Why did we launch the GFYL?

The GFYL programme is an innovative platform creating room for new concepts and inspiring ideas. We want to attract creative and dynamic personalities, we want them to network and to socialise and to win them over for the German-French friendship. We want people to engage, to challenge, to be inspired and to – hopefully – start new joint projects. We do not only want to talk about German-French relations, we want to live them.

The organising team itself is a perfect example of the German-French friendship: The team is composed of volunteers representing young leaders from different sectors who have already lived the German-French experience and who are vivid supporters of the respective neighboring country and the German-French friendship.

What's the idea behind GFYL?

We want the GFYL programme to be an innovative platform that creates room for new concepts and inspiring ideas. We want to attract inspiring and dynamic personalities, we want them to network and to socialise, to discuss trending  issues and to talk about solutions. 

We want to facilitate the Franco-German exchange by bringing together the future leaders of tomorrow on a topic that concerns us all: Digitalisation.

 

It is our pronounced aim to help people engage, to challenge, to be inspired and to lay the groundworks for new joint projects. We do not only want to talk about German-French relations, we want to live them.

What is the thematic focus of GFYL?

The GFYL Conferences focus on a theme that is of particular relevance in today’s societies: Digitalisation.

 

This topic is covered through a particular forward-looking angle: How does digitalisation change our societies and work already today? What potential does it hold for the future? How can we link our forces and ideas in order to leave an impact on the future? Finding answers to these questions cannot be done in a classroom-like setting but by default requires interaction and innovative formats.

What does the future hold for GFYL?

Our aim is to enlarge the conference to up to 150 participants. It shall serve as a platform for the first encounter and meeting, for the first “match”. We want it to be a kind of eureka moment for our participants. Also, it shall help to identify talents who want to discuss and exchange. One idea is to bring them together in “Think Groups” where they can brainstorm about specific questions several times per year. Ideally, this will happen with corporate partners and foundations as coaches and sponsors. ​

Our added value with regard to existing bilateral 

programmes?

We are not in competition to any other existing formats; on the contrary, we are creating something new by integrating a group into the French-German debate that until now has been rather quiet or ignored – a waste of potential in our eyes. We have introduced English as the working language to our interdisciplinary platform. Many inspiring multipliers and dynamic young professionals from both countries do not speak German or French fluently. Interaction during an English-speaking conference at the heart of Europe gives them the chance to exchange on a deeper level and to create a long-lasting relationship. 

What makes us interactive?

The conference is made by participants for participants. They are at the heart of the whole event: They present their ideas and share their expertise. The “grassroots” character is of particular importance to us: Participants present their expertise and ideas in TED-like talks and organise workshops in new formats, such as Open Situation Room or Open Space. A number of inspirational activities and events complement the intensive rounds of discussion leaving time to develop a mutual understanding of each other. In this way, the participants themselves create the dynamics needed to ask new questions, to engage actively in discussions, to learn from each other, to inspire and to get inspired.