InsightDeutschland Community Town Halls
The ACG has been awarded a grant by the German Federal Foreign Office to implement InsightDeutschland Town Halls in four communities across the United States. The goal of these town halls is to engage new audiences in a conversation and a genuine exchange of ideas about the transatlantic relationship, highlighting the deep political, economic, and social ties and common challenges that impact the citizens of both countries globally and locally.
The InsightDeutschland Town Halls will follow two distinct formats and address the following themes:
- German-American economic relations – challenges and opportunities,
- Common transatlantic foreign policy agenda,
- German-American defense and security cooperation,
- Energy and environmental policy,
- German domestic issues and politics, and
- Digitalization and workforce preparedness.
InsightDeutschland Community Town Hall has already taken place in Boise, Idaho and will take place in Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. This Town Halls target younger and mid-career professionals, as well as undergraduate and graduate students at college campuses in the communities. These town halls consist of interactive sessions — storytelling (personal narratives), TEDx-like presentations, panel discussions, debates, talk show-style interviews, workshops exploring concrete ideas on how the communities can increase engagement with Germany in the future, and cultural activities – over one and half days.
The InsightDeutschland Town Halls will begin in February 2019 and continue until November 2019.
On March 8 and 9, in Boise, Idaho, the ACG hosted the first InsightDeutschland Weekend Town Hall: A Conversation with Idahoans about the German-American Relationship, the first of several community town halls that will be held as part of the Deutschlandjahr USA. With support from the Frank Church Institute at Boise State University, roughly 100 Idahoans gathered for a series of conversations on Germany, Europe, and the transatlantic partnership. The event began on Friday evening with a meal of traditional German food, a screening of the German comedy “Goodbye, Lenin!” (which depicts the heady days in the run up to and months after November 9, 1989), and a discussion about the fall of the Berlin Wall and contemporary Germany.
During the course of the day on Saturday, conversations were held local experts, such U.S. Senator Jim Risch, Mayor of Boise Dave Bieter, Tom Kealey, the Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, as well as German participants: journalist Ines Pohl, Executive Editor of Deutsche Welle; Bundestag member Alexander Kulitz (FDP); German diplomat Ricklef Beutin, Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Kristian Wolf, the President and CEO of the German-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco.