By Karin Johnston, WIIS Blog Editor
The topic is “Is the Future Democratic? Democracy, Security, Technology,” the gala conference in Berlin a celebration of fifteen years of WIIS activities and support for over 400 members. For its November 15 conference, WIIS.de has assembled an impressive array of speakers representing the German government and Parliament, foundations, and other organizations. The proceedings will provide members and their guests an opportunity to discuss the dynamics linking current security challenges, technological change, and their impact on democracy and democratic governance. Conference planners also organized a “WIIS.de Talk” for which members were encouraged to submit an abstract for a short five-minute presentation on the conference theme, including important cross-cutting themes such as gender. The interest in the anniversary conference is an indication that organizations such as WIIS have an important role to fulfill, not just in the activities and mentoring it offers to young members working or studying in the foreign and security policy field, but as a strong voice contributing expertise and new ways of thinking about the intersection of shifting global dynamics.
By any measure, the fifteenth anniversary of WIIS Germany is a cause for celebration. One of the most active WIIS international chapters, WIIS.de is led by a dynamic group of women who continue to focus their creative efforts on supporting its members through a combination of activities and professional opportunities. The WIIS Berlin office supports smaller regional groups in Hamburg, Köln/Bonn, and Munich. The WIIS.de Board, led by Dr. Armgard von Reden, has great depth and diversity, with board members and staff working in academe, government, NGOs, think tanks, and the private sector. Regular events and seminars are organized for members that focus on professional career topics, and informal evening get-togethers for interns and members provide ways to meet new people, network, and enjoy conversation over dinner. In addition to these opportunities for members, WIIS.de also organizes events in Berlin for the interested public, which raises the profile of WIIS and its members within the capital’s policy community. We send our congratulations to WIIS.de and look forward to many more years of friendship and fruitful collaboration.