On May 25, 2017, President Obama joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel and four young leaders for a conversation on the topic of “Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally.” Set against the backdrop of Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, President Obama spoke about the role that young people will play in shaping a better future:
"I am very optimistic and the reason I’m most optimistic is because of remarkable young people like this and young people in the audience who are already making the world a better place. My job is to see if I can be a good coach to them so that they can be the next, the next ground breakers who transform this place into what I think God intended. A place of peace and prosperity and a place where all our children have opportunity."
President Obama also discussed his own focus over the next several years: the Presidential Center and Obama Foundation:
“My focus over the next several years, trying to create a network so that we can train the next generation of leaders and that I can help young people like this who are already doing amazing things to get to know each other, across countries, within countries, to give them the skills and the tools so that they can make even more changes in the future."
Meet the Young Leaders:
The conversation brought together four talented young people — teacher Sierra Sims and actress Imani Abernathy from the South Side of Chicago and social worker Filiz Kuyucu and student Benedikt Wichtlhuber from Mannheim. Listen to their inspiring stories below.
See the Art:
We reached out to Christoph Niemann — an artist who calls Berlin and New York home — to help us illustrate some of the ways the Obama Foundation will engage with people around the world. “I want to celebrate the myriad ways large and (especially) small in which people around the world can make a difference,” Niemann wrote. Take a look at the animations that appeared on screen at the event in Berlin and read about the art and its meaning Opens in a new tab .