CDA 80

International Understanding: CHANNEL DASH COMMEMORATION SPEECH

80TH ANNIVERSARY CHANNEL DASH
Manston, 12 February 2022


SPEECH ON THE OCCASION OF THE COMMEMORATION OF THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHANNEL DASH
held by Jochen Werne, Co-Founder of GOST

Speech held by Jochen Werne – Co-Founder GOST


Ladies and Gentlemen


I’m truly honoured to be here to speak on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Channel Dash.
It was 10 years ago that the members of the Global Offshore Sailing Team, planning their commemorative voyage from Brest to Kiel, first met the honourable members of the Channel Dash Association. Outstanding individuals who have done so much to keep history alive and remind us that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.
The aim of the GOST expeditions has always been to get a feel for the background and struggles of events at sea.

As our dear friend Peter Nixon – whom we will always remember – summed up perfectly:


“ … working so hard to bring history back to everyones attention and recognizing the many great acts of courage performed on our behalf by men and women of all sides during a period of conflict. ... It is not about Winners or Loser`s. … The world is a wonderful place to live because it is made up of many different, but beautiful countries…. We should be proud of this fact. Equally, we should not be ashamed of our past, nor should we glorify it, for it was our past which created what we are today.”

Peter Nixon



In the fateful days 1942, British air and ship crews threw themselves with an incredible sense of duty against German battleships and their protection.
The enemy which the Swordfish crews met on this day 80 years ago consisted not only of large scale naval vessels but also of an air cover operation code named “Thunderbolt“. The operation was planned by Adolf Galland, who himself survived being shot down kept the ships under a constant Messerschmidt fighter jets umbrella during the whole Operation Cerberus.
Anyone who witnessed the performance differences between a Swordfish and a Spitfire, the British equivalent of the Messerschmidt, at one of the recent Channel Dash commemorations understands well the words of Captain Hoffmann of the Scharnhorst; “Poor fellows. They are so very slow. It is nothing but suicide for them to fly against these big ships”. Everyone on the bridges of the Battleships felt the same. Willhelm Wolf, on the Scharnhorst, said; “What an heroic stage for them to meet their end on. Behind them their homeland which they had just left with their hearts steeled to their purpose still in view”.
Admiral Ciliax, watching from the Scharnhorst Bridge, the Swordfish lumbering towards her, remarked to Captain Hoffmann: “The British are now throwing their mothball Navy at us. Those Swordfish are doing well to get their torpedoes away”.


Christoph Ciliax, the grandson of Admiral Ciliax, wanted to be with us today, but unfortunately Covid restrictions got in the way, and he asked me to represent him and his words:
„On behalf of the Ciliax family, I would like to express my utmost respect and appreciation to the British soldiers who lost their lives on 12 February 1942. The German ships and their crews served a brutal, criminal regime of injustice. We Germans can be all the more grateful that the German fallen are also included in the commemoration and that representatives of the German Navy as well as their families are invited to the event. This is a great gesture of friendship and bridging to the former enemy. Today, British and German servicemen and women serve side by side, advocating world peace, a democratic world order as well as stability and security in Europe.
I, too, wear the Navy uniform for this reason and stand for the fact that never again a regime of injustice can grow in Germany, from which terror and violence towards our neighbouring countries and the world emanates. This is what my father already stood up for as a soldier and I am sure my grandfather would do the same, who was first and foremost a sailor and soldier for his country. However, never would I defend serving for a criminal regime what at the end serving in the Kriegsmarine meant. It is all the more impressive and deserving of thanks that Great Britain, when honouring their fallen also remembers the German soldiers killed in action.
My mother and wife of Rear Admiral Otto H. Ciliax, my late father, would as well like to attend the commemoration event and honour the British soldiers; but she is also unable to do so due to COVID restrictions and therefore sends her thanks and greetings.“


Many thanks from our side to the Ciliax family


I am also grateful to be able to quote from the letter sent by the Federal Minister of Defence, Christine Lambrecht, to the Channel Dash Association. She underlines:

“Your thoughtful gesture of not only inviting representative from the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, but also representatives from the German Navy is a sign of reconciliation and long-standing friendship between our nations. “


Captain Heuer, thank you for being as official representative of the Federal Republic of Germany with us today.
As the former Commodore of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club and GOST member Bernard Sealy once said and it remains true today and it will remain the truth into the distant time… we’re all sailors.


