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6 Degrees Berlin

Monday, November 12, 2018
09:00 – 17:00
Barenboim-Said Akademie

A full day of conversation and action on immigration, refugees, belonging, and how we build inclusive societies, featuring Josef Haslinger, Ai Weiwei, Naika Foroutan, and more than 20 speakers (see the full list below). Join us and be part of the conversation.



We live in an era of unprecedented movement and displacement of peoples around the world, some of them immigrating to other countries, some of them fleeing for political reasons or reasons of economic despair.

The result is the growth of complex allegiances to place and identity.

We need to have a new kind of conversation about how society will deal with fundamental questions of belonging, inclusion, and social resilience. We need to distinguish between integration and inclusion. We need to find new forms of social and civic engagement that can help people to live and work together.

Welcome to 6 Degrees Berlin.

About 6 Degrees

6 Degrees drives a global conversation on citizenship and inclusion. The Canadian initiative includes an immersive annual three-day event in Toronto, as well as a series of one-day pop-ups across Canada and around the world. 6 Degrees is about connection, conversation, artistic representation, and the power that comes from bringing people together. It is about what we can do to counter rising nativism and exclusion, and how we can go about doing it. It is also about language: how better language can make for better thinking; how we can reframe issues to open hearts and change minds.

6 Degrees is presented by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

About our 360s

6 Degrees is anchored by our signature 360s. Closer to lively conversations at a kitchen table, these in-the-round 90-minute experiences seek to dissolve the distinction between on-stage speakers and off-stage audience. At the heart of every 360 is a compelling idea—a concern and challenge—one requiring that we talk it through together and see what we can come up with. You are part of this. Everyone in the space is encouraged to expand the conversation; only then can the circle truly be widened.

At 6 Degrees Berlin, we will hold two 360s and one exchange:

360: Where We Stand
We live in a time of change. Climate, technology, and mass movements of people are an everyday reality, resulting in a more complex relationship to each other, and more complex allegiances to place and identity.

Established institutions and frameworks are struggling to accommodate this complexity. Public debate is increasingly emotional, social trust is in question. Some institutions are under serious threat of breaking. As societies confront these challenges, we are facing resurgent xenophobia, populism, and divisive pressures. Unilateralism is on the rise.

How do we confront these challenges? How can we move past our current deficient models of integration towards true inclusion?

360: Where We Go

We need to deal with the rising forces of division. We need new approaches to fundamental questions of belonging, inclusion, and social resilience. Using the wrong language distorts thought, and leads to bad policy. To combat these forces of division, we must work to create better language, inspire better thinking, and drive better policy. We need new forms of social and civic engagement to help people to live and work together.

How do we foster belonging? What models are working globally?

Art and Protest

“Everything is art,” Ai Weiwei has said.  “Everything is politics.”

Art, in its many forms, serves more than mere aesthetics. It represents identity and community, dreams and ideals, activism and protest. It captures the spirit and struggles of a time and place, and the fight for freedom of expression, common ground, and human rights. This session will look at how artists have been at the cutting edge of social change throughout history, reflecting the times they live in by dealing with urgent issues while creating and challenging ideas of beauty and perfection.



9:00 – 9:30
Welcome and warm-up
360 Stage (Pierre Boulez Saal)

Representative from the Barenboim-Said Akademie, David Leonard, Abdul-Rehman Malik

9:30 – 11:00
360: Where We Stand
360 Stage (Pierre Boulez Saal)
hosted by Charlie Foran
with Bernhard Schlink (GER), John Ralston Saul (CAN), Dany Laferrière (HAI/CAN), Esra Küçük (GER), and Regina Catrambone (ITA)

11:00 – 11:15

11:15 – 12:30

facilitated by Abdul-Rehman Malik and Scott Young
with Andreas Souvaliotis, Ines Kappert, Karima el Bouchtaoui, Wolfgang Gründinger, Sima Gatea, and more

Art and Protest
360 Stage (Pierre Boulez Saal)
with Adrienne Clarkson (CAN), Hermann Parzinger (GER), and Ai Weiwei (CHI)

12:30 – 13:30

13:30 – 13:45
Art at 6 Degrees Berlin
360 Stage (Pierre Boulez Saal)

13:45 – 15:15
360: Where We Go
360 Stage (Pierre Boulez Saal)
hosted by Charlie Foran
with Mayor Giorgos Kaminis (GRE), Naika Faroutan (IRA/GER), Gabrielle Scrimshaw (CAN), and others

15:15 – 15:30

15:30 – 16:45
What’s Next?
360 Stage (Pierre Boulez Saal)
hosted by Abdul-Rehman Malik
with Adrienne Clarkson, John Ralston Saul

contributions from Andreas Souvaliotis (GRE/CAN), Josef Haslinger (AUT), Marty Katz (CAN), Ottilie Balz (Bosch/GER), Katrin Gaertner (Bertelsmann/GER)

Closing Remarks and Performance
Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul
Barenboim-Said Akademie student performance



  • Ai Weiwei, artist and activist (China)
  • The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada and Co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (Canada)
  • Dr. Naika Foroutan, Director, German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) (Germany)
  • Dr. Josef Haslinger, award-winning author and past president of PEN Deutschland (Austria)
  • Giorgos Kaminis, Mayor of Athens (Greece)
  • Dr. Ines Kappert, Executive Director, Gunda Werner Institute (Germany)
  • Dany Laferrière, novelist and journalist (Canada)
  • Dr. Hermann Parzinger, Executive President, Europa Nostra, and President, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Germany)
  • John Ralston Saul, award-winning essayist and novelist, and Co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (Canada)
  • Bernhard Schlink, jurist and award-winning author of The Reader (Germany)
  • Gabrielle Scrimshaw, CEO, Indvest (Canada)
  • More to come

Click here to see the full bios of 6 Degrees Berlin speakers.


  • Bard College Berlin
  • Barenboim-Said Akademie
  • BMW Foundation
  • Bosch Foundation
  • Embassy of Canada to Germany


For more information on 6 Degrees Berlin, please contact us at

To purchase tickets to 6 Degrees Berlin, please click here (you will be redirected to the Barenboim-Said Akademie website).