Two-day conference convened by the University of Chicago October 18-19, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

On October 18 and 19, 2019, The University of Chicago will gather leading scholars and high-ranking political decision-makers from around the world in Berlin, Germany to discuss current global crises and conflicts at The Pearson Global Forum 2019. Hosted by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy's Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, the aim of the public conference, entitled "Beyond Walls | Deconstructing Conflict," is to analyze current conflicts and to derive recommendations for political action, with Berlin serving as an anchor in discussing what is possible in order to overcome both physical and symbolic walls. 

Occurring just weeks before the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the second annual conference will focus on topics of our current global reality, including the experiences of German reunification, the formation of states in Iraq, the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and the situation of political and ethnic minorities such as the Uighurs in China.

All sessions of the conference can be viewed via livestream on Facebook Live.

"The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts is dedicated to applying rigorous, evidence-based inquiry to the issues of peace and conflict," said Daniel Diermeier, Provost of the University of Chicago. "The Pearson Institute seeks to contribute to a world more at peace through field-defining research, educating the next generation of policy scholars and leaders, and engaging the policy community in conversation through The Pearson Global Forum."

2019 Forum highlights include:

  • Markus Meckel, former foreign minister of the GDR, and Roland Jahn, acting Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records, will give first-hand insight into the political and social events of autumn 1989 in Germany and around the world and the lessons learned since then. 
  • Pearson Institute Professor Chris Blattman will speak on interventions to curb urban violence, based on his research in Medellín, Chicago and Liberia. 
  • James Robinson, Institute Director of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts and University Professor at the University of Chicago, will present themes from his new co-authored book The Narrow Corridor, a follow up to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Why Nations Fail
  • Pearson Institute Professor Oeindrila Dube and Pearson Institute Professor and Nobel Laureate Roger Myerson will present original research on Women and War and State-building lessons from the British Empire respectively. 
  • Feisal al-Istrabadi, former Deputy Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, will speak on state building in Iraq. 
  • Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian Mission in the United Kingdom and peace activist and author Yousef Bashir, will give insight into the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine. 
  • The current situation of minorities in China will be addressed by Sophie Richardson, China Director at Human Rights Watch, and by author Jewher Ilham.

"The purpose of this Forum is to bring together international policy makers, academics and practitioners to ensure that we are working together to impact policy based on the best research of the day," said Professor James Robinson, Institute Director of the Pearson Institute. 

You can find the complete conference program here.

The University of Chicago is a leading academic and research institution that has driven new ways of thinking since its founding in 1890. As an intellectual destination, the University draws scholars and students from around the world to its home in Hyde Park and campuses around the globe. The University provides a distinctive educational experience, empowering individuals to challenge conventional thinking and pursue research that produces new understanding and breakthroughs with global impact. Home to more than 90 Nobel laureates, the University of Chicago is dedicated to an environment of fearless inquiry and academic rigor. 

In 2015, the University announced the creation of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the Harris School of Public Policy, the first of its kind research institute dedicated to applying rigorous, evidence-based inquiry to the issues of peace and conflict. Established through a grant from The Thomas L. Pearson and The Pearson Family Members Foundation, and led by Institute Director James Robinson, co-author of Why Nations Fail, the Institute seeks to understand the complex causes and consequences of conflict by mobilizing the best minds and the most innovative tools and technology to drive new breakthroughs and understanding that informs policy and leads to a world more at peace.