Side Program

Coffee Chats

In the 15 minutes long Coffee Chats you and three other participants get the opportunity to speak with a panelist in a more private and relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy your coffee while discussing in an exceptional personal setting and getting unique insights from interesting panelists. Please name up to five panelists that you would be interested in to meet.

Fulbright coffee chat

Come and join our Fulbright coffee chat at the GAC to learn more about studying and living in Germany or the U.S.! Our colleague will gladly discuss grant opportunities for Germans and Americans who want to study, research, teach or further educate themselves professionally overseas. Learn more about the unique Fulbright experience – questions are welcome!

Five-Year Plan with Moritz Baier-Lentz


Growing up as a first-generation high school graduate, Moritz Baier-Lentz developed the mental models from his teenage days as a video gaming world champion into a life filled with adventures and purpose: from studies at Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford to work at Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, the White House and completing a 250km ultramarathon through the Moroccan Sahara. In this workshop, he will share his five-year plan—a unique tool to design your career, citizenship, and relationsships to reach “the next level” of your one precious life.

Michael Köhler: Introduction to Immunity to Change – Why is change so hard?

L-332 Deland

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution? Several years in a row? With no success? Have you ever received the same feedback several times? Have you ever faced other people’s resistance as you work to drive an important change initiative in your community? The Immunity to Change process underscores why our most stubborn and persistent behaviors are difficult to change by illuminating our competing commitments and big assumptions. Only once those blocks have been identified can we truly develop strategies for overcoming resistance and pushbacks.
In this participant-driven exploration of people’s resistance to change, we will examine our own resistance and the resistance of groups, then work to develop an action plan to overcome these resistances. In the process, you will learn:
• Why people resist change, even when we say we want to change
• What to do once that resistance — that “immunity” — has been named and identified
• Leadership and coaching frameworks that you can apply in your own life and work
The course is rooted in the work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey’s innovative and powerful Immunity to Change framework, as well as research on human development by Tim O’Brien from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Wherever you are in your personal development journey, this session will provide you with deep insights into the underlying factors that make change so difficult, and provide you with actionable tools you can use in your own life as you work to affect change.

„Defending Freedom – How we can win the fight for an open society“


Ralf Fücks is managing director of the Center for Liberal Modernity (LibMod), following 21 years of work in the executive of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, the political foundation associated with the Greens. At the center of his work were green economics and ecological innovation, migration, the future of Europe and international politics. Before that, he was co-chair of the Greens (1989/90) and Senator for Environment and City Development in Bremen. He is the author of the books “Defending Freedom: How We Can Win The Fight For An Open Society”, “The Future of Liberal Democracy: A European Perspective” and “Are We Entering an Illiberal Era? The Challenge to Liberal Democracy”.

Movie „Prenzlauerberg”


The movie „Berlin – Prenzlauerberg – Begegnungen zwischen dem 1. Mai und dem 1. Juli 1990“ is a documentary by German director Petra Tschörner who lived in Berlin throughout her life. The film elaborates on the change happening in her home district „Prenzlauerberg“ in Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The question the producer is trying to answer is: „Will the Prenzlauerberg eventually stay the same over the years?“

Photo Exhibition

L-P-9 Malkin penthouse

In 1981, Harf Zimmermann moved into a fifth-floor walkup apartment on Hufelandstrasse, a cobblestone street in East Berlin. The neighborhood was an anomaly in the increasingly drab Soviet-administered city. Buildings boasted proud facades and balconies, linden trees lined the broad sidewalks, and an unusual number of privately-owned shops remained in business. Feeling like the “final witness” to something that would soon be gone forever, Zimmermann went out onto the street with a large-format view camera, wandering up and down Hufelandstrasse, capturing the faces and facades of the neighborhood.
After a small exhibition in 1989, Zimmermann’s photos were hidden away in a box for more than two decades. After the photos have now been published in a book earlier this year, an exhibition
will take place at this year’s conference.

Harvard Campus Tour

Since we are hosted by Harvard Kennedy School, we offer campus tours on Sunday to get a feeling for the university setting here in Cambridge. During the tours, students from Harvard’s Crimson Key Society member usher groups around Harvard Yard, discussing key historical points, telling anecdotes, and answering questions, all while weaving in their own personal experience.