The German Symposium

Initiated in 2002 by German LSE students, the German Symposium has become an important date in the university’s calendar. During the Symposium we examine current issues relevant to Germany and its role in Europe and the world. Featuring a wide variety of events ranging from keynote speeches to discussion panels, we offer the opportunity for political and intellectual debate. Over the years, we have consistently attracted renowned economists, executives, politicians and academics to speak at the Symposium.


London School of Economics
and Political Science


February – March 2021

New Beginnings

The UK’s departure from the European Union and most
recently the global COVID-19 pandemic mark
unprecedented challenges in all areas of public life. The decisions as to how to move forward during and after
these two events will socially and economically impact
Europe for years to come.

Thus, under the guiding motto “New Beginnings”, the LSE
German Symposium 2021 takes the pandemic not only as
an opportunity to critically discuss these drastic changes but most importantly to explore how decision-makers in politics and business can react to crises more effectively in the future and create more resilient systems to deal with radical uncertainty. At the same time, we will raise the question of how challenges such as climate change, sustainability, and digitalisation can be reconciled with measures that address the pandemic and its aftermath.

“New Beginnings” at the 20th German Symposium will
address where we come from and most importantly,
where we are heading.

Scholars of the Symposium

The LSE German Society cordially invites 60 students from German universities to the Symposium. As a “Scholar of the Symposium” you will discuss key issues related to German and international current affairs with renowned speakers.

Panel discussions and workshops with some of the leading experts in their respective fields pose an excellent opportunity for you to engage with the salient issues of our time. As a means of direct exchange between students and speakers, the programme aims to inspire intriguing debates and encourage a flow of ideas.

Find out more.

LSE students can access early bird tickets to our events by becoming a member of the German Society.

Regular tickets to our panel discussions and key-note speeches will become available in January 2021.

LSE German Symposium 2020 - A look back

“Beyond Borders”

From 3rd to 7th February 2020, the 19th LSE German Symposium welcomed over 70 speakers under the motto “Beyond Borders”. The keynotes and panels addressed pressing issues from Europe and Britain post-Brexit to populism, economics and sustainability.

Europe and Britain post-Brexit

Opening at the German Embassy London
Dr Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the UK
Ralph Brinkhaus, Parliamentary Leader of the CDU/CSU in the Bundestag

Germany and Britain in a Global Economy
Dr Karl Brauner, Deputy Director-General World Trade Organization
Prof Dieter Kempf, President of the Federation of German Industries
The Rt Hon Greg Hands, Member of Parliament and former Minister of State for Trade and Investment and Chief Secretary to the Treasury
The Rt Hon Baroness Ros Altmann, Member of the House of Lords and former Minister of State for Pensions and Child Maintenance
Chair: Dr Swati Dhingra, Associate Professor in International Economics

The Future of Anglo-German Relations: beyond Brexit
Rt Hon Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, former BBC governor and chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary
Dr Norbert Röttgen, Chair of the German Foreign Affairs Committee
Chair: Professor Tony Travers, Associate Dean of the LSE School of Public Policy and Professor in Practice, Department of Government, LSE

The Green Wave – Europe’s Changing Political Landscape
Dr Robert Habeck, Leader of the German Green Party
Chair: Prof Sara Hobolt, Sutherland Chair in European Institutions, LSE

Britain and Europe Post 2020
John Allan, President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Chairman of Tesco and Barratt Developments
Chair: Professor Daniel Sturm, Professor of Economics, LSE

The EU without Great Britain
Friedrich Merz, Vice President of the Economic Council of the CDU Chair: Tom Nuttall, Berlin Bureau Chief, The Economist

The Shape of Scotland’s Future
Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs
Chair: Prof Tony Travers, Associate Dean of the LSE School of Public Policy and Professor in Practice, Department of Government, LSE

Economics and Finance

How to Complete the European Monetary Union?
Klaus Regling, Managing Director of European Stability Mechanism
Dr Elga Bartsch, Head of Economic and Markets Research at BlackRock Chair: Prof Ricardo Reis, A. W. Phillips Professor of Economics, LSE

Germany at the Brink of Recession? – Reviving an Economic Powerhouse
Prof Clemens Fuest, President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Prof Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
Chair: Prof Jörn-Steffen Pischke, Head of Economics Department, LSE

