Young Founders Conference 2016

For the third time, the Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding hosted the Young Founders Conference. From September 15th to 18th 2016, the foundation welcomed 25 young talents from all around the world in Berlin. The three-day long conference provides a platform for cross-national exchange, creating links between continents and establishing international networks. Aside from personal contact, the programme focuses on workshops, training sessions and discussion panels. For the first time, the Westerwelle Foundation connected the participants with experienced mentors. In personal meetings they had the chance to get to know each other, the mentors gave first practical suggestions and, in the longer term, will be on hand to give help and advice for the young aspiring talents.

The participants of this year’s conference come from 15 different countries, such as Canada, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uganda, the USA and Zimbabwe. For the first time this year, three of the Young Founders are from Myanmar. As diverse as the countries of origin are the different sectors of business the participants represent. They work in the tourist industry, in film production, consulting or the start-up sector; they develop mobile applications and teaching-platforms.

The wide-ranging programme of the Conference gave insight in the fields of entrepreneurship, journalism and politics. The Young Founders visited The DO School and the Microsoft Accelerator in Berlin. One of the highlights of the Conference was the discussion with the German Foreign Minister, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who drew an exclusive picture of the current daily political affairs of the German Federal Foreign Office and answered the curious questions of the Young Founders.
Further speakers were, amongst others: Matthias Treutwein, founder of enpact e.V., and Gregor Blach, founder of WE DO Communications. In a workshop the participants received input about leadership skills and communication strategies, as well as the opportunity to discuss self-chosen subjects such as financing strategies or advantages and disadvantages of the usage of social networks. Another highlight of the conference was the visit of BILD newspaper, where editor in chief Tanit Koch gave the Young Founders insights into the work of the newspaper.

The Young Founders Conference 2016 was officially opened by Michael Mronz, the new Chairman of the Board with a reception for invited guests. He welcomed as a speaker Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG. Numerous guests from business, politics, society and the diplomatic corps attended the reception.

Further information:
Get to know our Young Founders 2016.

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