Organizations in the 21st Century:
Knowledge and Learning—the Basis for Growth

Nov. 16-17, 2001 at the Social Science Research Center (WZB), Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin

Overview
Back Home Next


"Organizations in the 21st Century: Knowledge and Learning—the Basis for Growth" was held Nov. 16-17, 2001 at the Social Science Research Center (WZB) in Berlin, sponsored by the Gottlieb Daimler- and Karl Benz-Foundation.

Home
Contents
Overview
Program
Summary
Presentations
Tribute
Images
Background
Links

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—NOVEMBER 2001

 

Organizations in the 21 Century:

Knowledge and Learning — the Basis for Growth

Nov. 16—17, 2001

Social Science Research Center (WZB), Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin

Research Unit: Organization and Technology

 

On November 16—17, the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) is holding an international conference on “Organizations in the 21 Century: Knowledge and Learning — the Basis for Growth The participants, who come from Asia, the Middle East, the United States of America and several European countries, include many of the scholars and practitioners who participated over the past five years in a research network on organizational learning financed by the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation.

The conference will focus on how organizations (governments, companies, labour unions, political parties, associations) can meet the challenge of a rapidly—and constantly—changing environment. Which structures are most apt to meet these challenges? Which organizational culture and which leadership style is best suited to grasp rapid change as an opportunity?

One of the many prominent speakers is Jurgen Dormann, Chairman of the Board of Aventis SA, who will talk about his experiences with the role of strategic visions in organizational transformation. Neil Smelser, one of the most respected sociologists in the United States, will tackle the thorny topic of how the social sciences learn. The extent to which political institutions learn or impede learning will be discussed in a workshop with input from Bernard, Lord Donoughue of Ashton, the Minister for Farming and Food in Tony Blair’s last cabinet and former Senior Policy Advisor for two Labor governments, and Wolfgang Nowak, Director General, Department of Political Analysis and Planning, Federal Chancellery, Berlin.

The wide range of topics covered also includes workshops on issues that have received far too little attention to date, such as the role of power in organizational learning. Here, one of the speakers will be Victor Friedman, Ruppin Institute, Israel, who has extensive experience with stimulating negotiations and cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis.

A particularly unusual dimension of this WZB conference that is sure to be very stimulating is that several representatives from the arts will contribute to the program. Michael Wilford who, as a partner of James Stirling, participated in the design of the WZB building, will talk with the participants about how architects seek to create a physical structure for facilitating and enhancing learning. The conference will close with a presentation by Bob Wilson on the eve of his Zurich premiere of Wagner’s “Rheingold”. He will cover the topic of how the arts, and theatre in particular, can encourage and support learning processes in business corporations, labour unions, political parties, and society as a whole.

Revised: 11/13/02. All contents copyright 2001 by Steve Barth, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB), and individual authors. All rights reserved. For more information, please contact the Webmaster. Photographs by Peter Hinsel.