Alexander Görlach

Global Academic, Essayist, Entrepreneur
"The internet is a passing phenomenon" - not!

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Alexander Görlach is best known as the founder and publisher of the debate magazine The European. He is a syndicated columnist, book author, TV- and radio-commentator. He completed PhDs in theology and linguistics and has held fellowships and lectureships at Harvard University and the Freie Universität Berlin. Alex is an astute observer of social shifts and cultural transformations. His recently published book "Wir wollen euch scheitern sehen" dissects the increasing role of malice in German public discourse.

Three Topics & Three "Take Aways"

We want to see you fail! How malice destroys Germany.
Envy is a widely observed phenomenon in German society. Whosoever tries and dares to have more than mediocre aspirations will be publicly flocked if he or she shows weakness, distress or even fail in one regard or the other.

This is due to Germans innermost averseness of risk taking and rejection of change.

- reflection of a contemporary issue
- self recognition
- challenging your own world view

Muslim Europa – a continent at a crossroad

Immigration from the Muslim World worries many Europeans. They see nothing less than the culture of the Occident at stake. Because of this all over the continent right wing parties seek momentum. The matter of price is whether or not Western values are combinable with Muslim identity.

- expertise
- positioning
- arguments for the discourse

"The internet is a passing phenomenon" - not!

The German "Mittelstand" (small and medium size businesses) are not fit for the digital change that has reached every corner of our society. To the contrary, they applaud to politicians claims to breakup Google and Amazon. This is more than the wrong attitude. The prosperity of Germany depends on a change of mentality in regard to the internet.

- ideas for innovation
- introcuction into real understanding what the Start-Up-industry is about
- opinion leadership

In the academic year 2015-2016 Alex serves as Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Divinity School researching about religious identities as source of global conflicts. Prior, in 2014, he served as J.F.Kennedy Memorial Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard, giving a series of lectures on current debates in Germany and their impact on Europe. Alex is also Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute and to the Berggruen Institute‘s Online-Magazine The Word Post.

The journalist: Alex began his journalistic career at age 20 at the local newspaper before moving to the public television station ZDF, where he served as the newsroom’s youngest editor and completed stints in studios in New York and London. Alex worked as a freelance writer for "Die Welt", the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", and the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". At "Radio Vatican", as an intern, he anchored the German news program before moving from journalism into politics. In 2006, he was appointed deputy spokesman for the conservative CDU caucus in the German Bundestag. In 2007, he was hired by the car manufacturer BMW to built an online magazine. In 2008, Alex returned to journalism as the online editor for the political magazine Cicero.

The entrepreneur: Alex founded The European in 2009. The magazine is conceived as an internationally-oriented and interdisciplinary platform for debates on contemporary issues. In 2012, the magazine added a quarterly print publication to its German and English websites. Alex successfully headed the magazine at a time when many other media companies struggled or folded, and continues to advise start-up companies in Berlin on entrepreneurial strategy. In 2012 and 2013, Alex authored "Newconomy", a regular column on the start-up industry.

The academic: Alex was fortunate to receive a university scholarship from the German Konrad-Adenauer Foundation. His studies have brought him to the Pontifical University Gregoriana in Rome, to the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and to the Faculty of Theology in Ankara. He completed his first PhD in theology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich in 2006 on the inter-religious dialogue between the Holy See and Muslim institutions in Egypt and Turkey. In 2009, Alex received his second PhD at the University of Mainz for his work on "A Discourse Analysis of the German Media on the Muhammad Cartoons".

The public figure: Alex is a sought-after TV and radio pundit. He has appeared on n-tv, N24, Deutsche Welle, and the ZDF, and is a regular contributor to detektor.fm radio. His op-eds have appeared in German and international media outlets, including Mediapart in France, Linkiesta in Italy, Der Standard in Austria, and The Huffington Post. His recent book on malice in public discourse was widely reviewed, including by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Network: Alex is a member of the Atlantik-Brücke, the oldest German organization devoted to transatlantic friendship. Additionally, he is a member of the German-Russian-Group of the Bosch Foundation, and has built a large personal network in politics, economics, society, and the media inside and outside of Germany.

Social engagement: Alex graduated high school in 1996 with a degree from the Humanistic Gymnasium in Worms. He served there as Head Boy for one year, and as a member of the student board for another. He has sung in the cathedral choirs in Worms and Mainz, and has been a member of the friends’ associations of both churches and of the Mainz ballet company. When the German national team soccer player Christoph Metzelder established a foundation in 2006 to focus on youth education and youth mentorship, Alex set up the foundation’s board and served as its spokesman for three years.

Interests: Alex passionately plays the organ. He used to be a swimmer in a squad in his hometown, and continues to swim. He also enjoys playing Basketball and ping-pong. His cultural interests are focused on the period from around 1870 to 1970 – the age of modernity, its art and literature.

  • Bild Wir wollen Euch scheitern sehen
  • Bild Freiheit oder Anarchie
Video & Audio
  • Alexander Görlach: How to save liberal democracy. TEDxBerlinSalon 2017
  • Alexander Görlach: The uncertain Future of the European Union
  • Alexander Görlach: Letters or Numbers