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Archive of Selected Past Events

December 5: Going Green Awards Ceremony

Prize winners present their action plans at the Going Green award ceremony

Prize winners present their action plans at the Going Green award ceremony

"Going Green" is a major national campaign geared at secondary schools and builds on experts, teacher trainings and web 2.0 innovative teaching tools.

On December 5, 2014, Ambassador Emerson presented awards to more than 200 German high school students for their sustainability action plans at the final event of the U.S. Embassy Going Green Project at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Berlin.  The goal of the Going Green project is to compare environmental sustainability approaches in both the United States and in Germany, to examine U.S. initiatives on the local and state level, and to consider green initiatives in the students’ own regions.

Since September about 1,000 teachers and their students all over Germany have been working on green issues by using tailor-made classroom materials on an e-learning platform established by the U.S. Embassy in close cooperation with LIFE e.V. and Leuphana University Lüneburg.   The year-long “Going Green – Education for Sustainability” blended learning project included teacher training seminars in 14 German states.  Some teachers partnered with U.S. schools and collaborated with them via e-mail, skype, chat rooms, and internet platforms.  The entire project was conducted in English. For more information on the campaign

December 2: Both Sides of the Coin: Silicon Valley Entrepreneur and Investment Banker in One

Erik Magdanz

Erik Magdanz

Erik Magdanz, a former entrepreneur and banker who is now a U.S. diplomat based in Berlin, spoke to 100 entrepreneurs, investors and business consultants on December 2nd at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin.  Kimberly Martineau Emerson, a former Clinton Administration official, lawyer and civic leader from California, and wife of Ambassador John E. Emerson, kicked off the event. During the event, entitled “Both Sides of the Coin: Silicon Valley Entrepreneur and Investment Banker in One,” Erik shared his insights on all aspects of entrepreneurship. He emphasized the importance of networking, even for successful entrepreneurs, and the lessons learned from failure. Beyond Berlin, others participated virtually, including three incubators from Finland and Latvia. The German-American Institute in Leipzig also hosted a watch party for local entrepreneurs. Several other viewers from around the world also watched this program live online. The audience in Berlin enjoyed the opportunity to network with each other at the follow-on reception. They left the “Both Sides of the Coin” discussion feeling excited and passionate, and urged even greater Embassy involvement in fostering an entrepreneurship culture in Germany.

This event follows up on the “Idea and Innovation Forum” hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. Emerson at U.S. Embassy Berlin earlier in 2014 and the free, Embassy-supported “Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship” massive open online course (MOOC) run by Dr. James V. Green of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, University of Maryland, from May 19 to June 29, 2014. Ambassador and Mrs. Emerson met with a various start-ups, including participants in a Google Launchpad Program, during a visit to The Factory in Berlin on October 2nd. The couple has made connecting the energies of young entrepreneurs and innovators in the U.S. and Germany one of their priorities during their time in Berlin. You can find more information about the US Embassy’s activities in the field of entrepreneurship at https://www.facebook.com/IdeasandInnovationForumBerlin

December 1: U.S. Embassy Literature Series Featuring Brittani Sonnenberg

R. Jay McGill and Brittani Sonnenberg at the English Theatre Berlin

R. Jay McGill and Brittani Sonnenberg at the English Theatre Berlin

American author and Berlin resident Brittani Sonnenberg read from her debut novel Home Leave at the English Theatre Berlin on December 1. She shared the experience of an expat family moving between countries and cultures and dealing with change, loss, and the search for a home. R. Jay McGill, American Academy, moderated the lively discussion and allowed the young audience a glimpse into American expat life in the age of globalization--one aspect of American culture.

December 1: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Checkpoint Charlie

Mrs. Emerson, Ambassador Emerson and Alexandra Hildebrandt at the tree lighting ceremony

Mrs. Emerson, Ambassador Emerson and Alexandra Hildebrandt at the tree lighting ceremony

Ambassador John B. Emerson and his wife Kimberly lit the Christmas tree at Checkpoint Charlie on December 1, 2014. The annual tree lighting commemorates a 1961 event when a thousand Christmas trees were erected along the Berlin Wall to express solidarity with the people who lived in the former East Berlin. The illumination symbolizes hope, peace, and unity and also commemorates the Allied Forces who stood guard at this site and could not spend Christmas with their families. 25 years after the fall of the Wall, Ambassador Emerson said that “for Americans, the fall of the Wall and the unification of Berlin are symbols of the commitment to freedom, peace and prosperity that our two countries share.”

November 13: OSCE high-level event on combating anti-Semitism

During her November 13 visit to Berlin, Ambassador Power gave an opening speech before the OSCE’s 10th anniversary conference on Anti-Semitism. While there she heard from representatives of European Jewish groups and met with U.S. civil rights leaders. Amb. Powers also spoke with Foreign Minister Steinmeier on the margins of the event about Ukraine and Ebola.

Distinguished government representatives and civil society partners spoke at the high-level commemorative event to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 2004 Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism. The event, which was jointly organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Swiss 2014 Chairmanship of the OSCE and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), provided a forum in which to review the OSCE commitments on combating anti-Semitism and to take stock of what has been achieved in the 10 years since the 2004 Berlin Conference.

November 11: Lowenthal reading

As part of Mission Germany’s goal to promote understanding of American society, culture, and values, the U.S. Embassy Berlin Literature Series presented the Picador Guest Professor for Literature, Michael Lowenthal with a reading and talk at the retro chic Pan Am Lounge in Berlin. The event was in cooperation with the Holtzbrinck Veranstaltungsforum, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Leipzig University. Lowenthal read from an unpublished manuscript and his recently published novel The Paternity Test, the story of a gay couple in New York City considering adopting a child.