Opportunities in Crisis 2: Defining new avenues of growth

Bertelsmann Foundation’s 2nd annual conference highlights need for global cooperation and solutions to financial crisis

The Bertelsmann Foundation again joined forces with its media partner, the Financial Times, to host a second annual conference. “Opportunities in Crisis 2: Defining new avenues of growth” was held April 22 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The gathering, timed to precede the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, brought together about 200 high-level representatives of government, business, academia and the media. Speakers and participants travelled from around the United States, Europe (overcoming volcanic ash) and beyond to attend.

The day’s debates and discussion centered on using the global financial crisis as a catalyst for implementing political, economic and social reforms that, in turn, would lay the foundation for sustainable growth. Emphasis was placed on the societal costs of inadequate education and the G20’s proper role in global governance. A special panel deliberated whether more women in influential positions could have lessened the severity of the crisis.


Conference participants included AOL Co-Founder Steve Case, Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty, US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats, US Congressman Darrell Issa, World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy, HSH Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, Dutch Economics Minister Maria J.A. van der Hoeven, and The Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth. Panel moderators included the Financial Times’ John Authers, Atlantic Media’s Ron Brownstein, CNBC’s Becky Quick and the National Journal’s Bruce Stokes.

The Bertelsmann Foundation’s annual spring reception preceded the conference the evening before. That gathering drew more than 400 people to the National Portrait Gallery. Guest of Honor Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, gave a stirring speech about the plight of children, especially in the United States, who are denied access to proper education and healthcare.