International Security Forum Bonn 2022

International Security Forum Bonn 2022

September 29 - October 2, 2022

For many years, the International Security Forum Bonn (ISFB) has served as a platform to convene distinguished international experts and practitioners of security and foreign policy, and to debate the future of transatlantic relations and key challenges in international politics. The aims are to identify ways and means for a successful German, European and transatlantic, foreign and security policy, and to develop and discuss comprehensive strategic solutions to pressing security challenges. 
Under the title "Zeitenwende - A New Era in International Relations and Security Cooperation", international experts gathered in Bonn on the Main Day to discuss the future of transatlantic relations in the shadow of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Among the most prominent questions were: What will be the expected transformations of the transatlantic alliance, and German, U.S. and European foreign and security policy in the face of Russian acts of violence on the EU's borders? Which issues, as well as which regions and their developments, will be crucial for the alliance and the security of EU members in the coming years? What does the growing problem of antisemitism mean not only for society but also for transnational security cooperation and the fight against antisemitism? Another topic was the opportunity of the middle powers.

The Bonn Future Lab is a new multi-day format consisting of two core segments: First, an international conference day, and second, a Strategic Foresight Workshop. The conference day focuses on global megatrends, especially from a security but also from a development perspective (in 2022: "Climate Change and Security"). The Strategic Foresight Workshop, working in combination with the conference day, is an event where the techniques and methods of strategic foresight will be conveyed to young multipliers ("decision-makers of the day after tomorrow"), who have previously gained an insight into the current scientific debates through the expert discussions with renowned national and international experts. The Bonn Future Lab is part of the project Sicherheitsforschung.NRW.

Our Partners:

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Thursday, September 29, 2022
10:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

Opening event of this year's International Security Forum Bonn 2022

"Zeitenwende" - A New Era in International Relations and Security Cooperation

Welcoming Remarks

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch
Rector, University of Bonn


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie
Henry Kissinger Professor for Security and Strategic Studies and Director of CASSIS, University of Bonn

Opening Remarks

Hendrik Wüst (digital)
Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Karl Kaiser (digital)
Former Adjunct Professor for Public Policy and Senior Fellow, Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Angus Robertson MSP (digital) 
Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, Scottish Government, Edinburgh


The Main Day introductory words of the ISFB 2022 were given by the University of Bonn Rector, Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch. He thanked all the partners who made the event possible. He also mentioned his role as Rector, a role which follows a great tradition but also has the capacity to change in response to challenging times. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie followed this by pointing out the necessary link between diplomacy and strategy, and discussed the broad understanding of security as the basis for joint action. The patron of the event, Hendrik Wüst, then addressed the guests in a video message. He emphasized Germany's role in Europe and stressed the momentum of now having to talk about security policy. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Karl Kaiser also spoke in a video message. In addition to the other speakers, Kaiser emphasized the importance of the Henry Kissinger Professorship– a position founded with the goals of honoring Henry Kissinger and bringing the discourse on security policy to the University of Bonn. The closing words of the Opening Remarks were given by Angus Robertson MSP, who emphasized the role of climate security and energy security, thus pointing the way to the day ahead. 

Panel Discussion I
"Religion, Conflict and Politics – A View from both Sides of the Atlantic"

Keynote Speech

Prof. Dr. Scott Appleby
Marilyn Keough Dean, Keough School of Global Affairs, Professor of History, University of Notre Dame/Indiana


Prof. Dr. Josefina Echavarría Alvarez
Director of the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM), Associate Professor of the Practice, University of Notre Dame/Indiana

Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber
Professor of History and International Affairs, University of Aberdeen


Prof. Dr. Colin Barr
Director, Clingen Family Center for the Study of Modern Ireland, Professor of Modern Irish History, University of Notre Dame/Indiana

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie
Henry Kissinger Professor for Security and Strategic Studies and Director of CASSIS, University of Bonn


The first panel of the ISFB 2022 dealt with the role of religion in politics and as a factor acting in accordance with its own norms. The topic was introduced with a short speech by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie and followed by a lecture by Prof. Dr. Scott Appleby, with subsequent discussion with the participation of Prof. Dr. Colin Barr, Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber and Prof. Dr. Josefina Echavarría Alvarez. 
Religion is often underestimated in politics, yet it is a great motivator for peace. However, it can also legitimize violence and easily be abused by religious officials. History shows a trend back to religious movements, which means that religion and the prominent role of religious institutions need to be examined more closely from different angles. In particular, the war in Ukraine has underscored the need to differentiate religious movements and develop categories to formulate political responses.

