The future of the German model – a preview of the workshop-highlights

News on inequality, a new German industrial policy, the end of the debt brake - and an exclusive survey on the crisis of capitalism. A guided tour in advance.


When Germany celebrated its unity almost exactly 30 years ago, author Francis Fukuyama now also imagined the end of history – in which democracy and market economy as the best of all solutions prevail without alternative. What followed the fall of the wall was a march through of capitalism – with several further deregulations and an ever more erroneous belief in the omnipotence of the markets.

Thirty years later, this very capitalism is in a deep crisis of confidence. More than half of the people worldwide say that in its present form it is not suitable to solve the big challenges – whether climate crisis or drifting apart of societies. And doesn’t Germany also need to overhaul its economic model?

And now? All this will be the focus of our workshop on the “Future of the German Economic Model” in the coming days – with exclusive studies and contributions from Thomas Piketty and Mariana Mazzucato, a discussion between Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz, a keynote address by SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans and comments by Veronika Grimm from the German Council of Economic Experts. To name but a few.

A small guided tour in advance.

Day 1 – the systemic question – Monday, September 28

As a survey has shown, which we have commissioned exclusively from Forsa in advance – and which we will present on Monday at the start – even after many years of falling unemployment in Germany, a significant number of people express the wish that the current economic system should be fundamentally renewed. Hardly anyone says that everything in the system should remain as it is. Why is that so? And to what extent is capitalism in need of reform 30 years after its triumphant advance? This is what SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans will discuss on the starting panel with Johannes Vogel from the FDP, Lisa Paus from the Greens and Dalia Marin, professor of economics in Munich. Moderated by Ulrike Herrmann, author of the book “Kein Kapitalismus ist auch keine Lösung”. Monday, starting at 3 pm.

Whether our economic model should continue as it is today also depends to a large extent on the question of how well Germany’s economy will recover from the corona pandemic – what damage it will suffer, and how strongly the structural upheavals, such as the transformation to a climate-friendly economy, will impact afterwards. The second panel on Monday will feature Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research, Holger Schmieding, Chief Economist of Berenberg Bank, Parisian analyst Véronique Riches-Flores, and Maja Göpel from the New Institute. Monday, starting at 5 p.m.

The systemically important question of the role of the state and the market in the Corona Pandemic 2020 has become an unexpectedly explosive issue. How much should and had the state help when sales in several sectors collapsed in the spring? Putting together billon packages. Getting in with corporations. And what does the current crisis teach us about a new understanding of the state that we might need again in the long term after years of market dogma? The keynote speech by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, one of the politicians who has been more preoccupied with the question of state effectiveness than anyone else in recent months. Very practical. Monday, starting at 6 p.m.


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