Third Round of Exchanges 2023
Aspen Institute Germany hosted two 5-day in-person meetings between U.S. and German state legislators as part of its annual “Laboratories of Democracy” program. The first of the delegation trips took place from May 9-13, 2023, in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the second trip took place from June 20-24, 2023, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
In addition to questions of state leadership, subnational diplomacy, and transatlantic cooperation, the third round of exchanges focused in particular on the core issue of structural transformation and the revitalization of post-industrial areas. The transformation and decline of entire industries is a shared challenge across the Atlantic, caused by geopolitical and geo-economic developments, digitalization, and the increasing importance of decarbonization. Jobs will be lost, and new jobs will be created, requiring new skills and training. The transformation will also threaten social foundations and the prosperity of rural areas, where unemployment leads to an exodus of skilled workers and young people as well as a decline of infrastructure. To address these issues, the project provided a platform for an exchange of innovative ideas and best practices that are necessary to develop long-term strategies and sustainable growth paths to positively shape the structural transformation and mitigate its negative effects.
While in Dusseldorf and in Harrisburg, participants had the opportunity to interact with colleagues and other experts from across the Atlantic while building new transatlantic networks. The program provided a forum for state legislators to engage in dialogue about policies and practices in each other’s countries, learn from innovative ideas and solutions through site visits, and explore further opportunities for transatlantic collaboration.
The interviews with the participants of the 2023 exchange are available on YouTube.
The Aspen Institute Germany thanks all speakers and participants of the third cohort of the Laboratories of Democracy Initiative: Representative Jeramey Anderson (D), Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives; Senator Dave Argall (R), Member of the Pennsylvania State Senate; Franziska Baum (FDP), Member of the State Parliament of Thuringia; Wibke Brems (Alliance 90/Die Grünen), Chair of the Green Party in the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ricarda Budke (Alliance 90/Die Grünen), Member of the State Parliament of Brandenburg; Senator Hanna M. Gallo (D), President Pro Tempore of the Rhode Island State Senate; Christian Jung (FDP), Member of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg; Representative Ryan E. Mackenzie (R), Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; Senator Kristen O’Shea (R), Member of the Kansas State Senate; Representative Kristiana Ortez (D) Member of the New Mexico House of Representatives; Representative Daniel Pae (R), Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives; Sarah Philipp (SPD), SPD Parliamentary Director in the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia; Romania Plonsker (CDU), Member of the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia; Matthias Redlich (CDU), Member of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt; Sebastian Striegel (Alliance 90/Die Grünen), Member of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt; Representative Mike Yin (D), Minority Floor Leader of the Wyoming House of Representatives.
The project was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany, funded by the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).