Give cities a chance – Global Cities, 19. Karlsruhe Dialogues in the 300. anniversary year of Karlsruhe "The nation-states failed", whether climate change, or democracy or dept crisis: According to Benjamin R. Barber every country will founder on nearly all of the problems of the 21. century. International political organizations did not manage to put societies on track of democracy, says Prof. Benjamin Barber in his ceremonial address at the 19. Karlsruhe Dialogues, which started on 27. February.
The solution for a functionating democracy is the active citizenry. Civic commitment and civic organizations in cities of different ethnic groups and cultures should be part of a global democracy, especially since cities always have been and still are a junction for cultural exchange, international action and immigration. The active supporters of the international exchange in cities are the inhabitants of the mixed communities and municipalities. Making an effort against the interests of international banks and concerns, in the community, neighbourhood, municipality and in the town. But this thesis introduces many questions: How shall global cities be controlled by the neighbourhood and the community, when they are the target of the international capital? In conversations about the subject Global Democracities with experts from the Netherlands, Great Britain, the USA, Egypt and Turkey the participants examined some of these questions and analysed statements of the speakers.
Prof. Caroline Y. Robertson von Trotha is the initiator of the Karlsruhe Dialogues and the Centre for applied cultural science and Studium Generale Institute for Technologie of Karlsruhe (KIT) is the organizer.
Here you can listen to the statements on active citizenship by the students from the "Berlin Cosmopolitan School".
Moderated and translated by Stella Krolak
Editor Mila Zaharieva-Schmolke
Photo ZAK/Felix Grünschloss