Program Details

What is this program about?

From 2019 to 2023, Transatlantic Cities of Tomorrow: Digitalization and the Future of Work will engage 88 thought-leaders and practitioners from 12 cities in six U.S. states and 12 cities in eight German Länder, giving them valuable tools, approaches, and strategies to make a successful and effective transition to a digital economy in their local communities. In order to enhance both the substantive impact and the longer-term sustainability of the Transatlantic Cities of Tomorrow: Digitalization and the Future of Work network, the program will not be structured as multi-city study tours, but rather leaders from cities in each country will be paired with one another so that they may focus more in-depth on a single community in the other country and build deeper relationships with their professional counterparts.

The initiative will consist of four rounds of reciprocal exchanges, virtual components prior to, during, and following the trips, as well as a final conference to include all the participants and other actors involved in the implementation of the initiative. A key element of the project is the ACG’s intent to provide the participants with an opportunity for the practical – and immediate – exchange of ideas, best practices, and policy recommendations relevant to their cities and regions. The selected participants should share insights regarding their local circumstances, enabling them to work with their counterparts in other cities to define strategies and develop specific, hands-on approaches that could be potentially implemented in their cities and regions over the next five years.

What will take place during the reciprocal exchanges?

Each of the four exchange rounds will consist of:

  • The selection of three participants from each of the three cities in both countries. Additionally, each delegation will ideally have four representatives from the state-level/Land-level in both countries such that each round will consist of 22 participants.
  • Prior to travel, preparatory briefings will be held consisting of online webinars and conference calls via telephone or video with American and German experts on the topics being examined during the project.
  • The German participants will travel first to the United States, visiting each of the three cities, together with the American participants, for five days of programming at organizations dealing with the topics of the project.
  • Approximately 2 months later, the American participants will travel to Germany, with parallel programming, which will again include five days of meetings together with their German counterparts in their cities.
  • During the 2 months between the trips, the city groups will participate in online working groups reflecting on lessons learned and identifying areas for further exploration on the second trip.
  • Additionally, participants in each city are asked to establish a local group of individuals, as a broader set of stakeholders in their communities, to share insights and gather input for additional examination during the project.
  • Upon completion of each round, the groups from each of the cities will draft action plans identifying recommendations for each of their respective communities and will hold additional information sessions in their communities to share with key stakeholders in their cities. Participants will also submit individual reports on their experiences that will be shared with the networks of the American Council on Germany and the Advisory Council members.