Immigrants and Refugees Are The Better Germans

Silicon Valley Is Diverse

One week before the German elections, I have the need to make a very important statement. After having been to Silicon Valley and reading a lot of articles and books about it’s success, one thing is very clear to me. One of the leading success factors of Silicon Valley is its diversity.

In Silicon Valley immigrants from all around the world and locals are living together peacefully. And they are mostly ignoring any stereotypes they might have about each other. Instead, they are concentrating on a very important aspect:

They want to create a better life for themselves and their children.

Germany Has To Become Diverse As Well

Now, we do have the unique chance to create similar conditions in Germany. At the end of April 2017, I was able to witness the first examples of these conditions. The participants of this year’s Startup Weekend in Munich – an event for aspiring entrepreneurs where you create a new team and develop your idea in one weekend – were mostly Non-Germans.

As a matter of fact, 62% of the participants came from other countries than Germany. Most of them did not even speak German. If we’re able to create a society where immigrants and refugees are attracted to come to Germany and become parts of our German society in the same way they are attracted to go to the United States today, we will create a society that is more colorful than today’s and one that is fit for the future.

It’s no secret that the following companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants: Tesla/SpaceX (Elon Musk, South Africa), Google (Sergey Brin, Soviet Union), Amazon (Jeff Besos, father from Cuba), Yahoo (Jerry Yang, Taiwan), ebay (Pierre Omidyar, Iran), Apple (Steve Jobs, father from Syria). Just imagine a world without these companies.

Immigrants Are The Better Germans

Unfortunately none of these companies were founded in Germany. And yes, all these companies are taking part in the (first) big revolution of the 21st century: Digitalization. In fact three of the companies are within the top 5 of the most valuable companies on our planet. The most valuable German company, SAP, is on place 56.

If we want to change our current course of missing out on the age of digitalization, we Germans need to change.
  • We need to be more open to new ideas instead of being afraid of new technologies. Why is cash still so popular in Germany?
  • We need to become more courageous and found more companies. Unfortunately the number of founders is at a all-time low. Fortunately, a disproportional high part of our founders are immigrants.
  • We need to become tolerant to faults and even celebrating doing a lot of them instead of cultivating our perfectionism.
  • And last but not least, we need to help each other more instead of being jealous of somebody’s achievements.

For some reason those are all qualities that I see in immigrants and refugees. I am aware that I am using a lot of stereotypes here and I am sure that a lot of us out there (and probably a lot of readers of this article) are already quite different. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that we will manage to create a Germany where most of the people have these mentioned qualities by opening our borders and welcoming people from other countries who already have them.

Do Not Vote For Parties Who Are Opposing Diversity

So please, if you’re allowed to vote in Germany on next Sunday do not vote for parties who want to limit immigration. Voting for CSU and of course especially voting for parties who oppose a multi-culturural Germany like AfD. Doing so will limit the possibilities of your children to live in a prosperous country.
P.S. If you want to know what else has to change in Germany on our way to a digitalized country, I can highly recommend the books from Christoph Keese: Silicon Valley, which describes why Silicon Valley is so successful and Silicon Germany, which shows what we can do to achieve the same.


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