Reasons for Optimism

Reasons f
or Optimism

Hope in the Face of Crisis
Carsten Brosda ©Hernandez
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These days, crises are coming thick and fast: the pandemic, war, the climate emergency and now worries about our energy supply. Rarely have there been such uncertain times. We’re living through a historical turning point, a transformation that goes far deeper than foreign affairs and defence policy.


And that’s not going to change. These crises aren’t accidents of nature, but the result of bad decisions that we’ve made. We’re all responsible. The promises of the Enlightenment permeate every aspect of our day-to-day lives. But if every last certainty has evaporated, if we can no longer count on something being true just because it was true yesterday, then we will need to keep on shoring up the foundations of our shared way of life. Democracy and human rights, freedom and peace can’t be taken for granted. We need to reaffirm our support for them each and every day. And it is possible to do so.
But how can we succeed when circumstances rapidly change? How can we continue to take joy in life, how can we be inspired to take political action to improve society? How can we collectively secure freedom? What does justice mean in a world where we are destroying the very conditions of life? How can a new, diverse yet unified ‘us’ be created? How can we establish a global peace underpinned by common rules? How can we adapt our way of living and working to today’s realities? We’ve known ever since Lessing’s day that we’re capable of change. It is entirely rational to look to the future with optimism.


Carsten Brosda is Hamburg’s Minister of Culture and Media and one of the city’s most gifted orators. Alongside leading international thinkers, the Thalia Theater also regularly invites political figures to speak, most recently former Bundestag President Norbert Lammert.



Opening address

Admission € 10/6 
In German 

Followed by a Q&A with Carsten Brosda and schoolchildren and students from Hamburg