Atlantic-community.org is the first online foreign policy think tank, and is primarily focused on issues affecting transatlantic relations. Launched in 2007 as a project of Atlantische Initiative e.V., based in Berlin, and Atlantic Initiative U.S., based in Washington D.C., our mission is to encourage open and democratic dialogue on the challenges facing Europe and North America. We believe that these challenges – from economic crises to counteracting terrorism – can only be solved through close cooperation.
Atlantic-community.org is member-driven; our community encourages everyone, whether or not they form part of the Atlantic community in a geographic sense, to have a say on the issues. We especially want to provide a voice for new generation of thinkers and young leaders, giving them the opportunity to publish and debate side by side with established experts, and to have their policy ideas seen by senior officials. This gives our members real political influence, while decision-makers benefit from the next generation’s fresh ideas.
Our main section is the Open Think Tank, where op-eds written by members and edited by our staff are published on a daily basis. Readers comment on the ideas and suggestions presented in the articles, and the editorial staff then condenses the debates into Atlantic Memos – executive summaries that harness the collective intelligence of the community, and present the best solutions and policy recommendations. These memos are sent to policy makers in over 27 countries in Europe and North America for their consideration.
Atlantic-community.org also features numerous special features, sections, and events that promote debate and cooperative solutions to transatlantic issues and provide our members with access to policy makers. These include periodic “theme weeks” that focus on a particular issue and present a selection of member articles alongside established experts in that area. We also hold Policy Workshop Competitions where the winners get to present their ideas in person to government officials, as well as Q&As that allow members to ask direct questions of senior policy makers.
Membership is free. Become a member of our community today and join in the debate with your fellow citizens and peers.
Other Atlantic Initiative projects include:
Global Must Reads
Global Must Reads is a premium selection of studies and analyses from over 50 American and European sources (Think Tanks, magazines, and journals), which are concisely summarized for our readers. Global Must Reads is sent in PDF-format to more than 15,000 decision-makers in politics, economics, the media and academia. This makes Global Must Reads the most widely distributed foreign policy publication in the German language.
The German-language blog Deutschlands Agenda, launched in November, is the Atlantic Initiative's most recent project. Like atlantic-community.org, this platform concentrates on foreign policy; however, it especially aims to raise awareness as well as strengthen the debate on German foreign policy issues. In an ever more connected world, foreign policy factors have to be taken into account while making national policy decisions. By explaining these interactions as well as initiating a discussion on the topic between citizens, politicians and opinion leaders, Deutschlands Agenda looks to accustom citizens to the global context of decisions.
Events and Competitions
Your Ideas, Your NATO
The Your Ideas, Your NATO competition, sponsored by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the US Mission to Germany, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, invited students and young professionals to present their policy ideas for the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012.
Participants were asked to submit a short opinion article in one of our three categories of debate: transatlantic values and community, partnerships after the Arab Spring, and Smart Defense. For each category, authors of the five best contributions were brought together through interactive wikis and conference calls to refine their arguments and reach a consensus on policy recommendations. These online policy workshops resulted in three Atlantic Memos, one on each category topic.
The three first place winners presented their memos to Philip D. Murphy, the US Ambassador, and Christian Schmidt, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Defense, at our event in Berlin on May 21, 2012.
Q&As with senior NATO officials
Atlantic-community.org holds regular Q&As with senior NATO officials on a variety of interesting and important topics relating to the Alliance. These Q&As provide access to members of the public to ask questions of top decision makers. Our recent Q&As include two sessions with Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy James Appathurai on NATO Partnerships as well as segments with Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Stéphane Abrial and Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Jamie Shea.
Ideas with Impact: Students Advise Decision Makers
The Ideas with Impact competition, sponsored by the US Mission to Germany, challenged German students with submitting policy recommendations on hot button issues like climate change, Iran's nuclear program, and relations between Russia and the West. The winners presented their policy advice directly to decision makers, including Philip D. Murphy, US Ambassador to Germany, and Philipp Mißfelder, Foreign Policy Spokesman for the CDU/CSU, the largest faction in the German Bundestag, in front of an audience of over 80 diplomats, politicians, media representatives, policy advisors, and students.
Women on Transatlantic Security
As a part of our commitment to empower a new generation of foreign policy thinkers, our Women on Transatlantic Security competition, sponsored by the US Mission to NATO and the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, brought together aspiring female leaders and gave them an opportunity to share their policy ideas with senior experts. As women are still underrepresented in the fields of security and political leadership, this competition looked to provide young women a publishing and networking opportunity in a field that needs new perspectives and new ideas. We produced three Atlantic Memos from this competition and received over 100 high quality submissions.
