The British-German Forum Alumni Newsletter
13 June, 2010
A visiting Intern, Ursula Stricker-Ellsiepen (Conference Manager at The Konstanz Science Forum, South Germany) describes her time at Wilton Park
“A stay at Wilton Park is an opportunity to stretch your mind through a circumnavigation of the globe. This may sound a little curious at first for Wilton Park is located in the middle of 5,000 acres of parkland at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex. But this international aspect is the first and the lasting impression of visiting Wiston House, a sixteenth-century English country-house and home of Wilton Park Conferences because Wilton Park has an impressive history as a forum for democracy building and post-conflict reconciliation through international dialogue.
During a ‘job shadow’ at Wilton Park from in May of 2010, made possible by the generous financing of the ERASMUS-staff-mobilising-programme at the University of Konstanz, I obtained deep insights into how the conference programmes develop their final shape.
It is not just the topics addressed that are international but also the speakers, the participants who contribute their ideas to in the discussions and other people who help to make the events happen like sponsors and intellectual partners. The intensive dialogues held at Wilton Park centre on current, urgent challenges such as climate change, security issues, agricultural production, safeguarding global food supplies and promoting renewable energy. Decision makers from around the world come together at Wilton Park and, as a result, obtain fresh insights into their daily work free from the pressures of daily routine in their institutions.
I am sure that everybody who has the chance of experiencing Wilton Park at its best will have had his or her mind opened as a result of their “world tour” and will leave the lovely estate refreshed and invigorated as a result.”
Ursula Stricker-Ellsiepen, conference manager at The Konstanz Science Forum, University of Konstanz, South Germany.