Institute of the Weltethos Foundation
at the University of Tübingen

First slide

Global Ethic Department opened – Hemel on cooperation visit to Latin America

Institute Director Ulrich Hemel traveled to Peru from February 14-27 as part of a partnership trip to USIL University, among other places. There Hemel opened a new Global Ethic department together with Ramiro Salas, the Grand Chancellor from Peru, who signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Tübingen and the Global Ethic Institute last year.

Due to the high level of political uncertainty in Peru following the failed coup d’état of former President Pedro Castillo on December 7, 2022, and the interim takeover of power by Dina Boluarte, with subsequent violent unrest, street fighting, and, regrettably, several deaths, the visit of the PAGSID delegation was particularly well received.

This is reflected, for example, in the media attention in the country. The presentations of Ulrich Hemel led to various radio and television interviews, for example on 16.2.2023 in the “Canal N” of the television in Peru in the context of a round of talks with Mr. Medina (formerly Ernst&Young) and a well-known journalist, furthermore in the context of a round of questions in the television channel of the USIL University on 17.2.2023 as well as in a radio and television interview of the channel RPP on 18.2.2023 with a range of 2.5 million viewers.

In addition, there was an interview in the political magazine “La Carreta”, which is equivalent in reach and relevance to the German “Spiegel”. The prerequisite for being able to speak competently in the context of these media resonances was an extraordinarily intensive preoccupation with the political history and present in Peru.

The content was especially the question of the meaning of the social market economy in a model adapted for Peru. The topic of “social market economy” is mentioned in Peru’s previous constitution, but it did not play a decisive role in the country. For this reason, the experience gained in Germany with the social market economy was of great interest to the interlocutors, especially with regard to its possible transfer to local conditions. In Peru, for example, a constitutional amendment is currently being discussed but also disputed. The further development of the social market economy in the context of a country like Peru, which is strongly geared to exports and derives 60% of its gross national product from the export of raw materials, was particularly attractive to the interlocutors. The guiding idea of an advanced social market economy in the sense of a “Globalización con dignidad humana” (Globalization with Human Dignity), which was intensively discussed at the Global Ethic Institute, also contributed to this.

Already on the first day of the trip, the topic found great resonance in the context of a lecture entitled “Social Market Economy as a Peace Project”. This title links to a thesis paper by Christopher Gohl, Ulrich Hemel, Niels Goldschmit and Jeffrey Sachs from Dec. 23, 2019, which was later translated into various European languages. The presentation was given to entrepreneurs from the Peruvian top association SNI, with the guiding thesis that the combination of creating free competition as a mechanism for solving problems in the market with the guarantee of minimum social standards ultimately contributes to social cohesion.

Especially in a country like Peru, with over 70% informal economy, there is an intense search for new approaches to economic and social peace. One of the protagonists in this context is former SNI president and presidential candidate Ricardo Marquez, who was also present at the lecture. A moderated discussion round with Mr. Antonio Sanchez, former president of the Mexican industry association COPARMEX, who was also present, followed.

In a background discussion with Mr. Jesús Salazar, the current president of the SNI, the topics addressed were explored in greater depth and the personnel prerequisites for deeper cooperation with German partners were laid.

The evening reception, hosted by the Grand Chancellor of the USIL University, Ramiro Salas, in his private house, was attended, among others, by the representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Peru, Robert Helbig, with his wife.

A second highlight of the Peru visit was the opening of the Konrad Adenauer Chair for Global Ethics and Inclusive Development at the Universidad de San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL) in Lima (Peru) on Feb. 16, 2023. Present were not only high-ranking German representatives such as the German Ambassador Sabine Bloch and the already mentioned representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Robert Helbig, but also the former Ambassador of Peru in Germany Elmer Schialer, a former President of the Republic of Peru, the former Lord Mayor of Lima, the current Minister of Education of the country, the highest-ranking Navy General, several members of parliament and the top management of the USIL- University, namely in the person of the founder Raul Diez Canseco Terry and the Grand Chancellor Ramiro Salas. The keynote speech “Social market economy and humane globalization”, held by Ulrich Hemel, met with a very positive response during the ceremony.

The thematic and content-related orientation of the new chair was deepened the next day in a working discussion with the university management. The focus is to be on “teaching programs, projects and events” (Programas, Proyectos, Eventos), with a separate project officer for the aforementioned chair. Not a purely historical view of past German reality or an asymmetrical form of “instruction” are called for, but academic, political and industrial encounters at eye level. This revealed a thoroughly close connection between the USIL University and the industrial tops in the country. The emphasis on an independent further development of the social market economy within the framework of “humane globalization” in a triad of economic, social and ecological perspectives was welcomed in detail.

A social and ecological index for the mining industry was identified as a practical model project. The Peruvian interlocutors found this topic particularly relevant, precisely because of the high importance of the sector for the country of Peru, but also because of the simultaneity of serious mining operations and illegal, dangerous mines. It will be up to the Global Ethic Institute and its academic and other partners to give appropriate impetus to this project.

For ecological innovation, the idea of photovoltaic plants in the south of the country was also discussed, where suitable land is available on a large scale. If the energy produced there could be converted into green hydrogen by electrolysers and thus also stored and transported, this would also be a huge opportunity for German industry, which otherwise does not have a particularly strong impact in Peru, but should not miss out on corresponding industrial opportunities.

The Weltethos-Institut is looking forward to further fruits of this cooperation.