The first Berlin Forum on Global Politics from April 18th to April 19th was a success. We have talked to four of the organizers.
News from Apr 29, 2013
50 visitors, 26 panelists, interesting questions and smart answers: The students from the Graduate Schools of Global Politics (GSGP) managed to bring people from five continents to Berlin - only Australia and Antarctica were missing. The participants discussed various aspects of global politics including:
India as a Rising Power
People-to-People Exchanges in Public Diplomacy
Possible Solutions to the Global Fossil Dilemma, and
Global Resistance beyond Outlived Forms of Organizing
We have interviewed four of the organizers:
You´ve been organizing this conference for ten months, bringing 26 panelists and dozens of visitors from four continents here to Berlin. Why all this effort?
Miguelángel Verde Garrido: We have an interest in establishing a platform not only for this conference, but for future events. We also wanted to see how it works to invite participation of the audience, by placing the conclusions of the conference online and see how people interact and build connections.
The title of the Forum “This is not Global Politics! … Or is it?” refers to René Magritte´s painting “Ceci nest pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe). Which is the idea behind that?
Daniel Cardoso: The title very well illustrates what our main goal was: we wanted to discuss International Relations and Global Politics in a very different way, we wanted to bring together a very diverse group from different places with different backgrounds and challenge people to ask themselves, if what they are doing is global politics.
Marc Venhaus: Yes, and even though we had quite a broad topic, what we can see is that the different papers speak very well to each other. It´s like pieces of a puzzle that suddenly fits and delivers a broader picture when it comes to global politics.
How successful was the Forum in your view?
Philani Mthembu: What´s making the conference a success is the environment it´s created. The feedback we´re getting is that it allowed people to open up, to go beneath the surface - not only at an academic level.
Verde Garrido: One thing that is different form other events is that we´re not only engaging with the academic community. We have NGO´s here, we have social and political activist groups, policy institutes, think tanks, consultancies. We didn´t want to center this just in the university context. We wanted to find out who´s interested in the subjects that we´re interested in and benefit from their experiences.
So when is the next forum to be held?
Verde Garrido: Very soon. (everybody laughs)
Mthembu: This is really the beginning of something under the title of the Berlin Forum on Global Politics. But it doesn´t always have to be this format. We can have also smaller discussions, smaller platforms building on that, diversifying what we have started.
Marc Venhaus, Miguelángel Verde Garrido, Daniel Cardoso and Philani Mthembu (left to right).
Foto by: Sebastian Meyer