Preventing the Next Crisis – Strengthening Financial Stability in Times of Uncertainty
Felix Hufeld, President Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)
Sam Woods, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England
Dr Elke König, Chair of the Single Resolution Board
Chair: Professor Charles Goodhart, Emeritus Professor of Banking and Finance, LSE

The Future of Finance – Challenges in European Banking
Dr Jörg Kukies, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance
Andreas Steck, Senior Partner at Linklaters
Armin von Falkenhayn, Germany CEO of Bank of America
Chair: Jean-Pierre Zigrand, Co-Director of the Systemic Risk Centre, LSE

The New Decade – Shaping the Digital Europe
Dr Ludger Schuknecht, Deputy Director General of the OECD

International Wealth Management
Björn Storim, Co-CEO of Credit Suisse
Robert Grübner, Partner at McKinsey
Chair: Dr Cynthia Balloch, Assistant Professor of Finance, LSE

The Workplace of the New Decade – Achieving and Protecting Diversity
Aminata Touré, Vice-President of the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
Markulf Behrendt, Head of Employment and Benefits, Allen & Overy
Robert Franken, Digital Consultant
Dr Emilia Onyema, Law Professor, SOAS University
Chair: Dr Sunil Kumar, Lecturer in Social Policy and Development, LSE

A Sustainable Future

Providing Energy for a Sustainable life
Dr Rolf Martin Schmitz, CEO of RWE
Chair: Dr Gesche Huebner, UCL Energy Insitute

Climate Activism – The Revolution from Below
Luisa Neubauer, Activist, Fridays for Future

Taking Responsibility – The Business and Politics of Climate Change
Dr Friederike Otto, Environmental Change Intitute University of Oxford
Dr Hubertus Bardt, Managing Director of German Economic Institute
Eva Schulz-Kamm, Head of Global Government Affairs at Siemens

Breaking Barriers – Chances and Obstacles to Invest in a Sustainable Future
Inas Nureldin, CEO of Tomorrow Bank
Lars von Lackum, CEO of LEG Immobilien
Dr Danyal Bayaz, Member of the German Bundestag
Georg Schürmann, Germany CEO of Triodos Bank
Chair: Dr Swenja Surminski, Grantham Research Institute, LSE

Populism and the Rule of Law

The German Unity – Reflections on a Historic Transformation
Dr Franziska Giffey, German Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Chair: Prof Waltraud Schelkle, Professor in Political Economy, LSE

Far-right Populism in Germany – Revealing Tactics
Philipp Amthor, Member of the Bundestag
Chair: Maurice Hirt, President LSE SU German Society

In Europe we trust?
Johannes Laitenberger, European Court of Justice
Klaus-Heiner Lehne, President of the European Court of Auditors
Chair: Professor Iain Begg, Co-Director of the Dahrendorf Forum, LSE

Zwischen Terrorismus und Cybersicherheit – Internationale Zusammenarbeit von Nachrichtendiensten in bewegter Zeit
Dr Bruno Kahl, President of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND)
Chair: Prof Peter Neumann, Professor of Security Studies, King’s College

Human rights on the decline. Do world leaders prioritise economic growth over moral principles?
Prof Angelika Nussberger, Vice President of European Court of Human Rights
Chair: Dr Monika Krause, Co-Director of LSE Human Rights

Einigkeit, Recht und Freiheit? – Ein Blick auf 30 Jahre Wiedervereinigung
Prof Ferdinand Kirchhof, Former Vice President of the German Federal Constitutional Court
Norbert F. Pötzl, Journalist and Historian
Prof Ulrich Herbert, Author and LSE visiting Professor
Chair: Dr. Dina Gusejnova, LSE International History

Sovereignty and the EU – Debunking Myths and Facing Realities
Prof Thomas von Danwitz, Judge at the European Court of Justice
Jon Worth, Political blogger, journalist and editor
Prof Dr Robin van der Hout, Lawyer at Kapellmann
Chair: Dr Johann Robert Basedow, Assistant Professor in International Political Economy, LSE


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The German Symposium takes place at LSE in the heart of London.

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