Review: Berlin needs you (but why?)

Why is immigration important? The debate takes many angles. There's the demographic argument, that developed countries with low birth rates and aging populations need bodies to maintain the replacement rate. There's the globalization take, that the movement of people in all forms is increasingly inevitable and contributes to global competitiveness and 21st century skills. The moral or even religious spin, emphasizing human dignity, charity, an obligation for prosperous nations to help those more needy. But few arguments are as pervasive as the economic one... [Read More!]

Review: Seeing Berlin Through The Homeless

They wait for the subway doors to close before they address the car with a rehearsed speech. "Excuse the interruption, I am one of Berlin's annoying homeless people"... it usually begins, as they peddle newspapers and scan the crowd for an outstretched hand holding change or food. The majority of us keep our hands tucked away or firmly gripping our phones. Some of us fall into convenient bouts of exhaustion, promptly leaning back and closing our eyes. In this moment, we are restricted to a shared space... [Read More!]

Multiculturalism, Diversity, and the Big City

With my back to them at the street-side café I felt like a judge on "The Voice", straining my neck for any hint of where they were from or what they looked like, resisting the urge to swirl around and start dancing on my chair. Truth be told my ears had perked up as soon as the trio plopped down at the table behind me, switching between topics like gentrification in Kreuzberg and the cultural difference between Kaffee and "coffee" as quickly as they were switching between German and English... [Read More!]

Rave: Education Per Square (Kilo)Meter

After all this talk about Nazis, N-Words, and negative stereotypes, I think it's time we had some good news around here, don't you?

Enter Ein Quadratkilometer Bildung, or "Square Kilometer Education".

Quadratkilometer Bildung (QKB) is an educational development and learning platform that addresses education on a regional basis, with a focus on disadvantaged populations. They call it "closing gaps". I call it common sense... [Read More!]

Review: Become a German (in just under 650 hours)

You must clean up after your dog. You must ride your bike in the right direction of the bike lane, recites a Russian student. The audience chuckles. First work, then... chants the teacher. The audience groans. Do you know any examples of German humor? asks the teacher. Uhhh, fumbles the Japanese student. 10 seconds go by. I'm still thinking, he mutters and scratches his head. The audience roars... [Read More!]