Another effort fostering solutions is a panel discussion at Belmont University focusing on social disruption in the U.S. and Germany. By Patrick W. Ryan, President and Founder of the Tennessee World Affairs Council, Dr. Nina Smidt, Director of International Strategic Planning at ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, and Dr. Steven E. Sokol, President of the American Council on Germany in New York.
In a period of increased polarization in domestic politics, fragmentation of society and social inequity, efforts to adapt and grow to meet the complex 21st century challenges of globalization and technological change should begin at the local level.
Germany and the United States face many of the same domestic challenges, and local communities in both countries can learn from each other’s innovative approaches to these issues.
Today, most Americans and Germans enjoy an unprecedented standard of living. Nevertheless, many people in both countries believe something is wrong – regardless of income level. Many Germans and Americans feel left behind even though economic indicators in both countries are generally positive. This impression is having a serious impact on our societies and cannot simply be reduced to economic angst.