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In a Nutshell

The Atlantic Community is the first online platform for transatlantic debate on key issues of international politics and globalization. We facilitate thought-provoking open discussion on the common challenges facing North America and Europe with daily commentary from policy experts, journalists and decision-makers.

The Atlantic Community operates under two guiding principles:

  • Today's transatlantic agenda is global. The challenges facing North America and Europe—from energy security to counteracting terrorism—can only be solved through close cooperation between the two.
  • Truly democratic dialogue—grounded in transparent debate—is the key to cooperative solutions.

We intend to provide an arena for these discussions. The Atlantic Community will end the exclusivity of policy discussion and open the door to the next generation of thinkers and young leaders. We provide a collaborative sounding board where users can contribute to the debate 24 hours a day and actively engage in setting the transatlantic agenda.

The Open Think Tank Idea

The Atlantic Community not only functions as an author driven online magazine, but also as an open think tank. Community software allows users - senior policy makers and casual readers alike - to contribute solutions to the challenges discussed on the website. We target users of differing nationalities, cultures and backgrounds to achieve an unprecedented diversity of opinion and response in our Policy Workshop. We believe that the open think tank will level the playing field on policy opinion, producing a knowledge pool that will both empower the next generation and facilitate the informed decisions of our policy experts. This newly generated content generated by collective intelligence will result in a stronger and more sustainable transatlantic partnership based on a plurality of ideas: ideas that will be relayed to policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic through our Executive Summaries. We seek to constantly improve our ability to influence decision makers with the results of our debates.


The Atlantic Community was conceived in 2006 by the Atlantic Initiative, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Berlin and an office in Washington DC. Through their work on the website Global Agenda to revitalize the German foreign policy community, the founders of the Atlantic Initiative recognized the need for a new English-language venture that would strengthen transatlantic ties and reinforce the idea that today's transatlantic agenda is global. The Atlantic Community is supported by a start-up grant from the European Recovery Program fund of the German government's Ministry for Economics and Technology (BMWi), and with personal investment from founders Jan-Friedrich Kallmorgen and Dr. Johannes Bohnen.

Features of the Atlantic Community
Issues Navigator

The Issues section is the resource for all published material on the Atlantic Community and functions as an archive. Readers can access all past content through an index of terms, enabling comprehensive issue-specific searches: published discussions and responses appear with original articles and users can track the development of Atlantic Community topics.

Policy Workshop

The Policy Workshop is the centerpiece of the Atlantic Community. Opinion articles by weekly columnists (e.g. decision-makers, journalists and policy experts) prompt users to share their views and to argue the relative merits of proposed solutions. Guest writers contribute work on topics of current interest, taking a position on the issue with a short, concise op-ed style. The arguments of the most interesting debates will be presented in form of an Executive Summary, prepared by our editorial staff. Wherever possible, this collective intelligence will be distributed to decision makers. If members of the Atlantic Community have contributed to an Executive Summary, they will be named as an author in the memorandum.


The Context section of the Atlantic Community provides supplemental information to support informed community debate in the Policy Workshop. Editors select the relevant news and commentary and present it to readers: items from international think tanks, newspapers, and well-regarded journals. The future flagship feature of the Context section will be Executive Summaries, one-page reports that distill the ideas from Policy Workshop discussions into applicable solutions for opinion leaders and policy makers.


The Community section showcases the social networking features of the Atlantic Community. Here members can benefit from the expertise of other Atlantic Community members and establish real-world contacts. Members can also create more elaborate profiles which express their personal interests and professional areas of expertise. The Community section also features regular polls to help users get to know one another's opinions and better understand the demographics of those registered.

About the Atlantic Initiative

The Atlantic Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Berlin dedicated to advancing transatlantic cooperation. We believe that the challenges of the twenty-first century can only be overcome if Europe and North America work together.

We endeavor to:

  • spread the message that today's transatlantic agenda is global: International challenges like terrorism, the energy crisis, and the rise of new powers in Asia demand a unified Western policy.
  • promote collaboration between Europe and North America on issues of globalization and foreign policy.
  • cultivate and improve intellectual exchange across the Atlantic through increased networking opportunities, where decision-makers and opinion leaders can connect with one another and with a new generation of students and future policy professionals.
  • help multinational corporations understand how geopolitics can impact business, and encourage firms to become more active in supporting a stable world order.
  • contribute to a strategic community in Germany that encompasses the relevant social sheres of politics, business, science, culture and media. The aim is to strengthen Germany's foreign policy culture.

In order to attain these goals, we operate on two basic levels:

1. Navigating International Relations
  • The web site Our online German-language journal presents research from leading American think tanks and journals to the German policy community. The Global Agenda editorial team monitors a plethora of publications daily so that our readers have a one-stop source for executive summaries of the most important research and commentary spanning the Atlantic.
  • The Global Must Reads: This monthly newsletter, also in German, highlights the essential articles on Global Agenda and is sent to a list of 15,000 subscribers.

