Democracy Forward 2023 Global Changemakers Workshop: Berlin

January 5, 2024  • Partners

The Aspen International Partners have just concluded the Democracy Forward 2023 Global Changemakers Workshop, co-hosted with Aspen Institute Germany in Berlin, Germany. Over four impactful days, all 13 Aspen International Partners and 1 Initiative brought together a dynamic cohort of nearly 40 young leaders from 21 countries.

A large group of people standing around a table with a light shining down on it. They are excitedly talking, collaborating, and writing. The photo is taken on a stairwell above the table, looking down on everyone.

The workshop included seminar sessions which delved into the classical texts that have widely shaped our collective understanding of democracy, the contemporary challenges testing our democratic systems and values, and reigniting young leaders to help restore and sustain democracy worldwide. As part of the activities, there was a geopolitical simulation based on the 2024 G20 Rio de Janeiro summit, where changemakers strengthened their capacity to mobilize, build consensus among diverging perspectives, and practice holding space for often silent voices.

Throughout the workshop, participants had key conversations with both emerging and established political leaders, including Former President of Volt Berlin, Cara Seeberg, and the Minister of State, Dr. Tobias Lindner at the German Federal Foreign Office. The workshop reached its conclusion with an inspiring conversation with President of the National Unity Platform, Bobi Wine, recounting efforts to fight for democracy under an oppressive regime. 

These moving conversations were complemented by powerful off-site visits, including a dinner at the Bundestag and an eye-opening trip to the Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, a former Stasi Prison during the Cold War. This visit served as a poignant reminder of the consequences when an oppressive regime suppresses democratic norms.

As the workshop concluded, the Global Changemakers seized the opportunity to reflect on how to initiate sustainable actions for future democratic institutions. Their cohort will undoubtedly have an impact on our world of today and tomorrow.

Special Thanks To:

Distinguished guests from The Aspen Institute and Aspen Institute Germany, who not only engaged with our changemakers but also offered concrete ways to foster further engagement. The Aspen International Partners also extend special appreciation to Tommy Loper, Christine Shiau, Vivian Schiller, Stormy-Annika Mildner, and Katie Fitzgerald for their invaluable contributions.