Katharina Brunner

Bloggin' since 2007

GES 2011: Concluding Remarks

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

Between the coast, the main train station and a run-down parking garage, the GES 2011 was a great event. Here are some concluding remarks:

A recurring claim: New mechanisms

One statement that appeared in all panels was that old mechanisms for governments interacting with each other on a global level don’t work anymore. They were designed in an other time after the Second World War: The Bretton-Woods-System and its executive institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank took care about the financial systems and the economic development of what used to be called Third World Countries.

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India in the 21st century: An interview with Arun Maira

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

  • Arun Maira is an elegant man with grey hair, strong tractions and a smile that makes him look like a boy. He seems pretty vital for a 67 old man. Living in Dehli, India,  he serves there as a member of the economic planning commission. He had studied physics before working for Tata Group for 25-years. Later he was with the Boston Consulting Group. He publishes articles and books.
  • The Planning Commission of India is a governmental institution, that gives directions for economic development in five-year plans. Until 1990s the policies were rather restrictive, following socialist ideas. Since then, economic policy has changed and the economy opened up. The latest,eleventh five-year plan is for 2007 to 2012.
  • In an interview in the wine cellar of the hotel Atlantic Arun Maira talks about India’s economic situation, the need of participation in a democracy and an a better system in the “new normal”.
India’s economy was liberalized in the early 1990s. Why is there still a planning commission?

Arun Maira: Because there was one. When things change it takes a while. Two years ago, when the new government came, they asked the question you are asking. And the answer was: No, we should not have a Plannig Commission. The challenges in India are a lot of change for the country. For doing the right thing you need to have a kind of radar. The planning commission need cannot say the people what to do or not to do like 50 years ago, but you can give them very good insight and information. This required to be fulfilled by somebody and the best organization available is the Planning Commission. (mehr …)

How to Govern the World

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

“Norms for a Global Governance” was probably the most enlighting (and last) panel I took part. How should governments interact with each other on a global level? Which values should prevail and influence actions? The talk was on the one hand philosophical, using by using Locke, Hobbs, and Bentham for argumentations, but also practical by specific proposals and recommondations for politics. With participants from Asia, the United States and from a Eurozone country, two of them living on two continents and with their jobs ranging from government, private sector to NGOs, there was a good mixture of views on the world.

The talk was in the nicest room with two walls being windows to the coast. The five persons on the stage jumped from one topic to the other, led by an entertaining moderator. Nobody talked to long, but long enough to make their points. The people in the audience were in a good mood and asked good questions (Or were even dragged into the debate by the moderator – at least the one person, who was probably the most powerful at that moment in the room).

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Migration in a Globalized World

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

Globalization is also the globalization of labor and therefore migration is becoming an intrinsive part. “This is an issue, everybody knows something about.”

Migration, as a panelist said, has definitly a negative connotation, which he wants to see eliminated by showing evidence in favor of migration. Since 2000 the remittances, the money migrants send back in their home countries, grew faster than the world GDP. It should be made clear, that migration has benefits for both, the donor and recipient countries.

Data shows that Europe attracts in particular unskilled migrants, whereas in the United States or Canada the migrant labor force is much more educated. This can either be called a misallocation or just a statistical trick. Illegal immigrants from the Americas are not measured in the US and therefore do not appear in official data. (mehr …)

“Hardcore Macro Session”: Balancing the Imbalances

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

The recession after the financial crisis is officially over and the economies are recovering, but there remains the danger of a double-dip recession. In order to build a more sustainable economy in the future, one issue to tackle are global imbalances. In a “hardcore macro session” a panel discussed about “Avoiding Currency Wars and Ensuring Balanced Global Recovery”.

The panel agreed upon the basic problems: Huge imbalances make the world economy even more fragile, excessive reserve accumulation worsens the problem and currency wars are counterproductive. And of course, there has to be a fiscal consolidation of the United States and European countries in the medium and long term. (mehr …)

Governments vs. Internet: The Power Struggle of the 21st Century?

