‘Young leaders’ play it out on the football pitch
20 July, 2011
As the sun began to shine during the annual British German Forum, young Britons and Germans, considered to be potential ‘future leaders’, played a highly energetic and surprisingly skilful game of football on the lawn.
Whilst much of the week focused on discussing the challenges and opportunities for Britain and Germany in a fast-changing world, the football match at first developed into a traditional ‘England’ versus Germany game, with many of the Germans hoping for penalties and the Brits providing oranges at half time.
As the match developed, however, it soon became clear that the teams were unevenly matched (with England luckily sporting a couple of regular football players), and so whilst retaining the competitive spirit of the game the teams mixed and matched their skills and abilities.
Securing a prosperous future?
The path that the football match took fittingly reflects some of the conclusions of the Forum: whilst the world remains a highly competitive place, it was often concluded that in order to remain in the game Britain and Germany would do well to work together more often and should share their specialised industry skills in the future.
During the Forum in-depth discussions took place looking at the many present and future threats facing Britain and Germany, including long term issues of demography and an ageing population; migration; education; multiculturalism and integration; polarisation; disenfranchised youth; resource scarcity; climate change; and extremism to name a few. Among shorter term issues were the economy; military intervention overseas; and the future of the Eurozone. Key interlinking challenges, such as resource scarcity, extremism and the economy, emerged and underlay many of the debates. In light of current challenges in Europe the Eurozone was often top of the agenda, with many discussions concluding that the Euro would survive but it would not be likely to continue in the same way that it has done up until now.
The Forum highlighted both Britain and Germany’s potential for the future but also the challenges that they will have to face; challenges which when faced together could be surmountable – hopefully with the traditional British German Forum football game setting a precedent for the future!