The Future of Growth

DW Global Media Forum 2013 with Noam Chomsky and Vandana Shiva

"In the calendar of international media conferences, the Deutsche Welle's Global Media Forum has long held an established spot." This is how the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit described the prominence of the fifth consecutive DW Global Media Forum in 2012. It is certainly true that the international media convention organized by the Deutsche Welle has written its own impressive success story since the first forum in 2008. Conflict prevention, peace-making, climate change, human rights and education have thus far been on the Global Media Forum agenda – always explored within the context of the media and discussed in around 50 workshops.

Growth pros and cons

This year's conference is entitled "The Future of Growth – Economic Values and the Media." In view of the shifts the global economy has undergone, the challenges it faces now and in future are enormous. Along with climate change and resource scarcity, the growing social, political and cultural tensions created by globalized inequality in living conditions are a primary challenge. Over the course of the conversation, a paradigm change and a shift in values have taken place. Terms like the energy revolution, green economy, social justice and ecological responsibility are shaping the debate on the economic systems of the future. Protecting the environment and the climate has to be understood as an integral part of our concept of the economy and prosperity.

The media plays a key role in this context. On the one hand it is responsible for enlightening and sensitizing the general public to the issues at hand, on the other it draws attention to deplorable conditions or situations and holds those involved accountable.

Solutions through dialogue

Noam Chomsky

The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum offers a dialogue platform aimed at developing interdisciplinary solutions. Here economic, ecological, social, ethical and cultural variables share the spotlight. How can the different stakeholders be networked more effectively? How can we ensure fair competition on a local, regional, national and international level? What opportunities do new economic systems offer? What structures need to be created so that media meets its responsibilities properly? What potential do new media have for interactively involving people, and the younger generation in particular, in economic dialogue?

These and many more questions will be explored in the World Conference Center Bonn from 17 to 19 June 2013. The event has developed into an international venue as the number of participants rises steadily from year to year. More than 2,000 representatives from politics, the private sector, science and social groups made their way to Bonn from all over the world in 2012 – including around 500 journalists from 70 nations.

Competition and globalisation

At last year's Forum, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle gave a memorable speech in which he noted: "I think that globalization will ultimately settle the competition among educational systems. The real natural resources of the present age, this world's true commodity is no longer under our feet. It is between our ears." The 2013 economic theme will also explore competition, and the keynote speaker is none other than world renowned globalization critic Avram Noam Chomsky who will present his ideas under the title "Roadmaps for a Just World – People Reanimating Democracy" on the first day of the three-day conference. In addition to his respected work in linguistics, Chomsky has published a great number of critical papers on the effects of globalization and the new neoliberal world order in which he condemns the circumstances of economic exploitation and economic, social and political power that shape the international order and social reality of many places today.

Two GIZ workshops

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) will be represented by two workshops at the conference.

The Digital Development Debates team will kick off on Monday (17 June) with "Health Innovations: From Motorcycle Pharmacies to Open-Source Medical Software". This workshop will discuss the extent to which modern technologies can contribute to disseminating information and communication to improve health care worldwide. Best practices, initiatives and ideas will also be presented at the workshop.

At the "Value-Based Leadership for Global Responsibility" workshop on Tuesday (18 June) participants will explore the responsibility and influence of leadership elites worldwide. The workshop will bring international leaders from government circles, non-governmental organizations and the private sector together to discuss the role global decision-makers play today and the skills they will need to have in future to promote "leadership for global responsibility".

With its focus on sustainability, the DW Global Media Forum fits right in with the 2013 annual topic formulated by the GIZ, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the KfW Entwicklungsbank (Development Bank). Under the "Future-Makers" title the question of how to meet global challenges in international development cooperation will be explored.

Prominent expertise

The Global Media Forum is honoured to welcome an exceptional speaker: Indian physicist, environmental activist and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, Vandana Shiva. She will speak about "Globalisation and Values" on Wednesday (19 June), the final day of the conference. Vandana Shiva is convinced that the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum is an "ideal meeting ground. This year's topic is highly relevant." In her view, the role of the media must be emphasized: "The media are global too and transport the world into our living rooms. They can become an instrument of democracy, freedom and human rights in crisis situations."