The Mercator Salon, a series of European-Chinese events, is entering its second round: this weekend, Chinese and European guests will be discussing the subject of “Money and Happiness” at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing. Serving as a platform for discussion, the Mercator salons offer European and Chinese participants an opportunity to pursue dialogue on topical issues relevant to culture and society. The first two Mercator salons, focusing on the subject of “Cultural Metropolis – Metropolitan Culture”, took place in October 2012.
“The Mercator Salon represents the continuation of our commitment to a direct intercultural exchange of ideas and opinions between Chinese and Europeans”, explains Bernhard Lorentz, president of Stiftung Mercator. “The motto of Stiftung Mercator’s international engagement is ‘understanding one another, learning from one another and jointly overcoming international challenges’. We strongly believe that more dialogue is necessary to strengthen trust and mutual understanding between China and Europe.”
In the first salon, entitled “Does GDP growth make us happy? On the correlation between economic prosperity and happiness”, international experts will discuss the correlation between economic prosperity and happiness. On the panel will be sitting Ole von Uexküll, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, and Liang Jie, an economist at Fudan University and editor of “Dupin” magazine.
The second salon will discuss the subject of “Does giving make us happy? On the role of foundations in China and Europe”. Wang Zhenyao, Dean of the China Philanthropy Research Institute, and Gerry Salole, Executive Director of the European Foundation Centre, will join the audience in a discussion of the differences between the foundation sectors in China and Europe, and of what they have in common. Michael Kahn-Ackermann, Stiftung Mercator’s Special Representative in China, will chair both events.
The Mercator Salon is the follow-up to the “Enlightenment in Dialogue” series. Stiftung Mercator staged “Enlightenment in Dialogue” from 2011 to 2012 as the academic accompaniment to the exhibition “The Art of the Enlightenment” in Beijing. The official forums of the series were organized by the foundation in partnership with the National Museum of China. In addition, Stiftung Mercator separately initiated a series of salons in which German and Chinese intellectuals had the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions on philosophical, social and artistic aspects of the Enlightenment. The series of salons continues this format, focusing on a broader spectrum of subjects.
About Mercator Salon:
The Mercator Salon is a series of events in Beijing run by Stiftung Mercator. The salons provide an intercultural and interdisciplinary forum for Chinese and Europeans to exchange ideas and opinions. Topical social and cultural issues in China and Europe will be discussed in a direct dialogue, bringing together actors from the fields of science and scholarship, art and culture, civil society, politics and business. The first two Mercator Salons took place in October 2012 under the theme “Cultural Metropolis – Metropolitan Culture”. In June of 2013, the second round of Mercator Salons will discuss the theme of “Money and Happiness”. The third round of Mercator Salons about intellectuals and the role of science in China and Europe will be held November 2013.
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