Transatlantic Conference to Address the “Geographies of Discontent”

Authors: Florian Ranft, Axel Ruppert, Sandra Rath

There is a growing convergence of interest and effort on both sides of the Atlantic to bridge geographic economic divides and reconnect residents of industrial heartland communities to economic opportunity. Where these communities continue to decline, residents feel disconnected and alienated from a rapidly changing global economy and polity, while polarizing, resentment-driven and populist political movements that undermine our democracies can grow from within. Where economic regeneration has been done successfully, it serves to return community pride and optimism about the future and reduces political discontent. 

In order to share transatlantic experience and promote effective strategies for investment in people living in industrial heartlands, the Conference on Transatlantic Work to Address “Geographies of Discontent” brings together leaders and economic change practitioners from across Europe, the UK and the US.

After a keynote address by Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Senior Advisor and Vice-President, Bertelsmann Foundation and Sounding Board Member of the Transatlantic Dialogue on the Industrial Heartlands Project, we will engage in discussions with:

  • Peter Berkowitz, Director, European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy
  • Dr. Raphael L’Hoest, German Deputy Director General, Structural and Regional Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Missy Hughes, Secretary & CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • Bill Peduto, Former Mayor of Pittsburgh, now heading Carnegie Mellon Institute
  • Katie Rosenberg, Mayor of Wausau, Wisconsin.

Please note that there is a limited capacity for in-person attendance. We look forward to welcoming you at the convening and discussing the future of industrial heartlands with you.

This conference is organized within the context of a delegation trip of local decisionmakers from the United States to Germany and Europe. The trip’s goal is to engage in a transatlantic exchange on the challenges facing the industrial heartlands in Europe and the United States as well as best practices to tackle them. The delegation trip is organized within the Transatlantic Dialogue on the Industrial Heartlands Project.