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Roundtable Moderators

Paul Donnelly ('99)

Economy: Lessons from Ireland

We are fresh from the latest financial crisis to befall the world economy, with questions to be asked and lessons to be learned.  Ireland makes for an interesting case for a number of reasons:

  • Prior to the crash, Ireland was promoted by the likes of the EU as an example of an underdeveloped country that others could follow. Ireland was hailed as the poster country for others to follow.
  • Since the crash, Ireland has followed all that has been prescribed by the experts and the likes of EU institutions. Austerity has become the norm and the Irish taxpayer is expected to make good on the gambling debts of private banks. Emigration has returned and the dreams and aspirations of generations lie shattered at the altar of systemic and individual failures.

For some further background reading, see the following:

Short Bio

Odilbek Kattaev ('08)

The Role of National Culture in Knowledge Management Implementation

For this Roundtable, I would like to divide the discussion in the following steps:
1. First, I recap and briefly explain the theory of Knowledge Management (tacit and explicit) through real life examples.
2. Second, I present National Culture indexes and theories found by Hofstede, Hall and Laurent.
3. Finally, I create group discussion environment to find out the role of National Culture in Knowledge Management Implementation with Fulbright Scholars.

Short Bio

Lecturer at Westminster International University in Tashkent
Note: register for this roundtable as Knowledge Management.

This round table discussion will begin with a short introduction into the history of energy sources, production, distribution and markets. A short analysis of the current situation shows the challenges posed by new types of energy production, i.e., distributed and environmental-driven production instead of demand-driven production. This enables the participants to look ahead and to discuss possible developments either driven by technology or social respectively political demands.

Short Bio

Note: register for this roundtable as Energy.

Carsten Kuschnerus ('07) and Carsten Fischer

International Interdependence

Short Bio

Carsten Kuschnerus: Product Manager Fixed Income Union Investment; MBA Virginia Tech, 2007

Carsten Fischer: Director Strategic Projects Deutsche Bank PBC

Jan Makowski ('04), Andrew Johnson ('97)

Responsibility: (New) Challenges for Active Citizenship and how Entrepreneurs can become Part of the Solution

The Giving Pledge, which was launched by Microsoft founder Gates and investor Buffett last year as a reaction to the world financial crisis, has recently reinvigorated debates about philanthropic engagement and the question of social responsibility of entrepreneurs. In this session we would like to explore how the new philanthropic movement can evolve beyond mere window-dressing. The backdrop for discussion will be examples of long-standing civic engagement such as the Bosch company and its founder. Moreover, new models of responsibility in emerging economies will be considered.

Short Bio

2009-Present: Project manager for Bosch responsible for the development of pressure sensors for automotive applications
2008: Received PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota
2006: Received MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota
2004-2005: Fulbright Scholarship
2001-2004: Studied electrical engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology

Stephan Meyer-Brehm ('86)

Going Global: Media, Communication and Marketing

Short Bio

Note: register for this roundtable as Media.

Houda Mezioudet ('07)

The Tunisian Revolution and the democratic transition: perspectives and (future) challenges.

Tunisia has witnessed a popular revolution that led to the ousting of Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, revolts fueled by youth protests all over Tunisia spurred by the death of a vegetable stall vendor Mohamed Bouazizi whose settling himself alight has brought tot he surface the frustrations of young Arabs with corrupt regimes and a cry for justice and equality.
The revolution has reverberated across the Arab world and led to a spread of what many call the Arab Spring to neighboring Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain. Now the serious implications oft he Tunisian revolution are the political and social challenges. These includes the return of Islamists tot he political scene, the drafting of a new constitution, the confirmation of parity in this process, the council for the protection of the revolution, youth and their participation in political life, the politicization of a society after the political vacuum for more than half a century.
This transition is painful but not without any excitement with 3 sit ins against illegitimate government, demonstrations, the dissolving of former RCD party, and the first democratic general elections will be held in January 2012.

Short Bio

Note: register for this roundtable as Politics.

Science Education - Perspectives and Challenges

We live in an age of constant scientific discovery - a world shaped by revolutionary new technologies. More and more, scientific and technological issues dominate our everyday lives as well as international discourse: from environmental debates on ozone depletion and bioethical concerns about cloning or genetically engineered food, to economic threats from climate change and invasive species. Other topics feature medical advances, possible extraterrestrial life and DNA evidence. Understanding these debates has become as basic as reading. It also demonstrates that producing a scientifically literate citizenry is vital in order to serve some of the most fundamental objectives of global challenges.

How can we tackle such an educational disequilibrium? How can we foster scientific literacy and prepare students for future challenges? How can we encourage citizens to continue learning throughout life?

Short Bio

Note: register for this roundtable as Education.

