Falling Walls: Visions for the future 

Falling Walls Conference in Berlin

Falling Walls Conference in Berlin, © Benjamin Pritzkuleit

09.11.2018 - Article

At a conference in Berlin, young researchers from around the world dare to take a peek at tomorrow’s world

What ideas and research findings have the potential to fundamentally change our world? How can we solve global challenges? Which walls in science and society will fall next?
Scientists and researchers from across the world will be presenting their prize winning ideas in Berlin on 8 and 9 November at the annual Falling Walls International Conference on Future Breakthroughs in Science and Society.

Selection of forward looking ideas from around the world 

In the run up to the conference, young scientists were selected in Falling Walls Labs held in all parts of the globe with the support of the Federal Foreign Office and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Whether in Canberra, La Paz, Sendai, Accra or Bishkek, they each had three minutes in the Lab to present their ideas and projects to a jury and the public. The winners of these preliminary Labs are invited to the conference in Berlin.

Finale in Berlin

Falling Walls Conference 2017
Falling Walls Conference 2017© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net/Falling Walls

The Falling Walls Lab Finale took place in Berlin on 8 November. The winners of the preliminary Labs had the chance to present their ideas again to a high calibre jury. The best three were crowned “Young Innovators of the Year”.

The final conference was held on 9 November, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here, the scientists had an opportunity to meet pioneers, innovators and decision makers from the fields of science, politics, business and culture. They could also present their own research alongside twenty of the world’s most influential top scientists. The subjects discussed ranged from nanomaterials and quantum technology to poverty reduction, neuroscience and artificial intelligence.

The Falling Walls Lab Finale and the Falling Walls Conference were livestreamed globally.

Why is the Federal Foreign Office involved?

The Federal Foreign Office supports Falling Walls in order to promote international exchange, academic excellence and innovation. It is also a way for the Federal Foreign Office to help further enhance Germany’s international profile as a location for research and innovation and demonstrate Germany’s engagement for innovation worldwide.


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