Social Divisions and Questions of Identity in Germany and the United States - a personal journey

In the years 2022 and 2023 I was part of the program "Social Divisions and Questions of Identity in Germany and the United States" with the American German Institutes AGI. I have published broadly on LinkedIn and Instagram about it, here a short summary and linklist.


A storymap of our research visits to Glendale, Arizona, and Memmingen, Bavaria, can be found here:



My Podcast with AGI on the visit to Memmingen here. 


And my latest post on LinkedIN in the following:

Thank you American-German Institute Susanne Dieper Elizabeth Boswell Rega Jack Fornasiero for the opportunity to learn, reflect and develop further on the issues of „social divisions and questions of identity“ and others, driving our countries, cities, societies, people and cities. We invested a lot of energy and time into the project, and I can only recommend to read, watch and listen into our outcomes.

This was also a journey of personal encounters and development. My thanks and heart also go out to all the people who we met in Stadt Memmingen Jan Rothenbacher and #glendale.

And to our group. You have taught me a lot, challenged me at times to think further, shared your life experiences and made me think in new perspectives. And I am looking forward to meet again in the future. Itzel N. Hernandez Diana Carolina Sosa Virginia Sun Shiba, Maja Bogojević Angela, Alexandra Hoenscheid Carolynn Welch ,Friedrich Wolfgang Opitz Kevin, Monica van der Haagen-Wulff Rohat Akcakaya , Sonya Ouertani , Tülay Ates-Brunner , Melanie Mello

And I am also very thankful that this journey of nearly a year and two times visiting the US also gave me time and space to reconnect with my colleagues Jonathan Lange and Cynthia Marshall and the people engaged in #communityorganizing in the US. Thank you to Andreas Richter Leo J. Penta Tobias Meier to support my idea of participating at this Programm. Organizing is for me at the heart of the connection between our countries and people. Thank you Murat Künar for giving me so many insights In Annapolis what you learned during the exchange there.
I am looking forward to deepen our partnership. DICO Gesellschaft für Community Organizing gGmbH

The basis of all of this goes back to my time working with Koerber Stiftung and German Marshall Fund of the United States many years ago, learning about and driving #transatlanticrelations mainly of #civilsociety. Thank you Jackson Janes to let me know about the program. And to all colleagues I could reconnect or get to know along the journey Paul Costello Tarsi Dunlop Stephen Bosacker Helga Flores Trejo Hannah Winnick Max David Bouchet

One of the outcomes will be my continuing work on the international engagement of cities and civil society. So look forward to hear more #TalksonUrbanDiplomacy at www.Kosmopolis.org and thank you to Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook and André Sobczak to start it off.

At the end, this would not have been possible without my colleagues Julia Pfinder Lena Stolze supporting me. And my family and friends being basis of my believe system Chris Merzatta Astrid Ziebarth

So to wrap up: this was not only a program or a study tour. In times of shrinking budgets, worldwide conflicts and namely climate change the efforts and outcomes of such huge travel and time investments request us all to really think and act in the most sustainable way. I hope I have reached up to it.

And now:

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