Ladies and Gentlemen, please let me conclude on this historic day with a thought and a quote.
The beauty of our nations is that we cherish the same freedoms, defend the same values and respect the same fundamental laws.
We are bound together not simply by institutions, but by our common beliefs in democracy, openness and equality before the law.
We are bound together by friendship.
Friendship, lived through the great people who are in this hangar today, and many who have already left us but whom we keep in our hearts.
Today is a very special day. It is not an end, but a beginning. So let me conclude with the famous words of Konrad Adenauer, the first post-war German Chancellor:

“Wenn die anderen glauben, man ist am Ende, so muss man erst richtig anfangen.” (“when others think we’ve reached the end, that’s when we’ve got to really begin”).

Thank you very much

Mission NORTH SEA ENDURANCE – the Trailer

Enjoy a glimpse of the thrills awaiting the men aboard their expeditionary sailing yacht in the North Sea with this introductory trailer featuring moments from previous GOST missions.

NORTH SEA ENDURANCE TRAILER

Countdown: Mission NORTH SEA ENDURANCE 2022

AN OFFSHORE SAILING CHALLENGE PROMOTING THE MOST EXCITING STORIES ON THE SEVEN SEAS.

#InternationalUnderstanding #CleanSeas #CleanEnergy


The challenging tides, rough weather and dense ship traffic of the North Sea will be the first chapter within the Global Offshore Sailing Team‘s Expedition Blue Ocean
In 2022, GOST will undertake various missions to all Seven Seas to learn about and promote the most exciting #CLEAN ENERGY & #CLEAN SEAS projects and the driving forces behind them.

Inspired by the great Prince of the Sea Albert I and his strong commitment to international understanding, the environment and our oceans, we will carry out various missions with our supporters around the globe to promote international understanding and environmental awareness around #cleanseas and #cleanenergy


I’m proud commanding the 1st Mission with an outstanding experienced team: 

NORTH SEA ENDURANCE 600+nm Offshore (Expedition Blue Ocean) Departure Zeebrugge, Belgium – 14 May 22: Into the Night – 271 nm Offshore to Wilhelmshaven/Bremerhaven – Meet the drivers of the #CLEAN SEAS initiatives of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Beach Cleaner and many more. Sail from Wilhelmshaven North-West to the major offshore wind farms. Meet Northern Helicopters and others who keep these breathtaking #CLEAN ENERGY projects running in such challenging conditions.


Other missions to come: GOST-Senior Officer Wolfgang Händel will command parallel to NORTH SEA ENDURANCE, the MEDITERRANEAN ENDURANCE MISSION in the Thyrenian Sea. With the great support of the Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba projects with the Yacht Club de Havana (CARRIBEAN ENDURANCE) are in planning. Same with the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club (ATLANTIC ENDURANCE), our Californian team mates (PACIFIC ENDURANCE) and many more.

Please find updates at www.ExpeditionBlueOcean.com

Channel Dash

International Understanding: 80th Anniversary of the Channel Dash

It has always been a primary goal of Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST) to promote international understanding. Since GOST and the Channel Dash Association first met 10 years ago, the two organizations have worked together to deepen Anglo-German friendship. Through joint expeditions and commemorative events, we kept history alive and created new connections between so many people. Together we accepted the challenge of a global pandemic which closed our borders and distanced us physically. We found new ways of staying in touch. And now – for the 80th anniversary commemoration – we have the great opportunity to finally meet again and create new relations for a peaceful future.

From the 70th to the 80th Anniversary of the Channel Dash

Peter Nixon, former Chairman of the Channel Dash Association, who established the contact with the Global Offshore Sailing Team, once summarized the effort perfectly with the words:

Working so hard to bring history back to everyone’s attention and recognizing the many great acts of courage performed on our behalf by men and women of all sides during a period of conflict. It is not about winners or losers. The world is a wonderful place to live because it is made up of many different, but beautiful countries. We should be proud of this fact. Equally, we should not be ashamed of our past, nor should we glorify it, for it was our past which created what we are today.

peter Nixon – Former Chairman of the Channel Dash Association

About the Channel Dash

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Dash

The Channel Dash, (codenamed Operation Cerberus by the Germans),[1]was a major naval engagement during World War II in which a German Kriegsmarine squadron consisting of both Scharnhorst-class battleships, and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen along with escorts, ran a British blockade and successfully sailed from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany via the English Channel.

On 11 February 1942, the Kriegsmarine‘s ships left Brest at 21:14 and escaped detection for more than 12 hours, approaching the Straits of Dover without discovery.[2] As the German ships passed through the straits and on into the North Sea, British armed forces intercepted them, and attacks were made by the Royal Air Force, the Fleet Air Arm and Coastal Artillery. The attacks and bombardment were unsuccessful, and by 13 February all the Kriegsmarine‘s ships had completed their transit.[3] 

‘The Channel Dash’, is also known as the heroic but futile attempt by six Swordfish torpedo bombers to stop the German Warships breaking through the Dover Strait and reach safety in their home waters.

