"Individual Responsibility and the State – A Transatlantic Approach?" was the topic of the 11th Transatlantic Forum. This year, the 45 German and American Young Professionals gathered at Schkopau Castle near Leipzig. The three-day conference gave them an experience of transatlantic knowledge, exchange and networking.
The speeches and round-table discussions formed the core of the conference. German and American scholars, business and political leaders provided the foundation for intensive and vivid discussions about the fundamental relationship between the citizen and the state in Germany and the United States, the notion of corporate social responsibility, and various forms of the welfare state.
Aside from the discussions at the conference table, the emphasis was on exchanging ideas and opinions in smaller groups and on getting to know each other. On one afternoon, the participants divided into four working groups. Guided by a moderator, they discussed case studies on the topic of individual responsibility vs. the state's responsibility and subsequently presented their results.
The Networking in Nature, a half-day outdoor program that is an integral part of the conference, focused on the relationship between the citizen and the state in practical terms. As part of an excursion to the Lake Geiseltal, the participants – again divided into four teams – had to master several teambuilding exercises. The key task was to come up with a socio-political and economic blueprint for the fictive state of "Geiseltal Country."
The concluding festive dinner, which took place in the Leipzig BMW plant designed by Zaha Hadid, was rounded off by a dinner speech by Wolfgang Tiefensee, Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Housing.