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My Meeting With Janet Yellen

It’s not easy to get to a meeting with Janet Yellen in Washington. First you have to get past a number of hurdles as she he is heavily guarded by men with thick arms, thicker body armor and even thicker machine guns. Then you’ve made it into the polished corridors of the Fed’s headquarters, but if you’re a visitor, you’ll never be alone because there is always someone to accompany you every step of the way. And then she is in front of me. She flashes a friendly smile and says: “Hi, I’m Janet Yellen.” It brings me back to reality in milliseconds. Huffington Post

Is Germany’s Foreign Policy in Need of an Extreme Makeover?

The famous “German question” has been, in various guises, a recurring theme throughout European history since the mid-15th century. But today it seems to have faded. Instead, the question now seems to be the increasing international expectations on Germany and whether it can or will rise to meet those expectations? Germany’s role in the world and the public perception of its foreign policy seems to have changed quite considerably during and in the wake of the eurozone crisis. The country’s post-war foreign policy — a modest and quiet approach on the world stage — suited the early post-war mood perfectly. But does that still work in the 21st century? Do the tools, means and resources still fit the bill? Huffington Post

Resource Efficiency — The Underestimated Topic of the G7 Summit

A wonderful Bavarian castle provides the photo backdrop for the G7 Summit. Of course, the classical issues of economy and foreign policy will take center stage, for example the Ukraine crisis and Greece. However, there are other subjects on the agenda as well. One of these “also ran”-topics is resource efficiency. Huffington Post

An Evening With Sonia Sotomayor

Turquoise dress, black knee-length cardigan, dark curls stretching to her chin. Her friendly face — with perfectly plucked eyebrows and subtle make-up — is accentuated by silver earrings. She almost seems demure. Her facial expression is professional and friendly. She greets me with a surprisingly deep voice and a sweeping hand gesture. But there is more to her: Sonia Sotomayor resonates a strength, a kind of grandeur that emanates with a warmth difficult to define. Huffington Post

I Stood Up Against Anti-Semitism in Berlin

A large demonstration against anti-Semitism was held here in Berlin. The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, called for action, and a broad coalition from state and society responded, gathering at the Brandenburg Gate: in addition to Chancellor Angela Merkel, representatives of major church organizations also spoke, including Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Evangelical Church in Germany Chair Nikolaus Schneider, World Jewish Council President Ronald S. Lauder as well as German President Joachim Gauck, First Lady Daniela Schadt, and the mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. I was asked to moderate this event. Huffington Post

At Lunch with Aung San Suu Kyi

There are political figures everyone adores like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Bishop Tutu or the Dalai Lama. Most people might not know exactly what happened back then, but somehow pretty much everyone is pretty sure that they must have been on the right side of history. And without a doubt Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader of the East Asian country of Myanmar, is one of them. Huffington Post

Prophet of Respect: Why Malcolm X Still Matters 50 Years After His Assassination

“Peace be with you,” were his finals words as he spoke to a large audience exactly 50 years ago. Then, all of a sudden, several men jumped up from the crowd in Harlem, pulled out their guns and shot him to death. The assassins aim was to silence the man, his words, his oratory and his influence. The succeeded in killing the man but failed to silence him. Malcolm X is arguably more popular today than he was 50 years ago — worldwide! Huffington Post

Growth Engine Smart Manufacturing Sparks Public Debate in Germany

It felt like an attention grabbing aside in the long speech given by German Chancellor Merkel to the top managers of numerous corporations at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. It was an unambiguous warning of urgency to Europe’s economic elite:   We have to tackle the fusion… Huffington Post

Less Us vs. Them!

We are slowly recovering from the shock triggered by the Paris attacks.. In many places, political reflexes are taking hold. People are attempting to make sense of the inconceivable, to incorporate it into their own political agenda. That’s politics. Unfortunately! But what can we learn from this situation? How can we come to terms with it? Were mistakes made? Are we lacking laws? How do we move forwards? Huffington Post

The Future of Music Making?

Since the dawn of mankind there has been music. Sounds were celebrated during gatherings for their ability to set a specific mood. Drums were most likely the first instruments. Somewhere down the line, strings were plucked and strummed. But since the discovery of sound recording, and especially since its digitalization, concerts have become increasingly more monotonous: it is increasingly rare that musicians can get on the stage and deliver what the legend, or the recording, promises. Many professional performers insist that musicality and digitalization are in direct contradiction. A new discovery might change that. Huffington Post

Celebrity Politicians Offer Development Aid for the Ukraine

When the Iron Curtain fell, Poland and the Ukraine were in the same boat. The Polish set to work, adopted reforms and became the poster child for success in the former Eastern bloc. The Ukraine continued to stumble. The powerful became rich and quarreled heavily amongst each other. The situation… Huffington Post 

Germany’s Coolest Politician

“Hey, let me give you a hand with that there,” says Germany’s Deputy Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries with a smile to a German TV camera crew struggling to get the lighting right in a tricky environment in a Berlin subway station. The veteran German politician, one of the most experienced stalwarts in the current grand coalition government, demonstrates her likable down-to-earth style in the Berlin underground by offering to help the camera crew get their settings right in the dramatically changed conditions. Huffington Post

The Most Body-Licious Place in the World

There is probably no place on Earth where staying fit as a fiddle is as essential a part of life as it is in California. The sun is always shining and people aren’t bundled up beneath layers of clothing as they are elsewhere so there’s a lot of skin exposed. The Mecca for fitness enthusiasts would appear to be Venice Beach, or to be more precise a little patch of the southern California town called Muscle Beach on the southwest outskirts of Los Angeles, right on the Pacific Ocean. Huffington Post