The second week of December of 2013 in Berlin was extraordinary. My original hope had been to post daily blogs and videos of the trip.
However, there were two problems:
1) The schedule was so jam-packed, that I had very little time to myself. We met each morning at 8:00 and went back to our rooms each evening at 10:00. There was no downtime, and even the meals were largely business, with presentations and discussion.
2) I bought some new editing software and a new laptop right before leaving, and the technology was a bit too much for me to master during the trip, so I was only able to get out one video--on the light side (about Glühwein).
So instead, I found time to start with a brief summary and then a blogged in retrospect after returning to the United States.
First, just a little bit about the trip.
The American Council on Germany is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which promotes dialogue among leaders from business, government, and the media in the United States and Europe. The ACG strengthens transatlantic understanding and coordinates policy initiatives on key issues.
For the past few years, they've added an annual Climate and Energy Study Tour, which gathers a group of 12-16 people to spend an intensive week in Berlin learning about the current state of affairs in Germany and how it relates to the United States. In putting together the group, the ACG accepts nominations from its various chapters in the US and from previous participants. The goal is to get a vary diverse collection of people with one type or another interest in energy and climate issues. They look for a broad mixture of approaches, geographic origin, political views and interests.
I was one of two journalists included. In my case, I was nominated by Jon Ebinger, the Media Projects Administrator for the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) which handles the US side of the RIAS-Berlin Komission German American Journalist Exchange Program. My qualifications consisted of a working knowledge of German politics through past participation in RIAS, as well as an interest in climate and energy based on how it affects/is affected by traffic and transportation.
If you have any questions or comments about this trip, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For now--as they say in Berlin--Tschüß!