This unique dual service provides decision-makers with a key information source on the most pressing global issues and helps opinion leaders to analyze policy more effectively.

2. Strengthening Transatlantic Networks
  • "Atlantic Happy Hour": This event series features expert panels on security issues with key decision-makers. Recent panalists include the NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the head of the Bundeswehr, Inspekteur General Wolfgang Schneiderhan. The role of the armed forces in Afghanistan was the centerpiece of the discussions.
  • "The Future of The West": This event series aims to supplement the transatlantic dialogue on questions of foreign relations and security with a socio-political contribution. A conscious "reconstruction of the West" requires a cultural self-confidence. The meaning of the West must be discursively re-determined. This can be achieved only through an intensive intellectual exchange and an open transatlantic dialogue that can move beyond established institutions. The topic of the first event was "civil liberty rights after 9/11."
  • The Atlantic Initiative has conducted additional events, e.g. on corporate social responsibility (in cooperation with Daimler Chrysler), the EU's mission in the Congo and the geopolitical challenges of the West (both in conjuction with the German Council on Foreign Relations).

For more information see

As a think tank, we monitor, analyze, and communicate current security, economic, and cultural matters, and seek to anticipate future developments. Our newest project, the Atlantic Community, is the first online platform for transatlantic debate on key issues of international politics and globalization.

The most current project of the Atlantic Initiative is the website Atlantic Community, which combines our two operating levels of navigation and networking. Using English as a lingua franca, this open think tank on global issues introduces part of the Global Agenda concept to an international audience - in particular the Global Must Reads. The Atlantic Initiative therefore connects transatlantic leaders - both active and future - and provides a platform for long-term relationships based on mutual trust.

The Atlantic Initiative was founded in 2004 by Dr. Johannes Bohnen and Jan Kallmorgen.

Advisory Board Members of the Atlantic Initiative
  • Dr. Rudolf Adam, President, Federal College for Security Studies (BAKS), Berlin
  • Dr. Ronald D. Asmus, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Washington, D.C.
  • Prof. Dr. Arnulf Baring, Historian, Berlin
  • Dr. Christoph Bertram, Hamburg
  • Carl-Eduard von Bismarck, Member of Parliament, Berlin
  • Dr. Philipp v. Boehm-Bezing, BBSC Boehm-Bezing, Sieger & Cie., Stuttgart
  • Jürgen Chrobog, BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt, Munich
  • Thomas L. Farmer, American Bankers Association, Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt
  • Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin, President, Radio Free Europe, Prague
  • Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg, Member of Parliament, Committee on Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Helga Haftendorn, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin
  • Dr. John C. Hulsman, Ph.D., Oppenheim Scholar, German Council of Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • Dr. Michael J. Inacker, Co-Editor Wirtschaftswoche, Berlin
  • Dr. Jackson Janes, Director, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Washington, D.C.
  • Marvin Kalb, Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Dr. Walther Leisler Kiep, Chairman Emeritus, Atlantik-Brücke, Berlin
  • Eckart von Klaeden, Member of Parliament, Berlin
  • Hans-Ulrich Klose, Member of Parliament, Committee on Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • John Kornblum, Chairman Lazard Germany, Berlin
  • Dr. Charles Kupchan, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.
  • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Member of European Parliament, Brussels
  • Dr. Kurt J. Lauk, Chairman, CDU Business Council (Wirtschaftsrat), Berlin
  • Dr. Beate Lindemann, Executive Vice-Chairmann, Atlantik-Brücke, Berlin
  • Heike MacKerron, Director for Europe, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin
  • Dr. Norbert Otten, Direktor Policy Issues, DaimlerChrysler AG, Stuttgart
  • Cem Özdemir, Member of European Parliament, Brussels
  • Ruprecht Polenz, Member of Parliament, President German-Atlantic Society, Berlin
  • Avi Primor, Former Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Tel Aviv
  • Prof. Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider, Director, German Council of Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. H.c. Horst M. Teltschlik, President, Boeing Germany, Berlin
  • Karsten D. Voigt, Coordinator of German-American Cooperation, Foreign Office, Berlin
Founding Members of the Atlantic Initiative
  • Dr. Johannes Bohnen, Member of the Board, Atlantic Initiative
  • Daniel Dettling, Chairman BerlinPolis, Berlin
  • Jan-Friedrich Kallmorgen, Member of the Board, Atlantic Initiative
  • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Member of European Parliament, Brussels
  • Dr. Christoph Schwegmann, Federal Ministry of Defense, Berlin
  • Andrea Stürmer, Allianz AG, Munich
  • Dr. Rüdiger C. Sura, Deutsche Bank AG, Berlin
  • Dr. Philip Christian Wachs, Director Nationalstiftung, Hamburg
  • Magnus Prinz zu Wied, FischerAppelt Kommunikation, Berlin
  • Tobias Wolny, Deutsche BP
  • Lars Zimmermann, McCloy Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


You are in the archive of all articles published on from 2007 to 2012. To read the latest articles from our open think tank and network with community members, please go to our new website