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Press Release

Experts call for more courage in dealing with demographic change

Some 200 national and international experts from science, politics, business, and civil society met yesterday and earlier today in Berlin at the 7th Berlin Demography Forum (BDF) to discuss the challenges of increasing migration within Germany and throughout Europe.

Franz Müntefering, former minister of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and Prof. Bert Rürup, president of the Handelsblatt Research Institute, discussed current challenges in the face of demographic change.

"Europe needs a project that creates identity, a project that people can put their heart into," said Franz Müntefering, who is also chairman of the BDF Advisory Board. "This could be, for example, a common European labor market that takes people beyond the borders of nation-states. I recommend more courage," said Müntefering.

"The experience of the past will not solve the problems of the future," said Prof. Rürup. "Digitization will change the nature of work. Both the localization of work and salaried employment will decline. However, this does not necessarily lead to decreasing employment."

In his welcome speech, Diakonie President Ulrich Lilie said that the growing number of migratory movements had far-reaching consequences worldwide. For example, Germany's population is not aging as quickly as had been previously predicted. "Only through strong, reliable cooperation will we be able to successfully master these challenges and secure demographically relevant aspects of services of general interest and the creation of equally appropriate living conditions," stressed Lilie.

Prof. Jörg Rocholl, president of ESMT Berlin, pointed out that trends such as digitization, nano- and biotechnology, and demographic change require a readjustment of education policy. "Occupational patterns and tasks are changing at an increasing rate, so lifelong learning is not a luxury but a necessity," said Rocholl. "Lifelong education must promote creative and social skills, digital understanding, and abstract thinking."


About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin was founded by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, a master's in management, as well as open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership, innovation, and analytics. ESMT faculty publishes in top academic journals. Additionally, the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. It is based in Berlin, Germany, with a branch office in Shanghai, China. ESMT is a private business school with the right to grant PhDs and is accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA.