Berlin Demography Forum – an initiative for all generations

A lot of countries of the Northern Hemisphere face fundamental demographic challenges that will affect all areas of our lives. Low birth rates coupled with increasing life expectancies influence the way in which generations live together, educational opportunities, the world of work and markets, and our pension and healthcare systems.

What incentives to start a family can sustainable politics provide? How can we better balance our professional and family life? Will immigration be sufficient to sustain the required labour force? How can we make our pension, healthcare, and long-term care systems fit for the future? Which values does our society need? Which best-practice models exist across the globe? And finally, how can we make the best use of the potential that our aging society offers?

The Berlin Demography Forum (BDF) is a global, cross-party platform providing a new impetus to raise the general public’s awareness of the significance of demographic change both at a national and international level. The forum brings together high-ranking politicians, scientists, business leaders, and representatives of international organizations and civil society to discuss potential solutions and contribute to this important debate.

The BDF is designed as an annual conference, tackling a variety of issues:

  • 1st BDF in 2012: “Families-Children-Society”
  • 2nd BDF in 2013: “Generations-Learning-Prosperity”
  • 3rd BDF in 2014: “Security–Trust–Solidarity”
  • 4th BDF in 2015: “Activity-Health-Participation”
  • 5th BDF in 2016: “Labour–Perspectives–Prosperity”
  • 6th BDF in 2017: “Learning and Integration”
  • 7th BDF in 2018: “Shaping the Future: Domestic and International Migration in Europe”
  • 8th BDF in 2019: “Diversity – Social Equity – Cohesion. Perspectives for Germany and Europe”
  • 9th BDF in 2021: “The baby boomers are retiring – opportunities and challenges”
  • Berlin Demography Days 2022: “Youth”


The BDF is supported by the BDF Advisory Board. Members of the Advisory Board are
(as of April 2023):

Hermann Gröhe, MdB, Bundesminister für Gesundheit a.D. (Chairman of the Advisory Board)

Ingo Behnel, Abteilungsleiter, Bundesministerium für Gesundheit

Renate Bähr, Stellvertretende Vorsitzende im Stiftungsrat der Deutschen Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW-Geschäftsführerin 2008-2020)

Dr. Dr. h.c. Markus Dröge, Bischof i.R., Evangelische Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz

Dr. Andreas Edel, Executive Secretary, Population Europe, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Ulrich Lilie, Präsident Diakonie Deutschland; stellv. Vorstandsvorsitzender, Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V.

Carl-Georg Luft, Vorstand Stiftung für die Rechte zukünftiger Generationen

Prof. Dr. Christian Oelschlägel, IDWM, Universität Bielefeld

Magdalena Rogl, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Microsoft Deutschland

Prof. Dr. Norbert Schneider, Senior Research Fellow, 2009 bis 2021 Direktor des Bundesinstituts für Bevölkerungsforschung

Andreas Schulze, Abteilungsleiter, Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend

Prof. Dr. Katharina Spieß, Direktorin des Bundesinstituts für Bevölkerungsforschung

Jörn Thießen, Abteilungsleiter, Bundesministerium des Innern und für Heimat

Prof. Dr. Helga de Valk, Director of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and professor of Migration and the life course at the University of Groningen



Dr. Andreas Edel, Executive Secretary, Population Europe, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Prof. Dr. Christian Oelschlägel, IDWM, Universität Bielefeld