The YES! – Young Economic Summit 2017 deals with the pressing issues of our time. The topics are clustered into the categories: Your Economy, Your Governance, Your Society and Your Environment. The topics of the YES! 2017 are selected by the participating students from the two German regions “North” and “South-West” and intensively investigated during the project. The aim for each project group is to come up with innovative solution proposals from the perspective of the next generation.
The YES! – Young Economic Summit and the participating student teams are supported by the researchers of our academic partners and mentors of the YES! team. This year the YES! is supported by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg and the researchers and editors for the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics in Kiel and Hamburg.
The participating students develop concrete solution proposals and present them during regional preliminary rounds in Kiel and Mannheim and the two-day conference YES! – Young Economic Summit on September 28-29, 2017 in English in front of an audience of approximately 400 participants. The YES! – Young Economic Summit 2017 takes place in the RBZ Wirtschaft . Kiel. The solutions proposals will be discussed among the participating students, visiting student groups and representants from politics, business, academia, media and civil society.
The digital age comes with far-reaching technological transformations. The emergence of the “Internet of Things” fosters networked production, allowing to satisfy diversified consumers’ demands. While those changes on the production side will help to better match consumers’ demand, they will also lead to substantial changes in the nature of labour demand.
The ongoing technological transformations are potentially labour-saving, allowing for a substitution of labour, i.e. human workforce, with capital, i.e. machinery. This does not only refer to the quantity of labour input, but also to its quality. However, technological change does also have the potential to create new jobs for workers who are able to complement technology with their specific skills. The structure of labour demand will change, increasingly rewarding human skills which complement technology. Broadly speaking, the employability of workers depends on their human capital, i.e. the aggregate cognitive and non-cognitive skills they have acquired over the course of their life-cycle. Those skills can be classified into three structurally different (though partially overlapping) sets of skills, namely “theoretical skills”, “practical skills” and “non-cognitive skills”.
Providing an educational infrastructure for vocational training, which conveys practical skills as well as theoretical and non-cognitive skills, is thus one essential prerequisite to successfully prepare workers for the digital age.
What skills for the new digital age are required and how to best teach them? What are principles for the education and training in the digital age? How to revisit the national education and training policies against the background of the current technological transformations? What measures must be taken to ensure a high employability of the workforce? Which incentives are needed to participate in advanced training?
Find out more about the YES! 2017 team of the Richard-Hallmann-Schule Trappenkamp here on their introduction website. If you want to know more about the YES! 2017 team of the Anne-Frank-Schule Bargteheide visit their profile page here.
Once information gets disseminated at such a high speed, the problem of false information arises. Internet users sometimes spread false information for various reasons (remuneration or affiliation) and through various channels. Examples might be that people deliberately post false reviews on a hotel booking site or deliberately post false stories on social media platforms. Due to the high degree of anonymity on the internet, it often remains unclear whether this information are valid, e.g. because it is unknown whether the author of the review really has visited the hotel.
Moreover, a substantial share of information is spread by automated programs (bots), or, their special form, the so-called social bots active in social media and messengers. On social media, these bots can appear as regular users posting their content, or sharing already existing content. These social bots are often programmed in a way that they promote certain views, therefore, they can distort the perceptions of the platform’s real users. For instance, a study from the Oxford University has found that over one-third of the pro-Trump tweets after the first presidential debate against Hillary Clinton have been written by social bots. Similarly, it has been shown that the majority of tweets by social bots concerned with the Brexit vote supported the “leave” campaign.
Along with information disseminated by bots, the network structure and algorithms implemented on online platforms also lead to a selective representation of current events for each user, a so-called “Facebook bubble” which doesn’t help to get complete information.
In the digitalized world, problems arising in online platforms could be addressed with artificial intelligence. Potential solutions could include “good” bots, gathering and verifying information, including the techniques of automated text recognition or simple machine learning. Bots could help online users to verify information, collect figures and visualise them, for example, build graphs. The solution proposed in the research project should help to assess large masses of online information and analyse it on an everyday basis in order to save time and search effort for online users.