Panel Discussion II
"Antisemitism as a Growing Problem in an Age of Uncertainty - A Global Perspective"

Impulse Statement

Dr. Felix Klein
Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism, Berlin


Dr. Wilhelm Sandrisser
Deputy Director General – Head of Security, Psychological Service, Security Academy, Austrian Ministry of the Interior, Vienna


Mag. Lisa Fellhofer
Director, Austrian Fund for the Documentation of Religiously Motivated Political Extremism, Vienna

Dr. Remko Leemhuis
Director, AJC Berlin Lawrence & Lee Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations, Berlin


Dr. Mayssoun Zein Al Din
Executive Director, Academy of International Affairs NRW, Bonn


The second panel of the ISFB 2022 Main Day addressed antisemitism as a growing global problem. Dr. Felix Klein, Dr. Wilhelm Sandrisser, Mag. Lisa Fellhofer, Dr. Remko Leemhuis as well as Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie discussed the Ukraine war as a catalyst for politically motivated crimes, particularly in the form of hate speech on the internet. Conspiracy theorists portray Jews as a collective entity that controls the globalized Western world. The security threats that arise from that viewpoint must be addressed in a whole of society approach, including education, and not by security means alone. This is also true for antisemitism that arises from the religious extremist milieus like European Islamism congregation. The panelists furthermore discussed the causal links between the Middle East conflict, resentment toward the state of Israel in European societies, and antisemitism in the context of the antisemitic art on display at this year's documental.

Impulse statements

"The Impact of Current Global Challenges on the Transatlantic Agenda"

Jürgen Trittin
Member of the German Bundestag, Spokesman on Foreign Affairs of the B90/The Greens Parliamentary Group, Berlin

"Consequences of Global Power Shifts for Transatlantic Defense Cooperation"

Jan Techau 
Head, Speechwriting Unit, Federal Ministry of Defence, Berlin

Panel Discussion III
“ 'Zeitenwende' - Renaissance of Transatlantic Relations?"


Dr. Andrew B. Denison
Director of Transatlantic Networks, Königswinter

Prof. Dr. Stephen Gethins
Professor of Practice in International Relations and Strategic Adviser on External Relations, University of St. Andrews

Dr. Elisabeth Hauschild
Senior Vice President External Affairs, Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG, Berlin

Dr. Seth A. Johnston
Visiting Professor in the Center for American Studies at Heidelberg University (Germany), adjunct faculty in the Walsh  School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie
Henry Kissinger Professor for Security and Strategic Studies and Director of CASSIS, University 


In the third panel of the ISFB 2022, the transformation of transatlantic relations was on the agenda. The topic was introduced by two impulse statements: Jürgen Trittin on “The Impact of Current Global Challenges on the Transatlantic Agenda” and Jan Techau on “Consequences of Global Power Shifts for Transatlantic Defense Cooperation.”
In the months before the war in the Ukraine, Germany and France came to the wrong conclusion that Russia would not attack the Ukraine. And even though the sanctions against Russia are intended to cut off Russia, they won’t be able to stop the war. Now the Zeitenwende in Germany demands a strategic change in Europe’s security strategy. Despite NATO’s efforts to close the gap of Europe’s lack of deterrence, it is now up to Europe to increase its deterrence, especially in light of Europe being a complementary force. Furthermore, Europe needs to show solidarity and an interest in stability in international relations. Germany should position itself as the key actor in implementing and reinforcing Europe’s strategic landscape.

In both statements it was highlighted that China will play a key role in the transatlantic relations after the war in Ukraine, and already presents a geostrategic challenge for the US. In the future, in times of crises, China’s markets would be even harder to replace than Russia’s. The lesson Europe needs to learn from its economic dependence in certain sectors like energy, is to diversify its markets with continued interdependence. Overall, a new pivot from the German and American perspective to Asia will accelerate.
The impulse statements were followed by a discussion on the topic of “'Zeitenwende' - Renaissance of Transatlantic Relations?” with Andrew B. Dension, Prof. Dr. Stephen Gethins, Dr. Elisabeth Hauschild and Dr. Seth A. Johnston, moderated by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie.

Panel Discussion IV
"Tech Middle Powers in the Geopolitical Storm: New Opportunities for Strategic Cooperation?"


