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Global Economic Symposium Seeks Common Global Values

Kiel  – What can be done to solve Europe’s refugee crisis? How can the Eurozone finally be put on a solid footing? By what means can the UN’s development goals be reached? Do religious beliefs influence economic behavior? These are just a few of the questions that 300 politicians, scientists, business executives and members of civil society will be looking to answer at the Global Economic Symposium (GES), beginning on Monday in Kiel. Participants include Economics Nobel Prize Laureate George Akerlof from the USA, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Bundesbank Deputy Governor Claudia Buch, Boston Consulting Group Chairman Hans-Paul Bürkner, and Pascal Lamy, the former director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

On top of proposing solutions for pressing global problems, the Symposium will use its slogan—“Values to Guide Economies”—to find common values for economic prosperity. &bdquo>This Symposium will explore how a bridge can be built from common values to global cooperation in addressing global problems such as climate change, financial crises, and inequality”, says Dennis Snower, President of the GES and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Highlights of this year’s Symposiums include:

  • Mehmet Şimşek, Finance Minister of Turkey, talks about challenges facing emerging markets.
  • Claudia Buch, Deputy Governor of Germany’s Bundesbank, and other panelists, including Jörg Kukies, co-chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Germany, will discuss the question, „Is debt like poison?“
  • George Akerlof, Economics Nobel Prize Laureate, presents his new book, co-authored with Robert Shiller, „Phishing for Phools“, which describes how free markets make fools of consumers.
  • Lúcio Vinhas de Souza, head of the economics team advising the President of the European Commission, talks about implementing the „Five Presidents’ Report“ on strengthening the Eurozone.
  • Eight young social entrepreneurs use an “ideas fair” to propose projects to solve global problems.
  • Adair Turner, Chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and former Chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), talks about his new book “Between Debt and the Devil”, which is scheduled to appear at the end of October.

Until Wednesday evening, participants in the 30 or more sessions will discuss solutions to issues like:

  • European migration policy
  • Plans for consolidating national budgets
  • Monetary policy lessons from the financial crisis
  • Equality and growth in Europe
  • New economic approaches for economic policy

The venue for the symposium alternates each year between the home location of the Kiel-based Institute for the World Economy and a venue abroad. In October 2016, the GES will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, for the second time, said the IfW President Dennis Snower on the opening day. The Turkish Central Bank will host the meeting.

The GES 2015 is organized by the IfW in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW). In parallel to this year’s GES, the ZBW is hosting a schools competition called YES!, which will address issues discussed at the main conference. >here.

Dennis Snower, President Global Economic Symposium and President Kiel Institute for the World Economy:

“All who attend the GES come in their capacity as global citizens, working together across national and cultural boundaries to address problems that are shared across these boundaries. And in the process of working together on common challenges, we come to recognize our commonalities as human beings and strengthen our global identity, alongside our national, religious, cultural and other identities.”

Torsten Albig, Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein:

“You will leave traces here in Schleswig-Holstein. More than traces: footprints. Of the intellectual kind.  Because what you all will discuss here at the Kiel Fjord is of relevance not just in your various home countries. But here as well. That’s why Professor Snower and his team call it Global Economic Symposium -- because the themes under scrutiny here are of global relevance.”

Ulf Kämpfer, Kiel Lord Mayor:

„The Global Economic Symposium was maybe never as important as it is today. With its guiding theme and roster of issues, this year’s GES proves once again that it isn’t afraid to confront the most pressing and most difficult global challenges. That’s why this event is so worthwhile. And that’s also the reason why I’m so proud to be able to call our city the birthplace and the home base of the Symposium.”

Find the program of the GES 2015