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

Wolfgang Kleinwächter is  Professor for International Communication Policy and Regulation at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. With Economic Insights he talks about the rise of the internet and how it provokes a clash of cultures, power sharing and a tough challenge for the 21st century.

I am using Facbook daily, check my E-Mail and if I want to know something I look it up on Google. So for me everything seems pretty fine. Why do we need a internet governance?

Wolfgang Kleinwächter: There are at least two issues that have to be seen in this context. Number one is that you have an underlying infrastructure, which has to work. This is a layered system and on each layer you have a mechanism in place, which guarantees stability and security. This means: If you are using Facebook you are doing it on a basis of a domain name and your computer has an IP-address. This domain names and IP addresses have been labeled as critical internet ressources. And ressources need a certain kind of management, for example every domain name is unique. The other part is that a lot of this applications have implications, which can be treated as public policy issues. Very known issues are freedom of speech, privacy, intellectual property or crime. All these appear on the internet, too. This leads to the question: How can this be managed in the global world? The difficulty is: The internet is borderless, but our world is organized in nation states. (mehr …)

Global Internet Governance: Who Controls the Internet?

Folgender Beitrag entstand während des Global Economic Symposiums, das am 4. und 5. Oktober 2011 in Kiel stattfand. Alle Artikel sind auf zu finden.

The Internet affects the lives of everyone of us. So the question arisis if there is a global internet governance is neccessary. One of the very first panels on wedneyday was called “Internet Governance Structures” – a “pretty esoteric topic” as one of the persons on the stage named it.

The development of the internet is pretty different to those of other forms of communication like the telephone. In the latter case politicans took up the topic and made laws concerning communication via phones. In contrast to this there are no laws in internet development. Moreover the nature of the internet is a decentralized, whereas politics are centralized authorities. Therefore a “world government of the internet” cannot be the answer.

Political Interest Conflicts

There emerges a clash of cultures: Should a global governance be implemented bottom up by a self-organizing community or should it be a top down policy. Usually there is a separation between policy and people. This does not work anymore for the internet, where users are involved in the policy-making process.

Of course, a global governance means to include all countries. But how to find an agreement if the party’s interests are very different. The best example for this is the cencorship and the “Great Firewall” in China, that shows that in politically unfree countries, technology can be used for controlling its own population: “This is an inherent problem.”

Freedom or Differentiation?

Freedom in the internet leads sooner or later to the hot topic net neutrality, which means that internet providers or governments are not able to restrict the access for consumers. In other words: “We have to make sure that there is a single internet. No matter if I log on in Hamburg, Hongkong or New Zealand, I should be able to access the same internet.” Even the godfather of the web, Sir Tim Bernerns-Lee, was cited, who said that “the best practices should include a neutrality on the web”.

The latest innovations seem to speak for freedom in general and net neutrality specifically. “Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page didn’t ask for permission to develop Facebook and Google.” This working process can be summarized in the saying “innovation without permission”. In that sense openness and freedom of the internet are crucial factors and the driving forces for new ideas. “This is extremely important from user perspective.” (But this view was called “overglorfied” in the panel).

Nevertheless the concept of net neutrality is not a value everybody shares. ”Currently the net is not as neutral as many people think.” No net neutrality means in reverse differentiation. It was argued that such a differentiation doesn’t have to be neccessarily a contradiction to the users’ welfare: If there are different types of services (= the supply widens) the consumers can be better of. For example there would be a higher price for higher bandwidth, whereas the price is lower for a slower connection. Another possibility are to restrict the speed or the download volume, since only relativly few people are responsible for much of the traffic. But the fear arised: What happens if users have to pay (more) to get access to certain parts of the net?

New Business Models

The internet didn’t only revolutionize communication for consumers. Also, it changed the business modells for communication companies fundamentally. In the past it based on the provision of availability of the core infrastructure, like the telephone network. Today the firms make profit by their applications and services. The problem seems that investments in infrastructure could be missing. “An open and free internet will not work when infrastructure is not implemented.” Since nearly two billion people worldwide are online and mobile broad band connection is increasing there are investmens in infrastructure needed in order to keep the environment open: “Good infrastruce is the starting point.”