Dr. Gedaliah Afterman
Head of the Asia Policy Program at the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy, Reichman University, Israel 

Christiane Heidbrink
Research Fellow, Center for Global Studies, University of Bonn

Seung-jae HUH
Consul-General of the South Korean Embassy’s branch office in Bonn

Dr. Narayanappa Janardhan
Senior Research Fellow, Anwar Gargash Academy, Abu Dhabi


Andrea Rotter
Head of the Department Foreign and Security Policy, Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, Munich


In the fourth panel discussion at the ISFB Main Day 2022, Dr. Gedaliah Afterman, Christiane Heidbrink, Seung-jae Huh and Dr. Narayanappa Janardhan talked about "Tech Middle Powers in the Geopolitical Storm: New Opportunities for Strategic Cooperation?" Skillfully moderated by Andrea Rotter, the participants talked about the opportunities and challenges which come with the rising influence of tech middle powers, and discussed how Europe could position itself in a changing geopolitical reality, because as Christiane Heidbrink stated: “Who controls technology, controls the future.” Dr. Gedaliah Afterman pointed out the importance of decoupling modernization from westernization as an indicator for a changing world. The participants agreed that strategic cooperation, with a clearly communicated goal, especially between middle powers, will be crucial if they want to avoid getting left behind China and the US. In the end, the participants concluded that one of the most relevant tasks for the future will be the handling of so-called western values and identities when it comes to strategic cooperation. Or as Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer summed up in his remarks: “It’s not only about managing the power competition. For Germany, “Zeitenwende” means it needs to focus on the tasks ahead, to identify problem areas and to develop solutions which are then consistently pursued.

Dinner Debate (Invitation Only)
“ 'Zeitenwende' and strategic change: a new era for Paris and Berlin?"

Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Matthieu Osmont
Director of the French Institute in Bonn, Attaché for academic cooperation at the French Embassy in Germany

Impulse Statement

Jean-Louis Gergorin
Owner of JLG Strategy and Senior Lecturer at the Institut d’etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)

Prof. Joachim Bitterlich
Ambassador (ret) and Professor at the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP Europe)


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie
Henry Kissinger Professor for Security and Strategic Studies and Director of CASSIS, University of Bonn


To conclude the eventful day, the former ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in France Prof. Joachim Fröhlich and the French politician and senior lecturer at the Sciences Po Jean-Louis Gergorin talked together with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie in an informal Dinner Debate about the future of the Franco-German Relations and their implications for the European Union. The panel was organized with our partners from the Centre-Ernst-Curtis, the Institut Francais Bonn, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation as part of the discussion series “German-Franco Strategic Dialogue” under the title “Zeitenwende and Strategic Change: A New Era or Paris and Berlin?”

The two experienced statesmen and proven experts in German-Franco relations analyzed and discussed the greatest challenges for the cooperation between the two most important European countries and drew a thoroughly worrying picture. Topics such as joint armament projects, the joint operations in Africa, and cyber security, offered the guests a broad spectrum of insights into the challenges of the future. The day ended with a vigorous appeal for the renewal of the German-Franco relations.  

Friday, September 30, 2022

Bonn Future Lab on Strategic Foresight "Climate Change and Security"

10.00 a.m. Opening & Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Enrico Fels

Prof. Dr. Annette Scheersoi
Vice Rector for Sustainability

Prof. Dr. Volker Kronenberg 
Dean of the Faculty of Arts


10.30 a.m. Keynote Speech
"The Nexus of Climate Change and Security: Between Conflict and Cooperation"

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran
PI Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climate Change and Society”, Hamburg University


After the welcoming remarks given by Dr. Enrico Fels, Prof. Dr. Annette Scheersoi and Prof. Dr. Volker Kronenberg, the Bonn Future Lab opened with the first keynote speech, given by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran. Here, global developments of climate change as well as possible forecasts and models were presented. The outlook on the consequences and impacts of global warming and climatic transformations as well as the linkages between sustainability and international peace and conflict, the interaction between livelihood, conflict, culture, and migration and the role of institutions provided the workshop participants and the interested public with a broad overview. 

11.30 a.m. Input Session 1
"The Nexus of Climate Change and Security in a New Epoch of Geopolitics"

Laura Birkman
The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

Shiloh Fetzek
International Institute for Strategic Studies, Washington DC

Yana Popkostova
European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris

Dr. Frank Umbach
European European Cluster for Climate Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS) at CASSIS


Dr. Marian Feist
German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)



In a first input session, the workshop participants systematically discussed the points of contact between climate change and the various security policy issues followed by keynote speeches by international experts. In addition to a reflection on the basis of an expanded concept of security, the effects and interactions of a changing global geopolitical and economic order have also been highlighted. 