New Media Prize of the RIAS Berlin Commission
The RIAS Berlin Commission awarded its New Media Prize to the publishers of atlantic-community.org in July 2008, and praised it as a "platform for convening transatlantic exchange, possible only with the availability of the Internet.” The RIAS Berlin Commission rewards "radio, TV and Internet productions which made special contributions to the mutual understanding between the people of Germany and of the United States of America.”
A Landmark in the Land of Ideas
In January 2009 atlantic-community.org was selected as a "Landmark in the Land of Ideas.” Germany: Land of Ideas is a shared initiative of the German government and commerce and industry represented by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and leading corporations, under the patronage of Federal President Horst Köhler. The competition seeks to award places where innovation, new talent, new ideas, and constructive curiosity are prevalent – the very principles upon which atlantic-community.org bases its work. To celebrate the award, the editorial team hosted a special panel discussion on Web 2.0 and the future of political participation.
Speaker & Dialogue Award
Atlantic-community.org was awarded the prestigious "Speaker and Dialogue Award” (Redner- und Dialogpreis) by the Initiative ProDialog. Atlantic-community.org was recognized in the "Best Dialogue in Civil Society" category. Kerstin Plehwe, the Chairperson of Initiative ProDialog said that atlantic-community.org had shown "the ability of dialogue to promote participation and cooperation. In times of crisis the key to successful communication is to create trust and understanding.”
Dr. Johannes Bohnen studied international relations at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and received his doctorate degree from Oxford University. Following positions with several think tanks, the German Bundestag and the German government, he was founder and managing director of Scholz & Friends Agenda, a public affairs agency in Berlin. Johannes is a partner at Bohnen Kallmorgen & Partner, a consultancy for policy analysis and strategic communications in Berlin.
Jan-Friedrich Kallmorgen is trained as an historian and holds a master's degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He has worked in journalism and as a business consultant in Washington, D.C., and was an investment manager with Goldman, Sachs & Co from 2000 to 2003. From 2004 to 2007 he served as head of the Transatlantic Program at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and is now a partner at Bohnen Kallmorgen & Partner, a consultancy for policy analysis and strategic communications in Berlin.
Joerg Wolf is project manager and editor-in-chief of atlantic-community.org. Jörg studied political science at the Free University of Berlin and worked as a research associate for the International Risk Policy project at the Free University's Center for Transatlantic Foreign and Security Policy. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Washington D.C. and has worked for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Cairo and in Berlin. He can be reached at: wolf AT atlantic-community DOT org
Joshua Clapp is managing editor of atlantic-community.org. Joshua studied Political Science (BA) at St. Olaf College in the United States and European Studies (MA) at the University of Bath in England and Humboldt University in Germany. His Master's thesis analyzed the construction of energy security in the United States and Europe. He can be reached at clapp AT atlantic-community DOT org.
Ramin Daniel Rezai is an editor of atlantic-community.org. Ramin graduated with a LLM in Law and Politics of International Security from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and holds a BA in Political Science from Concordia University. He has worked as a research associate for the Public International Law and Policy Group and has interned for the International Criminal Law Services Foundation.
Tabatha Robinson is an editor at atlantic-community.org. Tabatha studied International Relations at Stanford University in the United States. She has previously worked for an immigration reform nonprofit in Berlin and for the British government in San Francisco, California. Her research interests include neo-imperialism and post-conflict reconstruction.
Atlantic Initiative U.S.
Rüdiger Lentz is the president of Atlantic Initiative U.S. He studied international relations and history at the University of Hamburg and has been the Washington bureau chief and senior diplomatic correspondent for Deutsche Welle Radio and Television since January 1999. Prior to his assignment in Washington, he served as Deutsche Welle's Brussels Bureau Chief. Before joining Deutsche Welle, Rüdiger worked as a correspondent for the German news magazine Der Spiegel and as a TV commentator and reporter at ARD/WDR. He is a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, UCLA, and the Federal Armed Forces University and a regular guest on CNN and C-Span.
Christopher Jurgens is a member of the board of Atlantic Initiative U.S. He is a senior manager at Accenture Development Partnerships and an accomplished speaker on non-profit consulting, global management, technology services and outsourcing. Accenture Development Partnerships is a non-profit organization that provides consulting services to donors, non-governmental organisations and other non-profit entities working in developing countries. He holds degrees from Georgetown and Miami University and has worked at the Office of the Secretary at the US Department of Transportation’s international affairs division.
Wess Mitchell is a member of the board of Atlantic Initiative U.S. He is director of research at The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a research institute dedicated to the study of Central Europe. Mitchell is a frequent contributor to leading American and European newspapers and journals and a regular speaker at transatlantic policy conferences and workshops. Mitchell was a policy analyst at the National Center for Policy Analysis and worked in the office of Texas Congressman Larry Combest. He holds an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s degree in German and European studies from Georgetown University; and a graduate certificate from the American Consortium on European Union Studies.