Adventuring Thinking

Germany has a publicly funded agency with a mission to strengthen democracy. The UK needs one too.

Halfway down the Adenauerallee in Bonn, the city that was home to the West German government from 1949 to 1990, there’s an anonymous modern office building, notable only for some sort of bookshop on the ground floor.

The building is home to a fascinating public body, the kind of which has no equivalent in the UK. It’s called the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. The BpB for short. In English: the Federal Agency for Civic Education. On a rainy Thursday afternoon in July, I met Daniel Kraft, Director of Comms at BpB, who kindly took time out to explain the institution to me.

In this blogpost, I try to capture some of what it is and what it does. I then suggest that we need something similar in the UK, and I’m keen to hear ideas for bringing this about.


Global Civics documentary

Produced by Hakan Altinay of the Brookings Institution and directed by Jian Yi, this film is probably the first documentary on the development or lack of development of ‘global civics’. That’s an ugly phrase, but it basically concerns the idea of global rights and responsibilities for all individuals on Earth.

The film tries to debate whether there is such a thing as global citizenship or a global community. Can people on one side of the world owe a responsibility to, and demand respect for their rights from, others on the other side of the world? I’d say that a positive response to that question  shows the development of a ‘Globopolis’ – this should definitely be a word. You heard it here first.