Tatiana Pyshkina ('98)

Economic Growth and Democracy

Using the experience from previous studies and applying it to the evolving realities in the my presentation  are maintained and developed the idea of linkages between economic growth and democracy. I would like to make use of the example of the Republic of Moldova to demonstrate where this link should be, and why.

Short Bio

Kurt Riechenberg ('96)

This Roundtable will attempt to identify possible common and divergent approaches adopted by the United States and the European Union in response to the major international developments taking place at the beginning of 2011.
First, participants will address the relative weight of the main factors, i.e. economic and industrial interests, public safety concerns, global warming as well as  foreign and human rights policies towards oil producing countries.
Second, the discussion would analyse as to how the United States and the European Union might in the future "structure" their energy supply "mix" and whether similar regulatory patterns on both sides of the Atlantic could become "models" of sustainable policies for the global community. In this context attention will be paid to the precautionary principle in environmental protection as it has been developed in US and EU legislation and jurisprudence and in international legal instruments.

Short Bio

Kurt Riechenberg, a German lawyer, is Senior Legal Secretary (Clerk) to Judge Silva de Lapuerta at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg since October 2003.

In November 2005, he was appointed Secretary of the 'Group of Wise Persons' established by the Ministers of the Council of Europe in order to evaluate the functioning of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Note: register for this roundtable as Energy and Sustainability.

Mary Ellen Schmider ('97)


The idea I am considering is the ways in which the nations formerly part of or under the influence of the USSR until 1989, or so reconstruct their national narratives: what role does the construct of "gender" play? Specifically, how does the public role of women develop: under what historical models, and with what contemporary forms referencing either the national cultural patterns or international ideals do women themselves define their lives?  What role does higher education play in shaping these definitions, who is part of the "conversation" about them, and how far have they been accepted in the legal, social, and cultural settings of the nations? I would use my experience teaching, lecturing, traveling, and facilitating such study in the Republic of Macedonia as my "case study."

Short Bio

Andreas Schoberth ('89)

It's not information overload. It's filter failure.

As the information tide seems to be swelling by the day or even faster, user devices become more and more mobile and usage patterns have reached the levels of "always on" and "to go". Getting your very own information household sorted out is among the core skills for your professional and private life today.
Setting the tone with the key note from a major web 2.0 conference, this roundtable addresses the hypothesis whether the solution is just a matter of employing the appropriate "filters". Participants will share their own experiences, discuss problems and suggest best practices to be presented in plenum.

Short Bio

1990: M.Sc. in Computer Science;

1994: establishing a business field for internet-related technologies at FAST;
today: heading the web team and managing customers and projects at Cirquent GmbH;
once in a while: getting a break from all things digital as a high-altitude mountaineer

Note: register for this roundtable as Information Overload.

Ulrich Schuster ('02)


Scenarios of Electric Mobility

Can electric vehicle solve problems like pollution, noise, and congestion while guaranteeing individual mobility? or do they rather obstruct the path to a fundamental change in our mobility behavior? Do electric vehicles help to reduce our energy footprint per person and to use energy in a sustainable way, or do we simply substitute one energy carrier for another? In brief, what role will electric vehicles play in the future and how might this future look like in terms of mobility patterns, technology, politics, business models, and many aspects of  everyday life? The goal of this Roundtable is to jointly develop several possible scenarios for future (electro-) mobility.

Short Bio

Studies of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; graduate studies as a Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley, California; doctoral studies and research on wireless communications at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, followed by WLAN development work for an ETH Zurich startup. Since 2009 responsible for simulation of battery-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles at Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany. Since 2007 member of the board of governors of RWTH Aachen University.

Oliver Steinmetz ('83), Ulrich Hueck ('90)

In 6 hours, the deserts of the world receive more energy than all humankind consumes in a whole year. We will present the DESERTEC concept (www.desertec.org) that proposes to supply carbon-free energy to a world of 10 billion people by capturing solar energy in deserts and supplying it to the consumption centers via DC cables. We can also point out how and why the Fulbright experience has helped us become valuable contributors on this.
The DESERTEC Foundation has delivered the blueprint for the Mediterranean Solar Plan in 2008, initiated the DESERTEC Industrial Initiative in 2009 (it now comprises more than 50 companies), and in 2010 welcomed Transgreen/MedGrid as another group of powerful companies pursuing the implementation of the DESERTEC concept.

Short Bio

Oliver Steinmetz is one of the founders of the DESERTEC Foundation and a member of its Supervisory Board. Dr. Steinmetz holds a Ph.D. in economics and a Diploma in computer sciences and business administration.
In 1986 his interest in translating between different cultures led him to serve as the founding president of the German Fulbright Alumni association.
In his professional life he works at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, where he is responsible for Risk Management and Reference Data systems in IT.
His hobbies include volleyball, cycling, and motor sports history.