The topic “Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy – Problems and Chances” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES! teams are supported by the ZEW researchers Daniel Erdsiek, Patrick Schulte and Olga Slivko.
This YES! 2017 topic has been selected by the team of the Werner-Heisenberg-Gymnasium Weinheim.
The introduction of the YES! 2017 team Werner-Heisenberg-Gymnasium Weinheim can be found here. Find out more about the team #DigitalTruth.
The Paris Climate Agreement stipulates greater engagement of civil society. This involvement is a precondition for transforming the current lifestyle of society into a more sustainable way of living so that the ambitious climate goals can be reached. Apart from climate protection, the United Nations define other “Sustainable Development Goals“(SDGs) which also include sustainable consumption and sustainable production. The implementation of these goals within the European Union (EU) was introduced in November 2016. Based on the SDGs, Germany has also recently published an updated version of its sustainable development strategy.
But what does sustainable consumption actually mean? Is sustainable consumption economically acceptable or is it linked to growth deficits? Do we need to do without or can we combine sustainable with economic goals? How can we ensure that ecological and social goals are reached efficiently?
The topic “Sustainable Consumption: Eco(nomical)?” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES! teams are supported by the researcher Christiane Reif.
This topic has been chosen by the YES! team of the Friedrich-List-Schule Mannheim. Learn more about the YES! 2017 Team of the Friedrich-List-Schule Mannheim and visit their profile page.
Technology has already changed the way we interact at our working place. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices let us work independently of place and time. The quality of phone calls and audio conferences has increased significantly and allows us to get in touch with co-workers and consumers in almost any situation. And with online meetings, we have the chance to hold briefings and presentations, share arguments and collaborate on documents.
This development, however, may have both positive and negative effects on both the employees and the employers. On the one hand, working time gets more condensed. By being available through mobile devices, for example, while on the way to a business meeting, people now can do phone calls or check and write emails. On the other hand, there are limits to the human ability to concentrate and perceive information. As a result the quality of the work decreases or crucial mistakes could be made. So sometimes it could be better to think twice before making a call.
Family life is another important aspect that is affected by this technological development. Because of this new flexibility, it is easier to coordinate work with taking care of children or elderly or past time activities. This optimisation of productivity can lead to an increase of the economy and more wealth of the society. In contrast, this development may also lead to a higher workload for the employees and that they can’t zone out and relax. This could lead to an increase of stress and stress-related diseases.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of new models of work? What should work in the future look like?
If you would like to read more about the YES! 2017 topic “New models of Working Hours in the Digital Age” follow us here.
The topic “New models of Working Hours in the Digital Age” was proposed by our editors from the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics. The YES! Teams are supported by the editors Kristin Biesenbender and Cora Wacker.
This topic has been selected by the YES! team of the Max-Planck-Schule Kiel.
Get to know the YES! 2017 team of the Max-Planck-Schule Kiel.
Our economic thinking is focused on permanent growth – which is not sustainable. It overstrains the ecosystems on which we rely: the ability of the oceans, soil and groundwater reserves to regenerate, the stability of the global climate and biodiversity. We have reached the ecological limits of growth.
Without a doubt, an enlightened young generation is indispensable to create a change within the society. Yet, it will take time until this generation will be in a position to have a decision-making power – and time is running out. It is critical to stop the current consumption of resources. In order to provide a living standard like in the industrialised countries to everyone on earth, we would need more resources than our planet can provide.
We must rethink our handling of resources. And the critical question is: How do we reach the older generations? On the one hand, what communication channel would be best with the greatest reach. On the other hand, what is the message? How can we inspire people to consume less? Would a simple appeal to common sense be enough? Is it sufficient just point out the benefit of saving money by consuming less? Or would they spend that money on something non-sustainable?
You want to know more about the topic “Post-Growth Society: How to Get Everyone on Board?” of the YES! 2017? Follow us here to the full description.
The YES! topic “Post-Growth Society: How to Get Everyone on Board?” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES!-teams are supported by the researcher Michael Hellwig.