Sooner or later every discussion about internet policies tackles the ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. An accusation to this US-based institution is that the US has too much influence, despite reforms in the last years: “The US would have the power to influence.”

Many Discussions Lie Ahead

Despite the GES is supposed to be a solution forum, practical solutions for a global internet governance seem to be far away. Too many questions remain unanswered: Which values are important? How to weigh freedom vs. business interests? How to build the bridge from free to unfree countries? One of the discussion participants said: “There needs to be significant further debate about the priorities”. Or like Bill Clinton said: “Internet governance is stumbling forward.”

I guess there will be a couple more Global Economic Symposiums needed until to find a solution, but one thing seems clear: Because the internet is so innovative, the governance answers have to be, too.

Participants in the panel:

Johannes M. Bauer, Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University

Peter Dengate Thrush, Executive Chairman of Top, Level Domain Holdings

Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Professor for International, Communication Policy and Regulation, University of Aarhus

Lorenzo Maria Pupillo, Executive Director, Public Affairs Unit of Telecom Italia


Bryan Glick, Editor in Chief,

Strukturierte Prokrastination: Die Theorie und ihre Anwendung

Der folgende Artikel entsteht aus akuter Prokrastination.

Prokrastination ist auch so eine Modeerscheinung, inzwischen schon ein wenig länger im Geschäft und wird langsam von Burn-out verdrängt. Prokrastination ihrerseits verwies zum Beispiel die Generation Praktikum in den Hintergrund. Texte und Videos dazu sind ein wunderbares Mittel um dieser Tätigkeit zu fröhnen. Ein besonders kluger Text dazu ist von dem amerikanischen Philosophie-Professor John Perry. “Structured Procrastination” heißt der Text, auf den mich der Lautschrift Franz (so ist er in meinem Kopf gespeichert) in den Kommentaren zu einem Video über P. hinwies.

Dort erklärt er, was er mit dem strukturierten Aufschieben meint, und dass nicht ganz so unlogisch ist, wie es klingt:

“The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it. Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.”

Die Harvard University hat Professor Perry deshalb mit dem lg Nobelpreis ausgezeichnet. Was es mit diesem “lg” auf sich hat, hab ich zwar noch immer nicht verstanden, aber der Preis ist eine Parodie auf das Original und will in erster Linie zum Lachen bringen. Die Liste in 7 verschiedenen Kategorien (10) seit 10 Jahren ist inzwischen schon ganz schön lang. Der Preis ist so Hipster, dass die Seite in uncoolem 1999 HTML-Design ist, das sagen will: “Uns gabs schon, da kanntet ihr noch nicht mal die AOL-CDs.” (Hipster-Bashing ist ja noch immer amüsant, auch wenns langsam abflaut.)

Also. Perry bringts auf den Punkt: Prokrastination heißt pnicht untätig sein (Wollte sowas wie ne Alliteration bilden, aber mir ist nichts eingefallen).

Denn schließlich habe ich, seitdem ich angefangen habe diesen Beitrag zu schreiben ein Video von Robert Misik angefangen, Konversation über verschiedene Kanäle geführt, mir Artikel, die ich morgen im Zug nach Kiel lesen will, gespeichert und/oder runtergeladen, Fotos von einer Geburtstagsfeier angesehen, gearbeitet und hie und da eine Minute sinnlos rumgeklickt.

Und warum das ganze? Deshalb: Das Global Economic Symposium, eine zweitägige Konferenz in Kiel steht an. Ich werde dort über die Veranstaltungen schreiben und habe drei Interview-Termine mit Männern. Das Zeug wird auf dem niegelnagelneuen Blog namens Economic Insights veröffentlicht. Die von fünf anderen jungen Leuten auch. Wenn ihr auf den Blog geht, werdet ihr auf einen “Ok”-Knopf stoßen, damit die Seite und euer Facebook-Profil vernetzt werden können. Die Datenschutzbehörde von Schleswig-Holstein hat das vor kurzem durchgesetzt.

