Deutsche Welle: Resounding response to the 2012 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum

    “Enabling everyone to claim the right to education is one of the great challenges of globalization and it’s up to the media to help people do that.” Those were DW Director General Erik Bettermann’s words at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Global Media Forum. He invited broadcasters everywhere to join Deutsche Welle in championing the global topic of education through project partnerships and co-productions.

    More than 2,000 participants (up from 1,600 in 2011) from over 100 nations attended the three-day gathering to discuss “Culture. Education. Media – Shaping a Sustainable World.” Around 500 media professionals (up from 385 in 2011), including many journalists and bloggers, met with policymakers, businesspeople, academics and representatives of civil society organizations to share their experiences and ideas. Their discussions were complemented by lively online input and feedback. The conference hashtag, #dwgmf, became one of the top Twitter trends in Germany.

    On the second day of the conference, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle spoke about education as a resource, saying, “The competition between educational systems will determine the leading societies and nations of the future”. Following his address Westerwelle engaged in a stimulating Q&A session with members of the audience.

    Renowned experts from around the world contributed to the multi-faceted exchanges in more than 50 workshops and panel discussions. Among them were Franz-Josef Radermacher, member of the Club of Rome; German philosopher and Yale University professor, Thomas Pogge; South African civil rights activist Denis Goldberg; Russian political adviser and media entrepreneur Mikhail Shvydkoy and the former President of Indonesia, Jusuf Habibie.

    Conference participants also voted for the three top winners of a photo competition called “KLICK! Your View of Culture and Education”. More than 10,000 Internet users from around the world voted for their ten favorite photo entries in the run-up to the congress. Of the ten finalists, Mamadou Gomis of Senegal took first place with a photograph called “Need to Know”. Second place went to “Child Teacher” by Ehtisham Ahmad Farooqi from Pakistan, and third place went to Jake Reeder from the United States for his photograph entitled “DPDHL TeachForAll. India School in Mumbai.” The photos from the contest can be viewed at

    Wrapping up on Wednesday, DW General Director Erik Bettermann announced the theme of next year’s Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum: “The Future of Growth – New Economies and the Media”. The conference will take place from June 17th to 19th and will coincide with Deutsche Welle’s 60th anniversary.