Solving social problems with entrepreneurial means. A role that is increasingly being forgotten but offers new opportunities to prevent the perceptible alienation of the economy and society. In times of networking and a new orientation, the following applies all the more: the markets of the future can only be shaped by those who develop an idea of society. A change that renews the societal claim to the achievement of social and ecological goals, makes corporate values visible and makes freedom in responsibility a condition for economic success.
Economic growth without human development is unsustainable - and unethical.
In a time of radical change, people need orientation. However, democracies have increasingly come under pressure to act and shape sustainable change by liberal means. This becomes even more clear in a world in which authoritarians are increasingly oppressive and disregard universal values. As we can see, the division in left and right still exists however is increasingly replaced by illiberal versus liberal perceptions. Democrats have a special responsibility to overcome old politicial lines, to establish new thinking, a climate of trust as well as togetherness. In this globalised world, the development of living and resilient democracies becomes more and more important, as are the inclusion of innovative search, learning and design processes in the face of profound human change. It is nothing less but to preserve liberal democracy with its unique mix of individual rights and popular rule.
It is democratic to listen to the other person, to consider his or her opinion, to accept what makes sense to oneself and to put forward counter-arguments against the rest, while always respecting the person of the other person.
Global warming is causing long-lasting and potentially irreversible changes to our climate system if societies around the world do not act. More than almost any other topic, climate change will determine the discourse of the coming decades. Climate change requires a holistic transformation of our market economy. A functioning market is a prerequisite for the success of a green revolution. The state must set credible framework conditions based on the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement. This also means sustainably transforming the market economy. There is nothing right about the fact that climate and environmental damage should be borne by society, but that the profits associated with it should remain private. Sustainability also means perfecting the market economy as it should have always been - with social and ecological awareness as its guiding principles.
We need to put a price on carbon in the markets and a price on denial in politics.
Digitalisation is the one of the most disruptive societal changes since the industrial revolution. It is about nothing less than creating a digital society that combines social progress with technological possibilities. In this context, digital networking does not only mean the communication between machines, but the networking of realities of life, universal values and social demands. On the threshold of the global data economy, we have to ask ethical-social questions anew: the digital-social responsibility of the state and companies, the development of new, democratic communication standards for platforms and media as well as the democratisation of data including individual data sovereignty and security.
We have to learn to decide which decisions we want to hand over to machines and which ones people always want and have to make.
Equality concerns us all - men and women alike. Gender equality is thus a democratic project that breaks down social marginalisation and implements an awareness for the advantages of a diverse society. Gender equality is thus not only a necessity, it is a prerequisite for more freedom and prosperity worldwide. Gender equality must be understood as a strength of democratic societies in order to rethink participation and decisively counter the fight against global injustice through the exclusion of women and other groups in society. Enlightened feminism demands nothing less.
The battle for individual rights of women is one of long lasting and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.
The collective experience of the Covid-19 pandemic creates a new global sense of community and promotes awareness of scientific and cross-border innovation. Securing modern and effective health care is a central prerequisite for a self-determined life. Capacities to prevent global health risks must be further strengthened for this, as pandemic risks are more likely to increase with projected population growth. Beyond infectious diseases, strategies must be developed to avoid environmental pollution that is harmful to health, to ensure fair access to medicines and vaccines globally and to use common standards of protection for more international cooperation.
The best way to balance public health with civil liberties is with evidence.
The role model function of democratic societies is crucial to setting sustainable standards worldwide and contributing to a more inclusive globalisation. The indivisibility of human rights provides a guideline for assessing political relations, forging new links, especially in civil society, and for making values visible. As Europeans in particular, we have a role to play in shaping the markets of the future in a sustainable and fair way, creating clear framework conditions for entrepreneurs to become advocates of human rights due diligence, exemplifying liberal values and contributing to prosperity along the supply chain. Human rights due diligence must therefore be a priority in our economic relations. Positive political pressure must be used to denounce abuses - as a prerequisite for sustainable innovation.
A state that denies its citizens basic human rights also becomes dangerous for its neighbours: internal arbitrariness inevitably grows into arbitrariness in foreign relations.
Discovering potential, exploiting it and transforming freedom into something productive and sustainable are the underpinnings of any social order. This social order has lost confidence due to the economic and financial crisis. The gap between economics and values is a consequence of poor regulation and insufficient supervision. The market and the state are similarly responsible for preventing the perverse decoupling of financial values at the expense of the general public in the future. The aim is to achieve more diverse financial markets, more models of sustainable, financial participation - whether as an investment or in one's own company.
We need to start to talk about money in ways that dethrone it and make it subject to human ethics and standards of love and decency.
Europe is more than a market; Europe is a way of life for hundreds of millions of people. The European idea stands for over 70 years of peace, which never existed before. Europe is the best example of how the interconnectedness of societies can succeed. Accepting perspectives from others, understanding them, improving them and enabling change through close cooperation. In order for the successful project of Europe to be equipped for future challenges, it needs the optimism of convinced Europeans, a passionate and persuasive counter-proposal to the despondency of the radicals, pessimists and die-hards. There has never been a better time for European ideas.
Europe had the duty to be an example of democracy and respect for human rights.
The interconnectedness of realities, markets and politics requires knowledge and relationships across borders. In times of digital change, diplomacy has ceased to be a business that only takes place in back rooms. Embassies are opening up where companies are, just like in Silicon Valley; digital diplomacy is increasingly taking place in new (social) networks and helping to shape international relations. For digital progress to go hand in hand with social progress, diplomacy must open up, dialogue and cooperation must be conveyed through understanding and trust in its own (universal) values, and international understanding must be exemplified with its own openness.
In years to come, people may say that the most powerful weapon in this period of the twenty-first century was not sarin gas or the nuclear bomb, but the smartphone.
Sport has charisma across borders and must be measured all the more against social values. Those who want to maintain the inclusive power of sport must face up to social debates, become aware of their social responsibility as athletes and clubs and take sides for a liberal society. Sport is thus progress and inspiration to achieve something together. Then we will find stories that sport writes - personal ones and those that create connections to the outside world, whether as fans, officials or players.
We are a voice of someone who lives in the same world as others. We need to be heard. People make us feel like we’re only paid to dribble balls and run fast. That’s taking away our rights.