are increasingly being cultivated through digital channels. And finally, the wealthy societies of the global North face challenges associated with swiftly aging populations, while the large share of young people in many countries of the global South face a significant risk of poverty and unemployment.

The profound changes in our global and digital reality are creating uncertainty for many. We need new strategies to shape cohesion for the future.

Aart De Geus, Chairman and CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Transnational economic, social and cultural spaces are being created by the interplay of globalization, digitalization and demographic trends across different world regions. Many people today have plural identities and multiple cultural connections. Diversity has become the normal state of affairs in most societies around the world.

As a result of globalization and digitalization, our world is presented with an unprecedented diversity of experiences, skills and cultures. Given this diversity, it is important that we take a pro-active approach to shaping cohesion in our society. Our Berlin conference should help in spreading knowledge, developing solutions and in learning from the world.

Liz Mohn, Vice-Chairwoman of the Executive Board

The international “Trying Times” conference aims to engage with this complex reality, casting an interrogatory look at the world of tomorrow. Leading figures in politics, civil society, business, academia, the media and the cultural sector discuss the challenges we face living together in societies around the world, and develop needed prospects for the future.