Our first Council Forum was a great success:




Various inspiring guests, talks, debates and moments made the first event of our Council a very memorable one.


It all started with an interesting Google HQ tour, organized by one of our Council members, Leá Steinacker (Digital Scout at Wirtschaftswoche), who is also representing the Council as a City Ambassador for Düsseldorf.
Harvard GAC at Google
She lead the exciting panel discussion about digital policy issues with Sandro Gianella (Public Policy and Government Relations Manager) and Washington, D.C. based Ross LaJeunesse (Global Head of International Relations), which offered numerous insights about the companies' activities and challenges in this area.
The program of the Council Forum continued at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.
After all guests appeared in the beautiful library of the Building, the host Jürgen Hardt (MdB and Transatlantic Coordinator) held a warm welcoming speech, followed by words from the management team of the Council. 
Council Board Talk
Hereafter, former Ambassador to the US, John Kornblum, held a keynote on this year’s highly debated US Election and continued by stating his views in a dynamic panel discussion together with Annette Heuser (Managing Director of the Prof. Otto Beisheim Foundation) and the panel host Dr. Gregor Peter Schmitz (Bureau Chief Berlin at WirtschaftsWoche).
Harvard GAC Picture
After the Federal Foreign Office, a group of Council members took part in the "Your Harvard: Germany" alumni event at Deutsches Historisches Museum, where they listened to a speech of Drew Faust, the President of Harvard University. The management team of the Council even had the distinct pleasure to talk to Faust after her speech and to introduce her to the Council and our vision. She thankfully received the brand new brochure as well as our Council pin and took a picture together with the team.
Another speaker that night was the President of the Harvard Alumni Club of Berlin e.V., Dr. Tobias Pusch, who is now also representing the Council as one of our Presidium members.
A fantastic first day of the Council Forum ended with drinks and chats at Bar Tausend, where everyone had the great opportunity to meet old and new Harvard friends as well as GAC friends in a casual setting while dancing the night away. 



The second day of the event took place in a truly vibrant and unique location: The Soho House Berlin.




It started with a panel that featured four young leaders with diverse leadership experience in the public and private sector. With a focus on key security challenges for the transatlantic partnership, Elisa Oezbek (Personal Assistant to the Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Middle East Stability Partnership, Foreign Office), Liana Fix (Fellow at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Dr. Gundbert Scherf (Director of Armaments Strategy, Defence Industrial Policy, and Cyber Security, German Ministry of Defence) and Mirco Günther (Deputy Head of Mission, OSCE Mission in Kazakhstan) offered really exciting views on opportunities for young and emerging professionals to help shape security policies and debates. Like at Google HQ, Léa Steinacker was also hosting this panel in a great way. 






After that, the second general meeting of the Council took place. The group of Council members discussed the current progress, roles, upcoming activities and also elected seven new Presidium members:

Annette Heuser
Dr. Eric Fellhauer
Dr. Rupert Antes
Dr. Tobias Pusch
Dr. Uwe Jean Heuser
Prof. Dr. Sascha Spoun
Prof. Dr. Sven Beckert




The Council Forum found its perfect ending to an intensive and successful time during the subsequent "Intimate Transatlantic Dinner“ at the Soho House.




Speeches of Dr. Johannes Bohnen (Managing Partner of BOHNEN Public Affairs, former Managing Director at Scholz & Friends Berlin) and Dr. Helmuth Ludwig (CIO, Siemens) provided a great atmosphere amongst all guests, especially as Ludwig managed to explain the core digital challenges of our time within 10 minutes in quite entertaining fashion.





During the following flying-dinner everyone had the chance to actively engage in discussions with the speakers and interesting guests, reflect on the inspiring moments of the last days and celebrate the successful start of many more Council events to come.







At this part we would like to thank all guests, our generous sponsors and everyone else who have helped us make this event so memorable.

Thank you!

The Council Team

P.S. A full catalogue of event pictures will be uploaded soon here on our website.