Und Ich habe meinen Professor aus den Vereinigten Staaten angeschrieben, meine erste Adresse bei Indien. Der hat mich an einen Freund in Neu Dehli verwiesen. Jetzt hab ich Anregungen für das Interview Arun Maira, dem Chef der Planungskommisson für die indische Wirtschaft. In der Zeit zwischen der Unabhängigkeit 1947 und 1991 hat die Behörde die Pläne für die Wirtschaft konstruiert, heute hat sie nur mehr beratenden Charakter, aber sicherlich noch immer Einfluss.

Der Zweite ist Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Professor für irgendetwas mit Internet. Er ist der Kopf einer Bewegung, die eine Magna Carta, also einen Grundrechtskatalog, für das Internet will. Die Gegner sind dabei das ICANN. Die kümmern sich um Domains, sitzen in Kalifornien und damit ein quasi-amerikanisches Unternehmen. Ich hab noch nicht ganz heraus, ob sie privatwirtschaftlich agieren oder dem Staat gehören.

Andrew Burns ist der Dritte im Bunde. Er ist von der Weltbank und ist einer der Chefautoren des “Global Economic Prospect”, einer Untersuchung über die makroökonomischen Entwicklungen und ihre Auswirkungen auf low und middle-income countries.

Die einzelnen Veranstaltungen weiß ich nicht auswendig und nachzuschauen wäre mir gerade zu anstrengend, aber was mit Internet Governance, Makroökonomie und idenitiy und migration. Dazu noch zwei, drei Sachen.

Jetzt also erstmal Wikipedia-Einträge als PDFs speichern und Tagesschau gucken. Danach fällt mir sicherlich noch einiges ein. Packen, mir das Ladegerät für den Akku meiner Camera ausleihen, weil ich meins nicht finden kann, wird wohl zu Hause irgendwo rumliegen, und dann den Jauch.

Ich sollte langsam mal auf Englisch switchen.


Es war am  Sonntag vor meiner letzten Klausur des Semesters, als ich mich aufmachte den Galgenberg in Regensburg zu erklimmen, um alte Klausuren der Ökonometrie für vier Cent pro Seite aus dem Drucker zu lassen. Als ich die kühlen, weil fensterlosen Gänge der Universität Regensburg entlang ging, Stöpsel im Ohr und in Gedanken versunken, arbeitete der Teil des Hirns, der mich meistens davor bewahrt zu stolpern oder gegen Türen zu laufen, zuverlässig und bemerkte auf der rechten Seite beachtenswertes. Ich hielt also einen kaum merklichen Moment inne, dann ging ich drei Schritte rückwärts. Vor dem Raum der Fachschaft Wirtschaft, die ich übrigens noch immer bewundere, dass sie sich die Domain gesichert haben, hing ein Plakat mit der Aufschrift: “Blogger/innen gesucht”. Und zwar für das Global Economic Symposium in Kiel, einer Konferenz, bei der globale Wirtschaftsfragen diskutiert werden sollen. Das Überthema lautet in diesem Jahr “New Forces of Global Governance”, unter das ja ne ganze Menge fallen kann. Die Teilnehmer kommen aus der Geschäftswelt, Politik, Wissenschaft und den Medien. Hört sich alles schon ganz geil an. Wirtschaft und Bloggen, das braucht man mir nicht zweimal zu sagen.

Aus akuten Prokrastinationsgründen und wegen meiner Vorliebe für Reality-TV mit Anteilen von Ekel- und Mutproben bewarb ich mich noch am selben Tag bei der “Challenge”. Die alten Klausuren mussten da noch ein bisschen warten. Heute kam die Zusage. Was ich genau machen soll, weiß ich noch nicht wirklich: Bloggen, ein- oder zweimal am Tag, auf Englisch. Die Veranstaltungen sind laut Wikipedia off-the.record, also nicht für die Öffentlichkeit bestimmt, was komisch ist. Aber dazu soll es bald Infos geben. Soweit kann ich nur sagen: Fett!