Vice-Admiral Otto Ciliax, who commanded Operation “Cerberus” commented the attack of the slow and outdated Swordfish crews as follows:

 “The mothball attack of a handful of ancient planes, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day”

Admiral Otto Ciliax, 1942

In support of the German naval operation, the Luftwaffe launched Operation Donnerkeil (Thunderbolt) to provide air superiority for the passage of the ships.

The Channel Dash remains the only occasion since the Spanish Armada in 1588 that ships belonging to an enemy of Great Britain (other than the Dutch in the Anglo-Dutch Wars) have successfully traversed the English Channel

Detailed Description of the Channel Dash by The Operations Room


PROGRAM: 80th Anniversary Celebrations

12th February 2022: Thanks to the excellent work of Channel Dash Association Chairman Malcolm Godfrey, CDA Secretary Sheila Howard and all CDA members and supporters, a major commemorative event will also be held on the 80th anniversary on 12 February 2022 at the former Royal Airforce Base Manston.

13th February 2022: On this day, the Global Offshore Sailing Team will set off from Dover in a joint mission with the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover to the English Channel for a commemoration at sea. We are grateful for the excellent organisation by Bernard Sealy.

About the Global Offshore Sailing Team

AIDHNC

Noticias de la Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba

Extract from the FARO – the AIDHNC Bulletin No.2 – More here

Muchas gracias a la AIDHNC por los buenos deseos y por su destacada y sostenible labor de mantener viva la historia

Jochen Werne

Noticias

“NUESTRAS MÁS ENTRAÑABLES FELICITACIONES”

Es un grandísimo honor para la Asociación para la Investigación  y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba, AIDHNC, que nuestra organización hermana Global Offshore Sailing Team, a través de su co-fundador el Sr. Jochen Werne,  hayan recibido la Medalla del Estado de Bavaria (Alemania), por sus más de 20 años de sostenida labor a favor de la identidad naval y protección de los mares. Es una importante noticia, para todos los seguidores de su labor. Nuestras más entrañables felicitaciones para nuestros camaradas de GOST.

El Ministro de Estado Thorsten Glauber entregó la Medalla del Medio Ambiente 2021al Sr. Jochen Werne co-fundador de GOST

Jochen Werne es miembro de la AIDHNC, Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba y en el año 2016 fue condecorado con el Diploma “Ancla de Oro” que otorga dicha organización, único miembro que ha alcanzado tan alta Distinción.

Momentos en que el Vice-Presidente de la AIDHNC, Sr. Maximino Gómez Alvarez hace entrega del Diploma “Ancla de Oro” al Sr. Jochen Werne, Cofundador de Global Offshore Sailing Team en el Museo Marítimo de Hamburgo, Alemania el 8 de mayo de 2016.
Diploma “Ancla de Oro”, máxima distinción que otorga 
la AIDHNC.

ZEIT DES MISSTRAUENS

TEASER

Ein Plädoyer für Vertrauen in einer Zeit des Misstrauens. Vertrauen ist die Grundlage, auf der Währungssysteme aufgebaut sind. Vertrauen bildet  die Basis internationaler diplomatischer Beziehungen und ist die Grundlage für jeden Fortschritt. 

Doch was passiert, wenn das Vertrauen einmal erschüttert ist? 

Der aktuelle diplomatische Streit um einen milliardenschweren U-Boot-Vertrag, die Sorge um einen neuen kalten Krieg und der Zusammenbruch des Bretton-Woods-Systems vor genau 50 Jahren sind das Manuskript für diese maritim angehauchte französisch-amerikanische Geschichte über Geld und Vertrauen. Sie ist ein Lehrstück für unsere heutige Zeit, wo wir das Entstehen von Kryptofinanzmärkten miterleben und somit an der Schwelle zu einer neuen Form des Geldes stehen.

