Please introduce yourself !
Hello, my name is Robert Ken Völker, I am 22 years old and from Germany. I study at the University of Cologne Business Administration. I am half German and half Japanese. I decided to apply for ISC 64 because I am convinced that this conference is an outstanding opportunity to bring together gifted students from diverse backgrounds and to work together on some of the most urgent challenges the world is facing today. Furthermore, I was impressed that this sense for the current zeitgeist was already visible at the beginning of the moving history of ISC right before World War II. Moreover, I already attended the World Business Dialogue in Cologne and the Chulalongkorn International Forum in Bangkok and could make life lasting memories from the academically enriching experience, the cultural exchange and the people I met. Looking at the program of ISC 64 I am expecting even more.
What do you think about your table topic ?
I am part of table 2 “Democracy and Global Order”. As expected this is an incredibly broad and complex topic and therefore it is good that we have a systematic approach. The closer the conference comes, the more we are narrowing down the topic and decide democratically together on which aspects we want to concentrate most. By now three main questions have emerged from which we will determine the decisive one for our discussions at the conference. Namely those are how to improve the check and balance systems of governments, how to battle populism and how to realize political participation of non-citizens. I personally prefer the question about countering populism, but all three points are equally important, and I am keen to work in our team on any of them.
Generally speaking, I consider our subject of democracies in crisis and the crumbling world order now even more crucial than before, after hearing about the detailed, international examples the members of our group shared. It is very interesting to get a glance on how the current changes are perceived in different countries and it truly opens the eyes how pervasive these developments actually are. I am really looking forward to discussing about them face to face with students from all around the world. It is a great chance that this conference provides, and the multi-cultural approach is exactly what is needed to deal with the present issues of our globalized world. Unfortunately, political disillusionment keeps especially young people away from political engagement or even a formation of an opinion and therefore events like the ISC are so valuable.
Since I am studying Business Administration I merely had to deal with economic policy and I appreciate it to see my personal point of view widened by students of political sciences and other subjects. There are so many theories and things to consider that it can be overwhelming but in the end politics affects everybody and it is essential to be educated in this field. So, I strive to learn as much as possible about it as well as give my best to contribute with my economic perspective. However, I think it is important to reach solution approaches that appear reasonable also for external persons. Of course, no “simple solutions” of such complex problems exist but it will always be only a small fraction of the population that have the time, motivation and possibilities to follow up with politics in-depth and elitism is one of the reasons why societies are currently facing so many challenges in the first place.