Transatlantic Perspectives on Global Challenges

Engaging both sides of the Atlantic with
stories, resources, and ideas.


New Forecasting Question on RANGE

Following Russia's decision to launch a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022, experts have questioned President Vladimir Putin's plans for the next few years. In May, Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, predicted that Vladimir...

Transatlantic Barometer Indicator: Women in Government

In both North America and Europe, women are running for political office at unprecedented rates, resulting in increased representation of women at the federal legislative level. In addition to greater advocacy and legislation on priority issues for women, research from the Global Institute for...

Thematic Areas


Democratic decline in the U.S. and Europe is weakening the transatlantic relationship and undermining its influence around the world. America and its European allies need to recalibrate their values and practices at home in order to serve as beacons to aspiring democracies abroad. But disruptions to our democratic traditions keep emerging: from new technologies changing the way we communicate and work to pandemics and economic shocks. Our work analyzes how these disruptions are playing out, and it will be up to civil society, lawmakers, and the people to prepare our democracies for the future.

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Politics & Society

From economic crises and trade wars to the rise of populism and strained international cooperation, it seems that the United States and its European partners are growing apart on many levels. We follow the state of the transatlantic relationship and how politics and societies on both sides of the Atlantic are handling the global challenges of the 21st century. Our surveys, analysis, and multimedia content from short explainer videos to full-length documentaries bring these challenges to the fore, conveying both the personal impact and the big picture of the forces shaping transatlantic politics and societies.

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Future Leadership

Leaders around the world have been forced to grapple with a series of unfamiliar threats to domestic and international stability. From the COVID-19 pandemic to right-wing populism and escalating state-sponsored and rogue cyberattacks, the need for effective leadership at this moment is critical. This can only be achieved through international exchange, idea-sharing, and learning from prior successes and failures of transatlantic leadership. Through research, polling, and our transatlantic legislative exchange program, the Bertelsmann Foundation Fellowship (BFF), we seek to foster stronger transatlantic ties through a deeper mutual understanding.

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Digital World

Around the world, humanity navigates a digital revolution that’s upending life as we know it. And while the United States and Europe are the nexus of the world's data flows and digital trade for now, the rest of the world is expanding digital output exponentially. It’s now more essential than ever that the conversation about these changes be inclusive. A successful transition to a digital world requires input from all sectors of society. Through analysis, data visualization, and documentary storytelling, we bring you inside the issues shaping today's global digital economy and society.

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Digital World

Hidden Layers | Section 230, Chat GPT & the TikTok Hearing

Welcome back to another edition of Hidden Layers. In this issue, we discuss two cases heard by the Supreme Court at the end of February that may decide the future of Section 230. We also look at a bill from Congress that could ban Chinese apps such as TikTok from the U.S. market. Finally, we cover...


Dialogue with Professor Carol Anderson

New York Times best-selling author and professor of African American studies at Emory University

On September 7, 2022, the Bertelsmann Foundation, Humanity in Action and Emory University hosted the premiere of the Foundation’s new documentary, “I, Too”, at the Carter Center in Atlanta. The film, which features New York Times best-selling author and renowned African American studies scholar...


What's a City Worth?

Cities hold riches of memory, but they are also wonders of forgetting.This paradox is key to their magic, the endless possibility they promise to those who seek it and to the democracies they push to evolve.

Politics & Society

Local Environmental Activists in Bor, Serbia

A photo essay

Over the last year, Sam George has been working on a film investigating the impact of Chinese investment in the Balkans. Such investments help China secure access to commodities, and they fill the coffers of the Balkan governments. But the projects can put significant stress on locals, who often...

Politics & Society

Emerging Ties

Essays on Transatlantic Engagement in the Developing World

Emerging Ties is a reflection of the conversations and debates that spanned the Bertelsmann Foundation Fellowship (BFF) in 2022. Our nine fellows and guest author lay out the ways in which the EU and the U.S. can further engage with developing countries and encourage positive global change.

Politics & Society

This Is (Not) Our War

For Belarusians, the regime of President Aleksandr Lukashenko leaves few options but to flee the country if they want to stand with Ukraine.

Like many others running from war or severe repression, I no longer have a home. But there is a vast difference between me, who had a choice, and those who woke up to bombs. What unites us is a great fear of, a long struggle with, and an intense hatred for those who have dared to claim our freedom...


Season 5, Episode 2 | Edward Larson

In 1924, John Scopes, an instructor in a public school in Dayton, Tennessee, was indicted for violating the Tennessee Butler Act for teaching evolution in a publicly funded school. Strong personalities and strong beliefs clashed in the courthouse as they engrossed and even inflamed the country....


Season 5, Episode 1 | Adam Hochschild

American Democracy in the Aftermath of World War I | In the first episode of Season 5, How to Fix Democracy host Andrew Keen sits down with Adam Hochschild, historian, journalist, and award-winning author of “American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy's Forgotten Crisis."...

Politics & Society

The Great Tech Policy Debate: Should Innovation be Regulated? - 3

In this third episode of Wisdom of the Crowd we take a look at technology. Specifically, we’ll hone in on the relationship between the U.S. and EU in the world of tech and trade policy. We’ll discuss how transatlantic partners are working together to tackle the biggest challenges in this field,...


Are democracies a dying breed? - 2

In this second episode of *Wisdom of the Crowd* we take a look at the state of global democracy. More specifically, we discuss why some democratic societies are on the decline, and whether democracies are equipped to face the challenges that arise in this particularly volatile period. Our guests...


Episode 5 | Transatlantic Generational Divide

How the transatlantic relationship looks in the future depends in large part on the younger generations who will inherit it. Millennials and Gen Z already exert their political influence through voting—and in some cases as legislators or even heads of government—but for the most part the...


Episode 4 | Change Beyond Climate

Earlier this year, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius was no longer feasible. A summer of wildfires and droughts from the west coast of the United States to southern Spain kept the impact of climate...

BFNA Docs Highlights

Barry Farm

Community, Land and Justice in Washington DC (2023, 50 minutes)

This documentary film, a collaboration between The Bertelsmann Foundation and the DC Legacy Project, tells this story: a journey for community, land, and justice. It is a story of Barry Farm, but it is also a story of Washington, DC. And, in the cycles of place and displacement, it is a story of the...

Out to Vote

A Story of Redemption. A Story of Democracy. (2021, 32 min)

After winning a fight to restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated people on parole or probation, returning citizens Bobby Perkins, Nicole Hanson-Mundell and Monica Cooper go all-in to get out the vote in Baltimore, Maryland.

Go-Go City

Displacement & Protest in Washington, DC (2021, 51 min)

For decades, Washington, DC has been a beacon for Black culture and community. Now, however, a wave of economic and cultural gentrification occurring at breakneck speed threatens to erase this history. The film interweaves scenes of protest as displaced communities take to the streets to rally...

Keep Talking

Six Conversations in Oklahoma City (2022, 18:50 min)

Today, we almost take our polarization for granted. Red States and Blue States. Facts and Alternative Facts. Electors and Alternate Electors. But what happens when communication truly breaks down? Nearly three decades after the Oklahoma City bombing, this film is built around six conversations with...

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