Saturday, June 09, 2007

Apeldoorn Conference 2007

I was at the Apeldoorn Conference again last weekend. It's an amazingly illustrious gathering which picks a contemporary global issue and then chews it over with opinion formers, journalists, politicians and captains of industry. It was founded by Wim Kok and Tony Blair a few years ago and has the additional goal of strengthening UK/Holland links. My father's father was dutch, and, strangely, a cousin, Felix Rottenberg was leader of the Dutch Labour Party (I've never met him). The first year I went I lead a workshop on public trust in science which partly gave rise to the Counterpoints chapter on that. Two memorable moments (both unattributable under the Chatham House Rule): in the summing up, one of the organisers was asked about dissemination, and replied that although there was a conference report being written that would be published on the web and so on, the principal route was just the fact that so many influential people were present. At the Trust we worry about the impact of some of, say, the education research we commission; I like the idea that no further efforts are required if so many of the people who can make a difference are in the room already. Secondly, there was a thrill from getting stuff straight from the source: for example there was a discussion on China's role in climate change, and one of the participants had been sent by Tony Blair to offer the chinese the chance to join the G8 in return for some carbon targets; oddly it didn't feel like oneupmanship, just relevant background. The redoubtable Norman Geras has been blogging about the conference too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been invited to the 2009 event - would you suggest going?

2:53 pm  

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