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A two-day conference brings together experts from civil society, politics and academia to discuss the major challenges facing Europe and the world.

Berlin, 10–11 June 2024 

Contact for more information

About the conference

The High-Level Forum is the culmination of the Hertie School’s 20th anniversary celebration. The event concludes the Hertie School Futures Forum series, which has brought together scholars and policy leaders throughout the academic year to discuss sustainability, democracy, fundamental rights, digital governance, and European integration. Under the motto “Looking back to move forward”, panellists have identified major future challenges and drawn lessons from the past that can help us to prepare for the future.

The High-Level Forum focusses on good governance at a time of major political upheaval. As the University of Governance in Berlin, dedicated to providing a European perspective on global debates, the Hertie School seeks to explore how Europe must address the twin challenge of polarisation of society and geopolitical fragmentation. Moreover, we ask what role higher education and research and academic freedom can play in the context of internal and external challenges. 

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Thu Ha Dang, Associate Event Management

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Benjamin Stappenbeck,Director of Communications

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Monday 10th of June, 2024 

To kick off the High-Level Forum, Ursula von der Leyen (President of the European Commission) will deliver a keynote on the state of Europe following the European Parliament elections. 

​Following this, we welcome Francis Fukuyama (Professor of Political Science, Stanford University), Boris Rhein (Prime Minister of Hessia), and Catherine De Vries (Professor of Political Science, Bocconi University) for a discussion about the “Polarisation and the Decay of Political Order”, which will be moderated by Andrea Römmele (Professor of Communication in Politics and Civil Society, Hertie School).

  • Guidelines
    Students should select one aspect of public policy or one specific governance challenge and reflect both on past developments and a vision for the future. Students are encouraged to think creatively and critically about how to tackle complex policy and governance challenges of the 21st century. Students are free to write on any policy area or governance challenge of their choosing. Thematic areas could, for example, include: Climate change and environmental sustainability Artificial intelligence, automation and cybersecurity International migration, refugees and displacement Human rights and democracy International crises and security The essay should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words and should be submitted in a PDF document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, font 12.
  • Criteria
    Formal criteria: The essay should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words and should be submitted in a PDF document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, font 12. All quotes and sources should be cited – APA is recommended. Grammar and style: The writing should be clear, concise, consistent, and not include grammar and spelling mistakes. Creativity: The essay should show original thought and an ability to engage with relevant examples and literature. Students should express an opinion – this is more of an op-ed than an academic paper or scientific publication. Coherence: The arguments put forth in the essay should be coherent and logically sound. Specificity: Students should focus on one area of aspect of public policy, or on one specific governance challenge. They should use specific examples to demonstrate their arguments. Relevance: The topic and examples should be relevant to the prompt of the competition.
  • Submission
    The deadline for this competition has passed. The winner will be announced in Spring 2024.
  • Prize
    The authors of the top three essays will be announced in Spring 2024. The authors of the three winning essays will be awarded €500, €300 and €200, respectively. Additionally, the three winning essays will be published on the Hertie School’s website and its social media channels, as well as in The Governance Post, the Hertie School’s student magazine. The author of the winning essay will also be recognised during our 20th anniversary celebrations.

Tuesday 11th of June, 2024 

  • Guidelines
    Students should select one aspect of public policy or one specific governance challenge and reflect both on past developments and a vision for the future. Students are encouraged to think creatively and critically about how to tackle complex policy and governance challenges of the 21st century. Students are free to write on any policy area or governance challenge of their choosing. Thematic areas could, for example, include: Climate change and environmental sustainability Artificial intelligence, automation and cybersecurity International migration, refugees and displacement Human rights and democracy International crises and security The essay should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words and should be submitted in a PDF document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, font 12.
  • Criteria
    Formal criteria: The essay should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words and should be submitted in a PDF document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, font 12. All quotes and sources should be cited – APA is recommended. Grammar and style: The writing should be clear, concise, consistent, and not include grammar and spelling mistakes. Creativity: The essay should show original thought and an ability to engage with relevant examples and literature. Students should express an opinion – this is more of an op-ed than an academic paper or scientific publication. Coherence: The arguments put forth in the essay should be coherent and logically sound. Specificity: Students should focus on one area of aspect of public policy, or on one specific governance challenge. They should use specific examples to demonstrate their arguments. Relevance: The topic and examples should be relevant to the prompt of the competition.
  • Submission
    The deadline for this competition has passed. The winner will be announced in Spring 2024.
  • Prize
    The authors of the top three essays will be announced in Spring 2024. The authors of the three winning essays will be awarded €500, €300 and €200, respectively. Additionally, the three winning essays will be published on the Hertie School’s website and its social media channels, as well as in The Governance Post, the Hertie School’s student magazine. The author of the winning essay will also be recognised during our 20th anniversary celebrations.

The second day of the Hertie Futures Forum will begin with a panel on the topic of “Autonomy in a Fragmenting World”, moderated by our President, Professor of International Political Economy Cornelia Woll

We are honoured to welcome ​Boris Pistorius (German Minister of Defence), Bruno Le Maire (French Minister of the Economy), and Federica Mogherini (President, College of Europe) to be part of this panel. 

​Following this, a second panel discussion on the topic of “Higher Education and Research in Hard Times” will take place. For this we welcome Shalini Randeria (President, Central European University), Tymofiy Mylovanov (President, Kyiv School of Economics), Mathias Vicherat (Director of Sciences Po), Faizel Ismael (Dean, Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town), and Keren Yarhi-Milo (Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University), moderated by Mark Hallerberg, Professor of Public Management and Political Economy, Hertie School.

The forum will conclude with the conferment of the third Henrik Enderlein Prize, hosted at the Hertie School and jointly organised by the German and French Foreign Offices, Sciences Po and the Hertie School.

Speakers include: 

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Francis Fukuyama

Professor at Stanford University

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Mathias Vicherat

Director of Sciences Po

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Catherine de Vries

Professor Bocconi Unversity

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Boris Pistorius

German Minister of Defense

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Federica Mogherini

President College of Europe

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Shalini Randeria

President, Central European University

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Jens Spahn

Former German Minister of Health

Partner with us 

The Hertie School is known for its excellence in practice-oriented teaching, first-class research and its extensive international network. We receive no public funding, relying instead on a strong network of partners with whom we share the goal of shaping the world of tomorrow. Support the school and help shape the future with us.

Help shape tomorrow

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