Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

How to Make Social Cohesion Work

Closing Speech at the Trying Times conference 2019

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
20 pages, PDF


Free of charge


The megatrends of globalization and digitalization pose challenges for social cohesion. Many people are concerned about the future of society on both economic and political counts. Thought leaders from around the world convened to discuss the future of social cohesion at the Bertelsmann Stiftung's international Trying Times conference addressing the issue “Rethinking Social Cohesion” that was held in Berlin from September 4–6, 2019.

In his closing speech titled “How to make social cohesion work,” Canadian author and President Emeritus of PEN International John Ralston Saul demonstrated that empathy, respect for difference and the willingness to accept the complexity of society rather than exclusion and fear are the factors that pave the way toward a successful future. Read his speech in full here.

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Cover Trying Times

We live in challenging times for social cohesion. Globalization, digitalization and demographic change are transforming the way we live together all around the globe. The international "Trying Times" conference will examine this issue in the context of tomorrow’s world.