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Social change

Another major theme – in particular with regard to German-Turkish relations – are social challenges such as demographics, the integration of various cultures (diversity, migration) and the exchange of knowledge ("brain circulation"). Such challenges require the application of arts and social sciences and stronger German-Turkish cooperation at all levels.

Demographic change will alter Germany immensely, in terms of its economy, job market, social systems, healthcare, infrastructure development and education system. Even now, a quarter of the entire German population is aged over 60; by 2050, a third will be over 65. At the same time, around 20 percent of the country's population is of foreign descent, a percentage that is even higher among children and young people. Demographic change will also further increase Germany's linguistic, cultural and religious diversity.

What effects do diversity and migration have on society? Where do the opportunities and risks lie, both here and there? How can we tap the potential of the entire people living in a single society? How can we ensure equal opportunities? How can we tackle the lack of specialists? How can we ensure that different cultures thrive together? The very fact that almost 3 million people of Turkish descent currently live in Germany – over half of whom have become German citizens – means that these questions regarding social change are worthy of consideration as part of the joint Year of Science. Lifelong learning, social justice, healthcare and provisions for the elderly are also matters of bilateral and global importance.

Finally, the joint Year of Science is not just about instigating technological innovations; it is also about developing ideas for "social" innovations. Both education and a candid approach are required when it comes to social challenges if we are to devise solutions, e.g. through timely detection, suitable prevention and careful handling of all resources.

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Saying of the Day

„The best thing we found in the past was hope.”

Johann Paul Friedrich Richter