Baker & McKenzie re-launched its renowned events series "Forum for Law and Social Market Economy" with its sixth episode last night. Almost 200 guests, including individuals from the political and business environment attended the event at the Karmeliter Monastery in Frankfurt. A detailed report of the series, including photos and video can be found here: http://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/insight/publications/2016/09/forum-for-law-and-social-market-economy
The evening addressed the topic "Elites without followers? How can politics and the economy resolve the lack of trust" which was presented and discussed by Prof. Dr. Dr. Udo Di Fabio, former federal judge, and Dr. Katrin Vernau, managing director of the WDR. Their key note speeches were followed by a panel discussion under the participation of Dr. Gregor Gysi (MdB), the head of the Berlin office of DIE ZEIT, Elisabeth Niejahr, and Dr. Melinda Crane, chief correspondent for the Deutsche Welle TV, USA & Germany, debating the task of lawyers in building trust.
Dr. Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie Germany, welcomed guests to the event in the historic monastery, located between the Frankfurt banking district and the Main river. She explained Baker & McKenzie’s commitment to highlighting the relevance of trust in business and politics. The former constitutional judge Udo Di Fabio then opened the event with his keynote on "The danger of populism: democracy and economy in a trust crisis". Di Fabio impressively illustrated, how individual social systems are highly functional today, but simultaneously more and more decoupled. He pointed out that in both, politics and the economy, a loss of trust is often based on communication issues.
Dr. Katrin Vernau, managing director of the WDR, followed, who explored "Trust is the beginning of everything" and clarified that current corporate scandals threaten social trust. She also addressed the role of the media in building trust. Vernau further explained how leader personalities can build trust in various stakeholders. In her opinion an honest error culture helps build a culture of trust with customers, employees and suppliers as well as sophisticated young professionals.
Elisabeth Niejahr (DIE ZEIT), Dr. Melinda Crane (Deutsche Welle) and Dr. Gregor Gysi (MdB) joined the keynote speakers as panel discussants. Baker & McKenzie partner and moderator Dr. Burkard Göpfert opened the discussion pointing out the current relevance of the subject on the grounds of the recent state elections in Germany and the forthcoming presidential election in the US. He emphasised that remaining a passive spectator in light of further loss of trust in politics and economics can not be an option and that renewed trust can only be built by strong individuals.