German-Canadian Conference 2024 – Agenda


🕘 02:30 – 03:45 pm

📍 Location: Humboldt Forum, Schloßplatz 1, 10178 Berlin


Guided Tour of Exhibition After Nature

Global environmental changes not only pose a threat to the very basis of our livelihoods; they also have far-reaching repercussions for the political and social structures of societies. The Humboldt Lab’s inaugural exhibition After Nature deals with the interdependencies of climate change and the loss of biodiversity and with worldwide challenges to democratic principles of order.

🕘 6:00 – 8:00 pm

📍 Location: Official Residence of the Embassy of Canada

Note: Please bring your ID/Passport

Opening Reception at the Official Residence of the Embassy of Canada

  • H.E. John Horgan, Ambassador, Embassy of Canada to Germany
  • H.E. Sabine Sparwasser, Ambassador, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Canada



📍Location: Embassy of Canada to Germany, Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin

Note: Please bring your ID/Passport. For security reasons, large pieces of luggage may not be taken into the building and cannot be stored at the Embassy.


🕘 8:30 am – Registration opens


🕘 09:00 – 09:30 am


Welcome Remarks

  • H.E. John Horgan, Ambassador, Embassy of Canada to Germany
  • Sigmar Gabriel, Chairman, Atlantik-Brücke
  • Prof. Nik Nanos, Chairman, Atlantik-Brücke Canada


🕘 09:30 – 10:30 am

Competing for Investments and Talent: Industry Challenges in Canada and Germany

While renowned for their innovation and industrial prowess, Canada and Germany find themselves vying with other nations for investments and skilled labor as the global economy evolves. To remain globally competitive and improve their appeal as industry hubs, strategies to streamline regulation, bolster infrastructure, and for workforce development are to be developed. As are efforts to foster innovation ecosystems and advance investments in emerging industries. We want to analyze the distinct challenges facing Canada and Germany and identify fields for successful collaboration and measures to overcome barriers to economic growth.

  • Marc-André Blanchard, Executive Vice-President, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
  • Dr. Nathalie Martin-Hübner, Vice President Governmental Affairs, Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther, Director, German Economic Institute; Vice-Chairman, Atlantik-Brücke
  • Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Moderator: Yvonne Denz, President and CEO, Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce



☕ COFFEE BREAK (15min)☕


🕘 10:45 – 11:00 am

The Anticipant Organization: Navigating the Digital Future

AI models like ChatGPT are driving civilization’s transformation from analog to digital. Achievements in time, speed and scale are changing the way we live. Information is relayed in nanoseconds. New product and service development has never been faster. Key decisions once made by humans are now the domain of intelligent machines. These shifts impact the marketplace as much as they impact the battlefield. This session aims to explore how to anticipate crises, how organizations can thrive in a world of constant disruption – and how to manage the machines being put into positions of decision making.

  • Major General (ret) David Fraser, Director, OpenText Corporation; Former Commander, NATO Afghanistan South
  • Tom Jenkins, Chair, Open Text Corporation

🕘 11:00 – 12:15 pm

Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference in a Globalized Digital World

This year’s World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report identified artificial intelligence- driven misinformation and disinformation as the biggest short-term threat, posing risks to the political and economic stability of democracies, especially as key elections approach. With Canada’s most recent public inquiry into election meddling by nation-state actors such as India, China, and Russia, alongside the upcoming European Parliament elections, policymakers are focusing on strategies to counter foreign interference and to safeguard elections. This session explores the intersection of technology, democracy, and security to illuminate real-world implications and offer perspectives on navigating the challenges of foreign information manipulation and interference in a globalized digital world.


