DWIH focus topic 2021 - Society in transition: impacts of the pandemic

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In 2021, the German Centres for Research and Innovation (DWIH) will be addressing the consequences of the corona pandemic and giving a wide range of specialist and international impetus.

What impact is coronavirus having on globalisation? How will the pandemic affect business exchange and extensive networking in the long term? The consequences of the corona crisis can be felt in virtually all areas of private and public life. At the same time, the pandemic is emphasising the value of international exchange, science and innovative capacity.

Developing and distributing a vaccine is only the most obvious of the challenges. The pandemic is raising fundamental questions about new approaches to economic growth, about innovations in urban development and mobility, and about sustainable agriculture and food production. This exceptional global situation is also prompting a rethinking of what is crucial for social cohesion and dialogue between science, business and politics.

The corona pandemic in focus for the DWIH network

Highlighting the annual focus topic for 2021, which is “Society in transition: impacts of the pandemic”, the centres in New York, São Paulo, Moscow, New Delhi and Tokyo will be seeking ways in which the global challenges posed by the pandemic can be met by international networks.

Further information about the choice of the DWIH focus topic for 2021 can be found on the website of the DWIH network.

Japan has been widely praised for its handling of the corona pandemic. German virologist Christian Drosten for example has commended its pinpointing of infection clusters and successful isolation of contact persons. Both Germany and Japan stress the importance of international collaboration in tackling the pandemic and developing vaccines. “Responses to the Coronavirus in Japanese and German law” were the focus of a virtual conference held in August 2020 by the German-Japanese Association of Jurists (DJJV) and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.

Network for innovations

The DWIH Tokyo’s wide-ranging network of supporters reflects the breadth of German-Japanese exchange. For example, the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) teamed up with the DWIH to organise events related to the pandemic’s effects on financial policy. A broad and innovation-driven approach is necessary to allow future societies to be designed in a sustainable manner. This is the approach followed by the DWIH Tokyo’s activities in the field of AI / AI-related activities, as illustrated by the 2nd French-German-Japanese Symposium on Artificial Intelligence that took place in November 2020.

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