The German American Conference at Harvard University is going virtual! This year, due to COVID-19, the conference will be hosted online as the Virtual German American Event Series from September through November 2020. For over ten years, the German American Conference has been one of the largest student-led conferences in North America and has provided a platform for Transatlantic dialogue and connection between decision makers and next-generation leaders. Throughout our virtual events, we will explore the neustart [overhaul, re-start] that the world is facing today, ranging from the recovery efforts during the current pandemic to systemic racism in the US and Germany, the US presidential elections, the Transatlantic security partnership, and much more.

All events of the 2020 virtual series are free of charge and registration is open to everyone.

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Past GAC2020 Events

Dec. 4, 2020
A fresh start for migration: European and American perspectives on migration policy
Join us in discussing what a fresh start in migration policy could look like with Eric Schwartz (Refugees International) and Christiane Kraus (German Government), moderated by Jacqueline Bhabha (Harvard University).

Dec. 2, 2020
Frenemy – Can AI replace your professor?
This event takes a deep dive into the challenges and opportunities AI imposes on the future of education. Each of the panelists represents a different area that is thoroughly shaping the digitization of education: politics, corporations, and higher education.

Nov. 28, 2020
The Covid-19 Vaccine a Warm Welcome or the Cold Shoulder?
With our speakers, we want to explore the potential reception of the COVID-19 vaccine in both the United States and Europe, as well as discuss possible opportunities for transatlantic collaborations in the vaccination effort.

Nov. 23, 2020
The Covid-19 Pandemic as a Chance for an Updated German Foreign Policy
Join this exciting virtual keynote of the German Minister of Health Jens Spahn on crisis leadership during the twenty-first century’s first global health crisis. Do the challenges imposed by Covid-19 set an impulse for changes not only concerning digitization but also for international cooperation? What does the crisis imply for an updated German foreign policy?

Nov. 20, 2020
Lens Through Covid: Pandemic in Pictures
On Friday, November 20th, Ingmar Nolting’s Covid-19 series is presented online at the German American Conference. Beginning with a virtual gallery walk, Nolting’s images will inspire a transatlantic conversation on the aesthetics of this pandemic and the role of art in times of a global crisis.


Nov. 18, 2020
US Elections Coffee Chats
The event will begin with a small introductory question that is going to be answered by all our six speakers in short statements. This will pave the way to broader discussions that will be held in smaller breakout-sessions.


Nov. 17, 2020
Navigating a “World in Danger” Lessons for a New Generation of Transatlantic Security Leaders  
Join us for a conversation on the future of the Transatlantic security partnership. Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger and Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook will uncover insights and recommendations for a new generation of Transatlantacists who enter a world of renewed great power competition.

Nov. 16, 2020
Identity Politics & Academia – A Transatlantic Conversation
A virtual conversation between Prof. Eva Geulen and Prof. Mark Lilla, moderated by Dr. Annie Pfeifer. The speakers will share how their scholarship explores the relationship between identity and politics, and look at both theoretical and practical dimensions of identity politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

Nov. 10, 2020
Making the Future Work: Turning 2020 Challenges into Opportunities
Join this exciting panel discussion bringing together three Future of Work thought leaders from a broad set of backgrounds and with diverse perspectives in what is guaranteed to be an intellectually stimulating debate.

Nov. 5, 2020
Different Ways out of Crisis – Concepts in Labor Market Policy Across the Atlantic
German Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil will give a virtual keynote on policy approaches and concepts in labor market policy used by different countries and on a multilateral level as we all navigate the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis.

Oct. 29, 2020
Building Just and Climate-Ready Economies in the EU and the US
This event will focus on comparing and contrasting the EU and US directions to building just and climate-ready economies. Through workshops and a panel discussion, we aim to take a closer look at the two regions’ directions to achieve both economic growth and large-scale decarbonization.

Oct. 19, 2020
What a GIG: The Role of the GIG Economy for the Future of Work
Tune into a fireside chat & moderated workshop with Sarah Tang, Vice President of Enterprise at leading crowdsourcing marketplace, and explore what the rapid shift towards more freelance-based work (“gig economy”) means for the future of work as a whole.


Let us inspire you to take initiative in solving today’s most pressing challenges. We want to energize you by bringing together extraordinary personalities to share their principles for success with you. Confronted with an ever increasing dynamic and complex environment, German American leadership seeks new avenues of cooperation.


The German American Conference is highly focused on an exchange between two of the world’s arguably most influential nations in order to foster cooperation and leadership. Join our dialogue on the most pressing issues.


Business and Innovation has been at the heart of the German American Conference since its very inception. We explore the latest emerging trends that drive growth and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.

Impressions from Past Conferences

“The German American Conference at Harvard is an outstanding platform to get especially young Germans and US-Americans‎ enthusiastic about the transatlantic friendship between the United States of America and Germany”

Dr. Thomas de Maizière , Federal Minister of the Interior

“The contribution and the impulses achieved by the German American Conference for our bilateral relations, cannot be overestimated”

Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, Federal Minister of Defense

“I really enjoyed the panel discussions with top-level politicians and executives – it is hard to find another conference that is offering so many insiders’ views and open exchanges on topics that define our transatlantic relationship.”

Peter Kloeppel, Chief Anchorman RTL Aktuell