On a crisp December night, Global Bridges Members and Young Leaders gathered at the International Club Berlin, the former haunt of British officers stationed in the city after the Second World War, for the annual Global Bridges Traditional Goose Dinner.
As every year, our Thanksgiving Dinner took place on November 28th at the invitation of the US Consul General in Frankfurt in what has become a long-standing and beloved Global Bridges tradition. Consul General Patricia Lacina hosted the event and invited Global Bridges members and Young Leaders to the Consul residence.
On Thursday evening, 22 of November, Members and Young Leaders Alumni of the London chapter of Global Bridges came together for dinner and a talk by Sir Anthony Joliffe, GBE, DL, at the home of Global Bridges Member Dr. Barbara Haus Schwepcke, CEO of Gingko, a UK-registered charity.
Having recently returned from their XIV Study Trip to China, Global Bridges members, as well as Young Leaders Alumni and friends, convened in Berlin to hear former German Ambassador to China and Japan Dr. Volker Stanzel and Dr. Mikko Huotari, Deputy Director of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) share their analyses of current affairs in China. Global Bridges member Hans-Henning von Oertzen graciously hosted the evening event.
Beijing – Shenzhen – Hong Kong
October 14 to 22, 2018
It is risky to go to China.
However, it is even riskier not to go to China.
Heinrich von Pierer, CEO Siemens, 1992-2005
The visit to Shenzhen, China’s so-called “Silicon Valley for Hardware”, was the focus of this year’s XIV Study Trip to China. The formerly small town located in the middle of rice fields has now grown into the “Silicon Valley of China” after experiencing unimaginable developments in the IT sector in recent years. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also recently visited the city. Companies such as Sensetime, Royole Co., Huawei, Daimler and Dajiang Innovations, which deal with the latest technologies of our age, dedicate themselves to topics such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data and autonomous driving. Our meetings with companies in Shenzhen focused on areas in which China is a leader: Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition, Drones, Big Data, etc.
Our study trip started with political talks in Beijing and ended in Hong Kong with a visit to the world famous “Science and Technology Park”.
Hanoi – Halong Bay – Ho-Chi-Minh-City
October 7 to 14, 2018
“Money, Wealth, and Prosperity” are terms which came up again and again when Global Bridges members inquired about the current situation and future of Vietnam during their first Study Trip to the country in early October. These are the values that the extraordinarily young Vietnamese population name above all others when surveyed. 70% of the Vietnamese population is under 30, and only 4% are currently considered “old”. How is this compatible with Confucius and communism? Our German expat guide had an answer ready for us: It is a perfect match! Confucius caused turbo-capitalism, since wealth is a form of patriotism. A certain pragmatic attitude was clearly recognizable here.
The Global Bridges Berlin Symposium was held for the second time from the September 23 to 25, 2018, under the motto “Klartext in der Politik”. The aim of the event was to give Global Bridges members the opportunity to talk directly with politicians in the current government in Berlin and to discuss contemporary and controversial topics within a confidential circle.
Nairobi – Kigali
August 25-September 2, 2018
“We don’t want help, we need investment!’’
The cliché of a continent steeped in poverty and stagnation, from which only migration to Europe offers the possibility of a better life, stands in contrast to our week spent in Kenya and Rwanda. What we saw, were two countries on the rise. Nairobi has, like Cape Town and Lagos, a vibrant – although insufficiently financed – start-up scene: the so-called “Silicon Savannah”. From this new sector emerged MPESA, an app-based financial service through which even Kenyans living in rural societies can send and receive money digitally. Rwanda sees opportunities in digitalization as well. Although Volkswagen’s recent investment in a Kigali-based CKD production center is more modest than what the international media has reported, its new ride sharing model, through which Volkswagen sees new opportunities to improve and expand its mobility services, is ground breaking. A young Rwandan developer – after teaching himself programming skills through online tutorials – designed the app on which Volkswagen’s new venture is based. For developing nations such as Kenya and Rwanda, digitalization presents enormous opportunities.
Lhasa – Shigatse – Namsto Lake
July 7-12, 2018
For more than a quarter of a century, representatives from Global Bridges have been traveling to China. Throughout this time, they have had the chance to follow China’s impressive growth, appreciate its achievements, but also to perceive its sensitivities.
Inner Mongolia, P.R. China
July 1 to 6, 2018
„China-Germany Relations in a Changing World“
Inner Mongolia? Not much is known about the northern province in China. Even for people from China it is a place full of mystery and legends mostly inspired by its famous leader Genghis Khan. No wonder Mongolia is called an empire won on horseback.