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” This is what Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter in 1789. Yet, is this still a certainty in a globalised world? Revelations like the “Panama Papers” or about the tricks football players like Christiano Ronaldo and others used to evade taxes let us have doubts. Yet, taxes are indispensable to provide public goods and services like schools, hospitals and roads. For modern welfare states, taxes are the primary instrument to redistribute income and to ensure that those in need are provided with essential supplies.
However, in contrast to this fundamental principle, many people with high incomes try to evade their taxation obligations with the help of tax and financial consultants. A priori, it is unclear whether this behaviour results from personal interests or a differing understanding of a fair taxation. Undoubtedly, there is a blurry line between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion.
Can “legal” be synonymous with “fair”? How could we solve the tax coordination and cooperation problems between sovereign states? What other concrete options – besides higher penalties – has a state to raise the tax compliance? How could tax enforcement be enhanced? Are there other opportunities to raise the tax morale within the society?
If you want to read more about the YES! 2017 topic “Modern Tax Policy: New Ways to Promote Fairness and Efficiency” follow us here.
The topic “Modern Tax Policy: New Ways to Promote Fairness and Efficiency” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES!-teams are supported by the researchers Paul Hufe and Carina Woodage.
The students of the YES! team of the Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium Ulm have chosen this topic.
Technological progress through innovation is probably the most important driving force of the productivity (and in turn welfare) growth of developed economies. An example of such technological progress is named Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law states that the computing power of new computer chips doubles about every two years. This exceptional technological performance has been observable for more than 50 years now and represents an impressive example of exponential growth (exactly 35% per year) of our technological opportunities. In the more recent past, however, this exponential growth could only be maintained through a massive increase in expenditures on research and development (R&D). The graph below illustrates the phenomenon: the largest semiconductors manufacturers (Intel, Samsung, Siemens, etc.) needed to increase their R&D expenditures by nearly 80% over the last 45 years to maintain Moore’s law.
In this project, the social chances and risks of different national innovation strategies are to be compared and discussed, in order to derive recommendations for future political action.
How can (and should) policy react to the decreasing returns to R&D? Should the trend towards more specialization be actively encouraged – so that at least parts of the companies and regions will remain internationally competitive in the future and will be able to compete with the USA or China? Should research and development and the foundation of start-ups be particularly promoted in a few promising sectors? Should curricula of schools and universities be aligned with the needs of innovative industries? Alongside opportunities, such a strategy also entails major risks. What would it mean, for example, for the equality of opportunities between sectors and regions and, above all, for the people working there? And how would we determine which technologies are worth being promoted? Or should policy rather try to counter the growing specialization in the economy in order to ensure the equality of opportunities – for example, by particularly supporting the weakest sectors and regions? Is the best policy response possibly “Trumponomics”? Namely, that we close ourselves off from international markets in order to escape the growing competitive pressure for the best ideas in the world?
The topic “National Innovation Strategies” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES!-teams are supported by the researchers Florence Blandinieres, Paul Hünermund and Martin Murmann.
Get to know the YES! 2017 Team of the BBS Wirtschaft 1 Ludwigshafen on their profile page here. If you would like to know more about our YES! 2017 team of the Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium Stuttgart please follow this link to their profile page.
Industrialized nations’ lifestyle is not sustainable as resources are depleted, the environment is degraded and global warming is fueled. This puts the welfare of current and future generations at risk. Fostering sustainable consumption is a major task for reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Lifestyles can become more sustainable when for example waste is reduced, fewer fossil fuels are used, or less meat is eaten.
Classic economic instruments like taxing waste, resource use or pollution are often not implemented as they are politically unpopular. Subsidies are costly and often not an efficient strategy for influencing behavior. Even if people would like to consume more sustainably they find it hard to break old habits and do things differently compared to what they did before or to what everyone around them does. The challenge is to change consumption habits that are deeply rooted in our minds and in our society.
Who is responsible for changing consumption patterns? Why are taxes unpopular? Who has an interest in unsustainable consumption? How can public awareness be increased? How can nudging help to make people behave more sustainably, i.e. generate less waste, emit fewer greenhouse gases, or use fewer resources? How can public awareness be raised?
