Transatlantic Dialogue on the Industrial Heartlands: Shaping the Future Developing solutions for a better, greener and more democratic life in the “places that don’t matter”

For a generation, people living in the traditional industrial heartlands all over the world have been buffeted by a technological and services revolution, the decline of manufacturing, and the rise of a borderless global digital economy. The result is deepening inequality, ongoing political support for right-wing populists and a hollowing out of the middle class.

With this three-year project together with our partners from the U.S. and Germany we aim to create new opportunities in old industrial heartlands in both countries by forging a transatlantic dialogue, exchanging best practices and developing political strategies and policy solutions for a better, greener and more democratic future in the “places that don’t matter”. The main goal is to deliver increased living standards and opportunities, while also working towards rebuilding trust in democracy in the U.S. and Germany.

17th Nov 2023

Kick-Off Seminar and Presentation of First Impulse Papers

After an intensive first working phase on the thematic strands of “Climate, Work and Innovation” and “Perspective for the Future, Respect and Participation”, our Project Fellows outline the issues and topics they will work on throughout the course of the project. They are presented to the public at Innocracy Conference on November 17 where these impulse papers will set the scene for a panel discussion amongst elected officials and leaders from the US Midwest as well as German transformation regions.

11-18th Nov 2023

Industrial Heartlands and Democracy Study Tour

From November 11 to November 18,  to share and learn from peers in the important work of closing economic divides in our democracies. After a start in Brussels where they will attend the Conference on Transatlantic Work to Address Geographies of Discontent, and Charleroi, they will tour the Saarland and Saxony (Leipzig) transformation regions to end up in Berlin, exchanging with local and federal decision-makers along the way.

Oct 2023

Project Fellows and Sounding Board

Bringing our project to life: We’ve selected a group of 12 young experts, practitioners, and professionals from the United States and Germany working on shaping the industrial heartlands in both countries towards a greener, better and more democratic future. These fellows are at the heart of our Industrial Heartlands Project. They are complemented by a Sounding Board of nine experts from both sides of the Atlantic who will advise our fellows as well as the project managers.


Project Team

Florian Ranft

Member of the Management Board and Head of Green New Deal

Axel Ruppert

Project Manager

Sandra Rath

Junior Project Manager