Dr. Ulrich Hueck is a co-founder of the DESERTEC Foundation. He did an apprenticeship on heating systems and studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. During a Fulbright scholarship he obtained a Master of Science degree from the University of New Mexico, USA. He combined the work on his Ph.D. at the Institute for Mechanics of the University of Darmstadt with mathematical research work at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Since 1994 Dr. Hueck has been employed in the field of fossil power generation. He has worked on project execution for new power plants, on the design of gas turbines and on field installation and commissioning of new power plants in Europe and Asia. Since 2002 he has assumed various functions in the servicing of units with capacities over 100 MW.
During his youth he concluded that knowledge of conventional power plant business is required to help renewables progress on an industrial scale. He became a co- founder of the DESERTEC Foundation in October 2009.

Svetlana Suveica ('09)

Dealing with the Past and Facing the Future: A Moldovan History Classroom Experience

It is a known fact that learning takes place in a particular cultural tradition of knowledge,  cultural, social and political legacies are linked together and have a direct influence on the education process. The post-soviet space makes not an exception in this sense; despite many urges in changing the approach of historical studies and research, these often carry an ethno-centrist, parochial or nationalist character.

Short Bio

Svetlana Suveica is an associate professor in history at Moldova State University in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. She received her PhD from Al. I. Cuza University in Iasi, Romania in 1999, since then teaches courses in contemporary Romanian and East-European history and methodology, as well as MA courses in US history and society and US higher education at the American Studies Center in Moldova. The Center provides a unique interdisciplinary MA program in American studies. Dr. Suveica is a well-known researcher and her publications cover the debated topics in Bessarabian/Moldovan history. She is also involved in educational issues and took part in several international conferences dedicated to teaching and learning. Dr. Suveica is a former Fulbright senior fellow at Stanford University in California, USA (2009-2010).

Note: register for this roundtable as Education: Experience in Moldavia.

Arno Tanner ('04)

The future challenges of international human migration and their governance

Although the global downturn is today in better control than in 2008, three global trends anticipate great future challenges in international migration. Brain drain is all but solved, robbing Africa, the Middle East and Latin America of their best and brightest. Agriland in developing is decreasing and ineffective; This will cause migration to cities to grow, and food prices to increase and cause restlessness. Finally,
refugee-causing conflicts have not decreased but rather, are increasing. Could further international cooperation solve these problems in the future?

Short Bio

Dr. Arno Tanner was a Finnish visiting scholar at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington D.C. in 2004-05. He is currently Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere. He is also the Head of Country Information for Russia, Eastern Europe, the European Union, and North America at the Finnish Immigration Service. Dr. Tanner has written 10 books and 40 articles on international migration and ethnic relations, and consults for the International Organization for Migration, Council of Europe, and UNESCO on questions of emigration, immigration, and immigrant integration. He was recently nominated Knight at the Order of Lion of Finland.

Note: register for this roundtable as Migration.

Michael Vetter

Sovereign Wealth Funds and Security Policy: Towards a New Era of Protectionism?

The financial crisis and the rise of sovereign wealth funds stoked fears within the Western states that their technological leadership will be sold out soon. The maintenance of technological leadership, independence with regard to the supply with energy and commodities will be crucial issues in the next 50 years. While security policy is usually connected to the military capabilities, the above mentioned issues contribute decisively to the security of a state. The question is which way is the best to guarantee security while fighting protectionism.

Short Bio

Note: register for this roundtable as Security Policy.

Martin Wegmann

The Healthcare System in Germany and the US: Transatlantic Perspectives

Just recently, Barack Obama has prevailed a new health care reform in the US against all opposition. But what are the main features of this reform? What are the similarities or the differences to the German health care system? And why do so many Americans reject this health reform, which seems to be so necessary? This burning question will be discussed with the participants.

Short Bio

Martin Wegmann studied at the university of cologne and holds a Diploma in health economics. Since 2006 he is working as a consultant at the "Medical advisory service of the social health insurance"- a central institution of the german healthcare system. His main responsibilities there are to advise the social health insurance (GKV) on the basis of so-called "Health Technology Assessments" which new treatments have a benefit for the patients and therefore should be paid. He is especially interested in new developments in health policy. His personal interests include sailing and making music.

Barbara Weiten ('02)

US Politics - 1986 to 2011 and into the Future

This roundtable will discuss various aspects of US politics, reviewing the past 25 years and looking ahead into the future. Potential topics, depending on participants' interests, include:

  • remembering and rating US presidents: Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama
  • the US and the world: from the Cold War to the "new world order" to the War on Terror
  • political campaigns and the internet
  • looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election

Short Bio

Fulbright scholar at Brown University, Providence, RI, M.A. in American Studies;
Diplom (M.A. equivalent) in International Business and Cultural Studies, University of Passau;
Fulbright Alumni Association activies: Vice President for Communications (2007/08), President (2009/2010)

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