Learn more about the YES! Team of the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Schule Neumünster and the YES! Team of the Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium Hamburg.
In recent years, there has been a rise of EU-sceptic party’s across EU member states, e.g. ‘Alternative für Deutschland’ in Germany, ‘Front du National’ or ´Jobbik´ in Hungary. The resurgence of nationalism culminated last year in UK’s popular vote for the Brexit. In many aspects, nationalist parties challenge both the status quo -as shown by the separatist vote in the UK- and the process of further European Integration.
Union-wide reforms are needed to increase stability across member states, prevent future crises and foster future welfare in Europe. Nationalist tendencies, implying lower willingness to coordinate and delegate tasks to the EU level might put the European reform process at danger. Moreover, current compliance with existing rules of the Union such as reform requirements in exchange for loans from the European stability mechanism (ESM) might be challenged by individual nationalist ´free-riders´.
How can Europe cope with increasing nationalism? What can be done to support the European Union in an environment of diverging preferences? Is a resurgence of nationalism even a chance for a new legitimacy and accountability of the Union? Who is responsible: the EU, member states or is it a story told by the legacy of the financial crisis? Can Europe adapt more legitimacy, be more accountable and incorporate more direct democracy? How can the European value added be measured and communicated?
Read more about the YES! 2017 topic “European Integration and the Rise of National Populist Parties” here.
The topic “European Integration and the Rise of National Populist Parties” was proposed by researchers at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES!-teams are supported by the researchers Sebastian Blesse and Thomas Schwab.
The YES! 2017 team Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium Dillingen introduces itself here. If you would like to know more about the YES! 2017 team of the Hohe Landesschule Hanau visit their team page here.
There are good ecological reasons that electric cars should replace cars with combustion engines in the near future. Yet, due to several reasons, people are still reluctant to embrace this approach. The price of fuel, for instance, is quite low, and the infrastructure of charging stations is not comprehensive. Furthermore, this technology is still more expensive than the fully developed combustion engines.
The German government decided to boost this new technology by subsidizing the purchase of a new electric car. The share of the state of the environment bonus for pure electric cars with batteries or fuel-cell drive (with no local CO2 emissions) is 2,000 Euros. For a hybrid car (with less than 50g CO2 emissions per km) is 1,500 Euros. These incentives, however, do not attract as many buyers as expected.
What measures do you think of that could stimulate the people to buy electric cars and increase their market share quickly and significantly?
This topic has been selected to work on by the YES! team of the RBZ Wirtschaft . Kiel.
Since 2000, about 26.7 Million hectares of land have been purchased by international investors in developing countries and emerging markets. This equals about two percent of agriculturally useful soil or the size of the United Kingdom plus Slovenia.
Some people call this landgrabbing and point to the non-transparent processes and the negative consequences for poor countries of origin. Contracts are brokered quite often behind closed doors and the previous land owners don’t take part in these negotiations. When small farmers get displaced, they very often lose their livelihood.
Others, on the contrary, speak of essential investments for the underfinanced agriculture and stress the chances for these countries. Often the local infrastructure like roads, schools and hospitals benefit from these investments. Jobs are created and the markets get closer to the small farmers. As a result, the farmers have a better and quicker access to seeds and fertilisers.
Those are two positions of the extreme and the truth is somewhere to be found in the middle. The investments must be checked individually to make a judgement on them.
In which context should investments be made and how should the people affected by it participate in the negotiations?
This topic has been selected to work on by the YES! team of the Helene-Lange-Gymnasium Rendsburg. Learn more about the YES! 2017 team of the Helene-Lange-Gymnasium Rendsburg here on their profile page.
The YES! – Young Economic Summit is a joint project of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Joachim Herz Stiftung under the patronage of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries.
The ZBW is the world’s largest information centre for economic literature and ideally positioned to teach students information literacy.
The Joachim Herz Stiftung is a non-profit foundation that is economically independent, and politically neutral, and has years of experience in the design and implementation of youth events, especially regarding economic education.
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