November 27, 2023
Matthias Hollwich

“Germany faces a pivotal moment: A choice between regress and progress. Currently, Germany grapples with a crisis—a two-quarter recession has struck, the automobile industry, vital to one-eighth of the nation’s workforce, is being outpaced by foreign electric car manufacturers, and SIGNA Germany, a leading developer, has declared bankruptcy.


In my observations, such situations evoke two distinct responses: retract, protect, and wait in fear, or advance, innovate, and paint an aspirational vision of the future. During my recent two-week visit to Germany, I witnessed the former in the eyes, minds, and decisions of many. This fills me with sadness and concern for my homeland. However, I firmly believe in an alternative, brighter future—one shaped by our collective efforts in creating superior products, more livable cities, innovative automobiles, and a better quality of life for all. This vision requires a forward-looking, positive spirit, recognition of necessary systemic changes, and a commitment to a more experiential, sustainable, inclusive, and human-centric future. One of my lifelong favorite sayings encapsulates this spirit perfectly: ‘Don’t instruct people on how to build a ship; instead, inspire them with tales of the journey ahead.’


Globally, many nations are already inspiring their citizens to ‘move mountains.’ Germany, too, possesses this potential. I’ve seen glimpses of hope and possibility, especially in Berlin, where individuals from all walks of life are uniting to forge something remarkable during these challenging times (more about this in a few weeks). This unity and creativity are the heart of the matter, and I am hopeful that Germany will heed this call and stride towards a future filled with encouragement and prosperity.”