ZEIT DES MISSTRAUENS

von Jochen Werne

Nach dem traditionellen langen Sommerurlaub, erwacht Frankreich im September wie jedes Jahr aus dem kurzen selbst kreierten Dornröschenschlaf.  Das Leben beginnt seinen gewohnten Gang zu nehmen, auch wenn manch einer noch in Erinnerungen schwelgt und dabei vielleicht die ersten Vorboten post-Covid-sorgenfreien Lebens genießt.  Nicht so Philippe Étienne. Für ihn beginnt auf der anderen Seite des Atlantik, im für diese Zeit eigentlich malerischen Washington, der Herbst mit einem diplomatischen Gewittersturm. Ein Unwetter, das selbst für den 65-jährigen grau-melierten eloquenten Botschafter Frankreichs neu gewesen sein dürfte. 6 160 Kilometer entfernt beschließt im Élysée-Palast Président de la République Emmanuel Macron seinen Spitzendiplomaten in den USA, samt seines australischen Amtskollegen Jean-Pierre Thebault, zu Konsultationen nach Paris abzuberufen.  Der in der französisch-amerikanischen Geschichte einmalige Akt wird von Außenminister Jean-Yves Le Drian mit der „außergewöhnlichen Schwere“ einer australisch-britisch-amerikanischen Ankündigung gerechtfertigt und mit den Worten „Lüge“, „Doppelzüngigkeit“, „Missachtung“ und „ernste Krise“ eindrucksvoll unterstrichen. 

Im Mittelpunkt dieser Krise steht die überraschende Ankündigung der genannten Länder ab sofort ein strategisches trilaterales Sicherheitsbündnis (AUKUS) einzugehen. Ein Bündnis, welches auch die Beschaffung atomgetriebener U-Boote für Australien vorsieht und somit einen bereits 2016 initiierten 56 Milliarden Euro schweren französisch-australischen U-Boot- Auftrag quasi ad acta legt. Der Abschluss des Abkommens fällt in einen Zeitraum in welchem US-Präsident Joe Biden vor der UN-Generalversammlung beteuert: „Wir streben nicht – ich wiederhole: wir streben nicht – einen neuen kalten Krieg oder eine in starre Blöcke geteilte Welt an“. Über diesen sogenannten „neuen kalten Krieg“ zwischen den USA und China sprechen Experten, wie der bekannte Historiker Niall Ferguson jedoch bereits seit 2019. Es geht hierbei nicht um atomares Wettrüsten, sondern vielmehr um die Technologievorherrschaft in Cyber Security, Künstlicher Intelligenz und Quantum Computing. Auch wenn nukleargetriebene U-Boote im Zentrum des diplomatischen Disputs stehen, so stellt man im AUKUS-Abkommen doch schnell fest, dass die Zusammenarbeit in den oben genannten Feldern einer der wichtigsten Bestandteile des Vertrags ist.  Ein Ziel, welches vielleicht auch mit französischen Interessen kongruent ist. Doch geht es im Streit zwischen den alten Freunden im ersten Moment weniger um das „Was“, sondern viel mehr um das diplomatische „Wie“ – das heißt, um den Vertrauensbruch, der ausgelöst wird, wenn man enge Bündnispartner einfach vor vollendete Tatsachen stellt. Tatsachen, die sie auch finanziell und persönlich betreffen. 

Denn Geld und Vertrauen sind eng verwoben. Das Vertrauen einer Bank, dass der Gläubiger seine Schulden zurückbezahlt. Das Vertrauen eines Bürgers, dass die Währung, in der er oder sie ihre Gehälter ausbezahlt bekommt, stabil ist. Das Vertrauen eines Staates in ein Währungssystem, dass die dort getroffenen Vereinbarungen von allen eingehalten werden.  Georg Simmel bringt es in seiner „Philosophie des Geldes” so auf den Punkt: „Geld ist die vielleicht konzentrierteste und zugespitzteste Form und Äußerung des Vertrauens in die gesellschaftlich-staatliche Ordnung.“ 

Eine weiteres französisch-amerikanisches Vertrauensbruchsmelodrama mit maritimer Untermalung jährt sich in diesem Jahr zum 50. Mal. Die bewegenden Ereignisse des 6. August 1971 beschreibt Benn Steil, Senior Fellow des Council on Foreign Relations, in seinem Buch „The Battle of Bretton Woods wie folgt: „…ein Unterausschuss des Kongresses gab einen Bericht mit dem Titel  ´Action Now to Strengthen the US-Dollar` heraus, der paradoxerweise zu dem Schluss kam, dass der Dollar geschwächt werden müsse. Das Dollar-Dumping beschleunigte sich und Frankreich schickte ein Kriegsschiff, um französisches Gold aus den Tresoren der New Yorker Fed abzuholen.“ 

