Agreed as part of the July 2021 Washington Declaration signed by U.S. President Joe Biden and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Futures Forum aims to bring together an intergenerational, multi-sector expert group on a future-oriented issue challenging both democracies. In four distinct workshops over two days in Muenster, Germany, 140 participants from the United States and Germany discussed how to improve the functionality of government and civic services through technology, stem the rising tide of disinformation in public policy especially in democratic processes, improve the use of technology in both U.S. and German development policy, and how best to safeguard and promote human rights online. Organized by the U.S. State Department, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), the forum took place on the sidelines of the G-7 foreign ministers' meeting. In a joint appearance, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken delivered their perspectives on advancing shared democratic values in an increasingly digital world.
Organized in four workshop groups, the participants developed several proposals for specific political measures, each focusing on a different topic: