This is an experiment. It’s a challenge we trust our readers will rise to. In search of a form that does justice to its age, it lays bare the horizontal dimension running through any set of conversations.

A simple swipe is all it takes to navigate: up or down, left and right.

Every conversation stands for itself and can be read in full as usual. Yet whoever dares foray to the left or right will rediscover the same subject through a different lens. These links interpenetrate our conversations like a weft traversing manifold strands of warp. A simple swipe is all it takes to navigate: up or down, left and right.

These connections are sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious, and always handcrafted. They sedulously uncover a fundamental layer common to all discourses where silent assumptions reveal themselves and contradictions come to the fore, where ideas betray their provenance and, possibly, even that which isn’t said becomes transparent. Thus arranged, the figures assembled here appear in their two roles simultaneously: as both spectators and actors in the world theatre – “Zeitgeister”, if a German pun may pass unpunished.

To forestall any misunderstanding: An enterprise so youthfully presumptuous is destined to fall short of its noble ambitions and can be a productive failure at best. And needless to say that – as with all invitations (ours at least) – any gathering of 21 people will owe no less to chance than to choice.

First published in German on 1st February 2021, this volume will be amended throughout the year and beyond.

And yet, the questions perturbing us not only since last year do not lend themselves to definitive answers and tend to be drowned out by the present. To investigate and explore them without inhibitions or prejudice is a privilege of youth, perhaps. First published in German on 1st February 2021, this volume will be extended throughout the year and beyond until we have compiled the eponymous twenty-one minds.

In 2020, a preceding project on the European elections called »Das kleine Einmaleins der Europawahlen« (German only) was awarded the Altiero-Spinelli-Preis by the European Commission. We thus found ourselves in the fortunate position to be able to cover the minor expenses incurred with our own independent funds. All else has been taken care of by our spare time and effort.

These conversations have been a most gratifying pastime that only our readers’ joy can duly requite. Those willing to delve into it may find, if nothing else, delight.

Lucius Maltzan
& Simon Nehrer

What's this?

10 out of 21

continuously updated

Interactive

Interviews

A few questions
considering the state of the world

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen

The President

Ursula von der Leyen is the current President of the European Commission. A German Christian Democrat, she had previously served as Minister of Defence, of Family Affairs, and of Labour.

Start

Europe

Economy

Climate

Foreign Policy

Democracy

Science

Traditions

Madame President

Kevin Kühnert

Kevin Kühnert

The Young Socialist

Kevin Kühnert gained widespread recognition as leader of the German Social Democrats' youth wing. He is now a party vice-president and member of the Bundestag for Berlin.

Start

Crisis

Government vs. Market

UBI

Social Democracy

Foreign Policy

Europe

Democracy

Climate

Debate

Buddhism & Tourism

Paul Collier

Paul Collier

The Economist

Paul Collier is a British development economist and director of the International Growth Centre. “Exodus” and “The Future of Capitalism” are among his most successful publications.

Start

Crisis

Cleavages and Bridges

Work

Family

Defining Boundaries

Brexit

Faith

Utopia

Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim

The Maestro

Apart from his achievements as a pianist, Daniel Barenboim has also held the baton at the Orchestre de Paris, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Staatskapelle. He is an Argentinian of Israeli descent and a co-founder of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

Start

Europe

New Sounds

Don't Need No Education

Perpetual Peace

Art and Market

Requiem

A Life in Music

Felicitas Hoppe

Felicitas Hoppe

The Author

Felicitas Hoppe is a German author. She was awarded the prestigious Georg Büchner Prize in 2012. Recent publications include “Prawda” and “Hoppe”.

Start

Writings

Toothless Old Men

Playing Roles

Ideals and Ideologies

Unambiguously ambiguous

Exit Strategies

Land of the Free

Vitae Cursus

Gregor Gysi

Gregor Gysi

The Veteran Socialist

Gregor Gysi is a German lawyer and politician. He was leader of the East German Socialist Unity Party (SED) when the GDR collapsed. Today, he is a long-standing parlamentarian of the socialist party "Die Linke" and a widely respected elder statesman.

Start

Crisis

Councils and Consultants

War & Peace

Europe

Government vs. Market

Left-Back

Climate

False Splendour

Insights and Outlooks

Peter Sloterdijk

Peter Sloterdijk

The Philosopher

Peter Sloterdijk is a German philosopher and author. His work ranges from the legendary “Critique of Cynical Reason” published in 1983 to the recently released "After God”.

Start

The Relishing State

Shark Tank

Two-third socialism

The Discovery of Work

Rich Parents for All

The Virtues of Hypocrisy

Europe

School Tragedies

Life without Excuses

Giovanni di Lorenzo

Giovanni di Lorenzo

The Editor-in-chief

Giovanni di Lorenzo is a German-Italian journalist. He has been editor-in-chief of Germany's renowned weekly “Die Zeit” since 2004.

Start

Crisis

Journalism

Social Media

Democracy

Europe

Religion

Task for Humanity

Hartmut Rosa

Hartmut Rosa

The Sociologist

Hartmut Rosa is professor of sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and a leading protagonist in the tradition of critical theory. His opera magna are called “Social Acceleration” and “Resonance”.

Start

Crisis

Acceleration

Modern Pressures

Freedom

Art

Approaching the World

Europe

Resonance

Brave New World

Josef Hader

Josef Hader

The Comedian

Joseph Hader is an Austrian cabaret artist and national treasure. His performances, acting, and directing are popular across the German-speaking world.

Start

Humour

Crisis

The End of Enlightenment

Creative Urge

Humanism

Freedom

Immortality

Europe

Young & Old

That's Life

image/svg+xml
image/svg+xml

Test

Link copied to clipboard!
image/svg+xml

Hint: Navigate using the arrow keys!