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Full throttle towards green energy - Germany visionary or misguided?

Germany's decision to phase out nuclear energy is among the most contentious issues on the current global energy policy agenda. America's energy community is following events in Germany with a combination of skepticism and admiration. Germany's high subsidies for renewable energy sources have come under attack for being wasteful, and doubts have been voiced whether they will effectively spur innovation. At the same time, others praised Germany as a leader in energy and climate change policy.

The energy panel at the 2012 German Conference at Harvard raises the question of whether Germany's sustainable energy strategy serves as a model for other industrialized countries - or whether it is an ideologically motivated policy that will harm Germany's economic and political future. Jeremy Rifkin will hold the introductory keynote speech titled "The Third Industrial Revolution: The New German Model for a Post-Carbon Economy". Panelists will then identify the common ground as well as the key differences between US and German energy policy, and will assess the impact of Germany's energy strategy on its partners in Europe.


Ludwig Siegele
Online Business and Finance Editor
The Economist, London Office

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kluge
Chairman and CEO
Franz Haniel & Cie.

Dr. Hermann Ott
Member of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag)
Alliance 90 / The Greens

Benjamin Schlesinger, Ph.D.
President and Founder
Benjamin Schlesinger and Associates

Prof. Dr. Eicke Weber
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems

Leading from behind or lagging behind? The German role in the euro crisis

Germany is the Eurozone's biggest economy. It is its economic powerhouse, driving European growth - or what is left of it after two years of crisis. Yet in the eyes of many, Germany hasn't lived up to its name when it comes to solving the Euro crisis. "Let the periphery countries deal with their mess!" seemed to be Berlin's stance. Merkel countered that she was "leading from behind" by pressing countries to find their own solutions to save the common currency.

The Euro crisis panel will discuss Germany's role in solving the crisis and bringing the European Union back on track. With insights from politicians, economists, and private sector representatives, expect a heated debate on what went wrong in the past - and how to proceed from here.


Elisabeth Niejahr
Political Correspondent
Die Zeit

Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest
Research Director, Professor of Business Taxation, Oxford University
Member, Scientific Council of the Federal Ministry of Finance

Dani Rodrik, Ph.D.
Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy
Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Peer Steinbrück
Former German Federal Minister of Finance
Former Minister-President of North-Rhine-Westphalia

Discussion: The military in Germany and the US - two perspectives

This discussion between German and US soldiers with recent experience in Afghanistan will look at the relationship of the two countries towards its armed forces.

It will follow three key questions: How do experiences, perceptions, and attitudes of German and American soldiers in war zones differ? How ist he image of war and military shaped in both countries? And what are the effects of policy decisions on soldiers in combat?


Dr. Constanze Stelzenmüller
Senior Transatlantic Fellow
German Marshall Fund of the United State

Aaron W. Miller
US Army

Markus Posse
German Bundeswehr

Germany in International Security policy - restraint or indecision?

This expert panel will look at Germany's security policy with a broad view and explore German interests and responsibilities abroad. We will investigate whether Germany's security policy decisions are based on particular strategic approaches and discuss where and whether Germany should take on more leadership and how it should use the diplomatic, civilian and military instruments at its disposal.


Dr. Constanze Stelzenmüller
Senior Transatlantic Fellow
German Marshall Fund of the United State

Dr. Franziska Brantner
Member of the European Parliament
Spokeswoman for foreign affairs of the Greens/EFA group

Wolf-Dieter Löser
Lieutenant General (ret.)
Former Commandant NATO Defense College

Dr. Thomas de Maizière
German Federal Minister of Defense
Former German Federal Minister of the Interior

Jan Techau
Carnegie Europe

The German Angst of leadership

Germany's relationship with leadership is tainted by the Nazi era, when Germans placed their faith in a "Fuehrer" (leader). Even today, Germans avoid the term "leadership" - in stark contrast with the US, in which leadership has an exclusively positive connotation. Germany's European neighbors are torn between wanting more and less German leadership.

What do people today associate with "German leadership"? What characterizes the modern German leadership? Should Germany, , given its past, lead at all? An expert panel will discuss these questions, drawing on current research and an interactive survey of conference participants.


Manuel J. Hartung
Journalist and Author

Ronald Heifetz, Ph.D.
King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership
Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Annette Heuser
Executive Director
Bertelsmann Foundation Washington D.C.

Prof. Dr. Karl Kaiser
Adjunct Professor of Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Christian Wilhelm Meyer
German Bundeswehr
Former Commander of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Kunduz, Afghanistan

Dr. Antonella Mei-Pochtler
Senior Partner and Managing Director
The Boston Consulting Group