Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Trying Times 2019 – Discussion Paper

Rethinking Social Cohesion

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


Free of charge


Societies everywhere are faced with profound changes. The megatrends of globalization, digitalization and demographic change are affecting many areas of life and pose several challenges to social cohesion: What is the fate of solidarity in a globalized economy? How do algorithms and social media influence how we live together? How can we shape the future of coexistence in an increasingly diverse society? Addressing these and other issues, the study provides a set of focus questions at the end of each chapter that are designed to promote public debate on how to shape cohesion as we move forward.

Carried out in preparation for the “Trying Times – Rethinking Social Cohesion” conference held in Berlin (September 4-6, 2019), the study serves as a background paper for the conference participants as they work together at the conference.

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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.