  • Dr. Jean-Christophe Boucher, Associate Professor, University of Calgary
  • Dr. Ian Brodie, Professor, University of Calgary
  • Wolfgang Büchner, Deputy Spokesperson, Federal Government; Deputy Head, Press and Information Office
  • Hanna Katharina Müller, Head of Division Political Systems, Hybrid Threats, Disinformation, Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • Moderator: Heather Thompson, Programme Manager Digital Democracy, Democracy Reporting International



☕ LUNCH BREAK (45min)☕



🕘 01:00 – 02:15 pm

Adapting to New Realities: The Future of Canada-Germany Security Cooperation

More than two years into Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the global security landscape has grown even more complex with the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war and tensions expanding beyond the Gaza Strip. To increase NATO presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, Germany announced plans for a permanent brigade in Lithuania, urging Canada to match this effort in Latvia. Burden sharing and enhancing Canada- Germany defense ties will become crucial to navigating geopolitical uncertainties, not least in light of the upcoming U.S. election and Trump’s indication to reduce assistance to Ukraine. We want to discuss how to bolster Euro-Atlantic security cooperation moving towards proactive strategic planning and a successful adaptation to new geopolitical realities.

  • Tjorven Bellmann, Political Director, Federal Foreign Office
  • Deborah Düring, MP (Alliance 90/ The Greens), Deutscher Bundestag
  • David Morrison, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Global Affairs Canada
  • Moderator: Denise Feldner, Founder and CEO, Bridgehead Advisors



☕ COFFEE BREAK (15min)☕



🕘 02:30 – 03:15 pm

Sustainability of Global Food Systems: Consequences for Germany and Canada

In this session, we will explore the vulnerability of global food systems and explore potential options for agri-food transition in Western countries. Since the 1950’s, agrifood systems throughout the world have used science and technology to improve efficiency and consequently produce increasingly affordable food. Free trade and regional specialization of production have encouraged “industrial” (i.e. large-scale, specialized, and resource intensive) agriculture, at the expense of local producers and most certainly, of planetary health. Food security was a pre-condition for the development of social programs. It is now also used as a weapon among others in international conflicts and an instrument of geopolitical influence.

  • Dr. Gerd Fleischer, Head, Competence Center Rural Development and Food Security, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Sebastian Graf von Keyserlingk, Head, Directorate International Cooperation, Global Food Policy, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
  • Dr. Guillaume Lhermie, Director, Simpson Centre for Food and Agricultural Policy, University of Calgary

🕘 03:15 – 04:15 pm

The Politics of Net Zero: Achieving Ambitious Climate Cooperation in Canada and Germany

Despite shared commitments to achieving net-zero emissions, Canada and Germany face formidable obstacles in navigating political landscapes rife with skepticism and resistance to climate change policies. By analyzing the complexity of balancing competing interests and by dissecting the political and economic dynamics at play in both countries, we want to explore potential pathways for fostering collaboration between governments, industry, and civil society. How can Canada and Germany successfully overcome political hurdles and drive meaningful climate action to advance towards a sustainable, net-zero future?

  • Maira Kusch, Head of Office, World Energy Council Germany
  • Catherine McKenna, Chair, UN High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities
  • Jennifer Lee Morgan, State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action, Federal Foreign Office
  • Moderator: Grant Sprague, Counsel, Blue Rock Law

🕘 04:15 – 04:30 pm

Closing Remarks

  • Julia Friedlander, CEO, Atlantik-Brücke
  • Prof. Nik Nanos, Chairman, Atlantik-Brücke Canada






🕘 06:30 – 09:00 pm

📍 Location: Internationaler Club, Kurstraße 36, 10117 Berlin

Note: Please bring your ID/Passport

Closing Reception

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther, Director, German Economic Institute; Vice-Chairman, Atlantik-Brücke
  • Prof. Nik Nanos, Chairman, Atlantik-Brücke Canada


🕘 10:00 – 12:45 pm

📍 Location: Müllerstraße 178, 13353 Berlin

Site Visit and Exchange at Bayer AG

The global headquarter of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division, located in the heart of the capital is one of the Group’s most important research and production sites and with around 5,000 employees one of the largest private employers in the city. Participants will get insights into production processes and visit the 3D Molecule-Cinema. The visit will be concluded by a joint lunch and exchange.

Contact: Laura Korndoerfer,  l.korndoerfer(at)


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