At some point this year, there was an interview with a psychologist who said that we should simply say to ourselves: “So this is what it’s like in a pandemic”. Because that creates distance. So, by now, we can all say that’s how it is. And there is a strangely uncertain feeling these days – ranging between the suspicion that things will get worse and the rationally based hope that the spook will end. Whether much will be different after the crisis – or whether things will quickly return to the way they were – is something we will know for sure in a year’s time. Until then, it seems certain that this pandemic will speed up rather than slow down our progress towards a new economic paradigm and leitmotif. And that the number of people who are thinking about what needs to work better is clearly increasing – right up to Wolfgang Schäuble, who is pondering on the crisis of capitalism and the dark side of globalisation in these months.
We have clearly felt, in the past year, how big this urge for something new is in the numerous meetings, seminars, workshops and publications – as a tailwind for what we want to be with the Forum New Economy: a platform for the exchange of new innovative ideas to solve the big challenges that a few decades of market liberal dogmatism have left us with. Be it in the talk between Olaf Scholz and Joe Stiglitz during our workshop in September – or in the keynote speech by Jens Spahn, who explained that we need a new understanding of the state in and after the Corona crisis. How such a new economy could function is also gradually becoming more concrete; the papers we commissioned to Mariana Mazzucato or Jens Südekum and Michael Hüther on the industrial and fiscal policy of the future have contributed to this – to name just a few examples. If you have a moment in the quieter days – it is worth taking another look at one or the other – on our website.
Meanwhile, the Forum’s programme for 2021 is already taking shape:
- At the end of January, we will start to sound out in a smaller circle the state of the debate on the big questions of growth or non-growth, and GDP versus other sets of wealth indicators.
- On February 24th we will host renowned car-, climate- and macroeconomy-experts to discuss the increasingly concrete consequences of the turnaround in the car industry for employment, affected regions and the economy as a whole – including ‘car pope’ Ferdinand Dudenhöffer and Düsseldorf economist Jens Südekum, as well as experts from Volkswagen, IG Metall and the climate scene.
- From 25 to 27 May, there will be the next big New Paradigm Workshop – on the big issues that will also determine the election year, from inequality in the country to dealing with the Corona debt to the increasingly concrete development of the economy towards the urgently needed climate neutrality. Among others, Siemens boss Joe Kaeser, Isabel Schnabel from the ECB, Adam Tooze, Mark Blyth and Moritz Schularick have already confirmed their participation. Invitation to follow – in January.
Until then, we wish all those who accompany, support and enrich us all the best and a few days as relaxed as possible around an unusual Christmas. And remember, it is better to keep distance once more than once too little – until the old new times will be here. With a better economy for all.