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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Thirteenth Week of Fall Semester

I’m writing this week’s blog from Berlin, Germany. I was invited by the director of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Council on Germany (ACG) to take part in the Aspen Institute Germany Dialogue in Germany. The Aspen Institute Germany brought together representatives of the American and German civil society to exchange ideas on the challenges and opportunities of the transatlantic community of values. This year's topics focus on:

  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Start-Ups
  • Vocational Training
  • Migration and Integration
  • Climate Change
  • Civic Education and Media

Aspen Institute invited practitioners in these focus areas, representing five different regions in the U.S. who participated in the fall dialogue, November 13-19. For more information, please see: http://www.aspeninstitute.de/policy-program-dialog/?lang=en

Background Information about The Aspen German-American Dialogue
Since 2015 the Aspen Institute Germany hosts annual one-week dialogue programs in Germany focused on the challenges and opportunities of the transatlantic community of values. The program aims to strengthen mutual understanding and to provide a platform to find common answers to pressing problems of the 21st century. In order to reduce concerns or worries and dismantle fears drawing on the German-American friendship, the “Aspen German-American Dialogue – Learning from Each Other” sets an impulse to a better mutual understanding at civil society level. The program will also send a visible signal for the importance of the German-American friendship for the United States and Germany today and in the future.

As the U.S. participant in this delegation, I met with my counterpart in Berlin as well as in one out of five German districts.

Program Objectives
Civil society representatives are encouraged to discuss current transatlantic challenges and varying transatlantic perspectives with their German counterparts. Throughout the program every participant will discuss important issues with high-ranking officials as well as with subject matter experts. Furthermore, selected civil society representatives have the opportunity to discuss the issues on a municipal level while visiting the constituencies of five Bundestag Members. Overall, participants will benefit from a variety of perspectives and new points of view that in return strengthen mutual understanding and enable learning from each other.

I also currently serve on local, regional, and national boards that promote and advocate for access, affordability of higher education, fundraising, and philanthropy. These involvements will help inform the Aspen Institute German-American Dialogue.

As a participant of Aspen Institute German-American Dialogue, I can also actively contribute and learn from the exchanges of ideas/sharing of experiences amongst the participants and gain from their expertise and promising practices.

In closing, I hope everyone is doing well at the College and in our surrounding communities. I offer my humble gratitude to our passionate faculty and dedicated staff who facilitate opportunities for success for our students. Thank you all for your efforts and contributions to Saint Paul College.

Best,
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
President/CEO
Saint Paul College

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