2.30 p.m. Input Session 2
"Tackling Climate Security – Governance, Actors, Tools"

Prof. Dr. Brahma Chellaney
Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

Dr. Angélique Palle
Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'Ecole Militaire, Paris

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmeier
IHE Delft

Dr. Paola Vesco
Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University


Dr. Florian Krampe
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute



In the following session, the participants of the Bonn Future Lab got to know the political-practical side of the topic from the perspective of high-ranking experts. In this way, they were able to discuss how a megatrend that is highly relevant to security policy such as climate change finds its way into the everyday business of a ministry or an international organisation. After the systematic and actor-centred problematisation of the nexus of climate change and security, this session shed a light at political and other options, fields and strategies for action in view of the profound changes and their consequences for natural spaces and social coexistence.

5.00 p.m. Panel Discussion (public, digital)
"Assessing Climate and Security Research in North Rhine-Westphalia"

"Mapping Security Research Made in NRW" (Sicherheitsforschung.NRW)

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie


Dr. Ines Dombrowsky
IDOS, Bonn

Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner
Bonn Alliance

Dr. Lukas Hermwille
Wuppertal Institut

Prof. Dr. Shen Xiaomeng
United Nations University, Bonn


Dr. Mayssoun Zein Al Din



The conference day ended with the public Panel Discussion at the Academy of International Affairs NRW, explicitly focused on the regional role of actors in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the SDG location Bonn.
At the same time, this event provided a framework for the presentation of the report "Security Research.NRW", which is a state government-funded mapping project of scientific work in the broad field of security in the federal state. 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Strategic Foresight Workshop, Oct. 1 & 2 (in German, by invitation only)

9.00 a.m. Wake-Up Call (public, hybrid)
"Die Bedeutung und Umsetzung Strategischer Vorausschau in der Praxis"

Dr. Philine Warnke
Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung


Prof. James Bindenagel



Prof. James Bindenagel introduced the listeners in his welcoming remarks into the topic of strategic foresight and its social and theoretical relevance. He pointed out the added value for policy makers of including scenarios into their decision-making processes. Dr. Philine Warnke, who recently published the study „Institutionalisierung Strategischer Vorausschau im Regierungshandeln. Barrieren und Optionen” on behalf of the Bundeskanzleramt, introduced the high importance of strategic foresight for policymakers and the path that needs to be followed for a fruitful implementation of strategic foresight in the policy-process.

Die Bedeutung und Umsetzung Strategischer Vorausschau in der Praxis (Bonn Future Lab)

11.00 a.m. Introduction & Recap

Methodische Einführung

Ergebnisse der Trendanalyse


11.30 a.m. Uncertainty Analysis


2.30. p.m. Lunch Input (public, hybrid)
“Future Global Megatrends, Development Cooperation and Security”

Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge 



The lunch-Input was given by the director of IDOS, Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, to the topic of „Future Global Megatrends, Development Cooperation and Security“. Prof. Dr. Hornidge sees the main global challenges in climate change, the erosion of biodiversity, rising poverty, the health and debt crisis, the technological acceleration and the digitalization. Here, she pointed out the immense risk factor of climate change, and the importance of building thematical alliances in the UN security council as well as the coherence between internal and external policy fields.


Future Global Megatrends

3.30 p.m. Scenario Development

Sunday, October 2, 2022

9.00 a.m. Wake-Up Call (public, hybrid)
“A View on Climate Change and Security from the Regions”

Sebastian Vagt
Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit in Marokko

Dr. Vanessa Gottwick
Kompetenzzentrum Krisenfrüherkennung an der Universität der Bundeswehr



The discussion with the title “A View on Climate Change and Security from the Regions’’ held by Sebastian Vagt (Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit in Marocco) and Dr. Vanessa Gottwick (Kompetenzzentrum Krisenfrüherkennung an der Universität der Bundeswehr) chaired by Maximilian Schranner concentrated on the consequences of climate change on the African continent, especially the regions of Sub-Sahara and Morocco. Dr. Vanessa Gottwick and Sebastian Vagt discussed the risk multipliers in Africa, as fluctuations in precipitation, higher temperatures, environmental disasters, tensions in communities caused by competition for dwindling resources and state failure.


A View on Climate Change and Security from the Regions

11.00 a.m. Recap


11.30 a.m. Input: Backcasting

12.00 p.m. Strategy Development I

In small groups

2.00 p.m. Strategy Development II

In small groups

3.30 p.m. Presentation and Discussion of the Strategies


5.00 p.m. Debriefing

Our Partners:

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