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Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Inspires at Harvard


Chancellor Merkel’s commencement address at Harvard University celebrates a day of joy and the opening of a door to a new life

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, stood before the Harvard University Class of 2019 on the 30th of May, delivering striking remarks inspiring the next generation of world leaders to pursue life with tenacity.

Dear Harvard Class of 2019:
Chancellor Merkel remarked “your generation will face the challenges of the 21st century in the coming decades. You are among those who will lead us into the future. Protectionism and trade conflicts endanger free world trade and thus the foundations of our prosperity. The digital transformation covers all areas of our lives.

Change for the better is possible if we tackle it together. Going it alone, we will not succeed. And so this is my second thought for you: more than ever, we have to think and act multilaterally instead of unilaterally, global instead of national, cosmopolitan rather than isolationist. In short, together instead of alone.”

Generational Opportunities
“You, dear graduates, will in the future have quite different opportunities for this than my generation did. After all, your smartphone probably has far more computing power than the IBM mainframe replicated by the Soviet Union, which I was allowed to use in 1986 for my dissertation in the GDR.

Class of 2019, it is essentially up to you as to how we will take advantage of these opportunities. It will be you who will decide how our way of working, communicating, moving, and even developing our way of life will evolve.”

Breaking Down Walls
“But if we tear down the walls that restrict us, if we open the door and embrace new beginnings, then everything is possible. Walls can collapse. Dictatorships can disappear. We can stop global warming. We can overcome hunger. We can eradicate diseases. We can give people, especially girls, access to education. We can fight the causes of displacement and forced migration. We can do all this.”

This article was written using a transcript and video of Chancellor Merkel’s commencement address. To view and read the speech in its entirety, click here.

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