Diese dramatisch anmutende Geste des damaligen französischen Präsidenten Georges Pompidou im finalen Akt des Zusammenbruchs des Bretton-Woods Systems wirkt auf den ersten Blick genauso befremdlich wie der Abzug der Botschafter heute.  Die Basis jedoch ähnelt sich und lag damals wie heute in einem ebenfalls erschütterten  Vertrauen zwischen den doch so eng verwobenen großen Nationen. Ohne tiefer auf die nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg geschaffene neue Währungsordnung mit dem US-Dollar als Ankerwährung eingehen zu wollen, ist es wichtig den im „White Plan“ offensichtlichen Grund des französischen Aufbegehrens zu verstehen. Der Plan sah vor, dass die USA den Bretton-Woods-Teilnehmerstaaten garantierten, Gold auf unbestimmte Zeit zum festen Kurs von 35 US-Dollar pro Unze kaufen und verkaufen zu dürfen. Das Dilemma dieser Regelung wurde früh sichtbar. Denn bereits Ende der 1950er Jahren überstiegen die bei ausländischen Zentralbanken befindlichen Dollarbestände die Goldreserven der USA. Als der französische Präsident Charles de Gaulle 1966 die USA aufforderte die französischen Dollarreserven gegen Gold zu tauschen, reichten die Goldvorräte der FED, nur für etwa die Hälfte. Der immer tiefer sich verankernde Vertrauensverlust zwang den amerikanische Präsidenten Richard Nixon am 15. August 1971 die nominale Goldbindung aufzukündigen und der sogenannte „Nixon-Schock“ beendete das System wie es war.

Und dort wo etwas endet kann oder wird zwangsläufig etwas Neues beginnen.

Heute leben wir in einer Welt, in der die Stabilität unserer Währung auf unserem Vertrauen in die staatliche Finanzpolitik, der Wirtschaftskraft unseres Landes und auf der guten Arbeit einer unabhängigen Zentralbank beruht. Wir leben jedoch auch in einer Zeit in der sich am dichten Horizont bereits neue Währungssysteme abzeichnen. Die Basis dafür legte 2008 nicht überraschend eine der schwersten Vertrauenskrisen in das internationale Bankensystem, die die Neuzeit erlebete. Und umgesetzt werden die neuen Systeme mit Hilfe modernster Distributed-Ledger Blockchain Technologie. Das Neue mit seinem dezentralen Charakter fordert das Alte heraus. Während viele der neuen Währungen in der Kryptowelt, wie etwa der Bitcoin, großen Schwankungen unterworfen sind, versprechen Stablecoins eine Bindung und fixe Umtauschbarkeit an einen vorhandenen Wert, wie beispielsweise den US-Dollar oder auch Gold. Die alte Bretton-Woods-Herausforderung, dieses Versprechen auch jederzeit einhalten zu können, bleibt jedoch auch in der neuen Welt bestehen. Von der New Yorker Generalstaatsanwaltschaft verhängte Strafen in Millionenhöhe gegen den größten US-Dollar Stablecoin Tether wegen nicht lückenloser Nachweisbarkeit helfen dem Vertrauen wenig, besonders wenn weniger als 3 Prozent der Marktkapitalisierung auch wirklich in US-Dollar Cash hinterlegt ist. Es gilt wie immer bei neuem, Vertrauen aufzubauen. Sei es privatwirtschaftlich durch eventuell einen zu 100% mit Zentralbankgeld hinterlegten Stablecoin oder staatlich, mit durchdachten Central Bank Digital Currencies, wie dem von der Europäischen Zentralbank geplanten digitalen Euro.

Wir leben in einer Welt immer währenden schnellen Wandels und Vertrauen ist, wie Osterloh es beschreibt, „der Wille sich verletzlich zu zeigen“. Ohne Vertrauen gibt es keine Bündnisse, kein Miteinander, keinen Fortschritt. 

Philippe Étienne war bereits nach ein paar Tagen zurück im herbstlichen Washington und arbeitet seither wieder daran wofür Diplomaten bestens ausgebildet sind – Vertrauen zu schaffen.

Quellen

Billon-Gallan, A., Kundnani, H. (2021): The UK must cooperate with France in the Indo-Pacific. A Chatham House expert comment. https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/09/uk-must-cooperate-france-indo-pacific (Abgerufen 24.9.2021)

Brien, J. (2021): „Stablecoin ohne Stabilität“: Tether und Bitfinex zahlen 18,5 Millionen Dollar Strafe. URL: https://t3n.de/news/stablecoin-tether-bitfinex-strafe-1358197/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=news (Abgerufen: 30.9.2021)

Corbet, S. (2021): France recalls ambassadors to U.S., Australia over submarine deal. URL: https://www.pressherald.com/2021/09/17/france-recalls-ambassadors-to-u-s-australia-over-submarine-deal/  (Abgerufen am 25.9.2021)

Ferguson N. (2019): The New Cold War? It’s With China. And It Has Already Begun. URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/02/opinion/china-cold-war.html (Abgerufen: 30.9.2021)

Graetz, M., Briffault, O. (2016): A “Barbarous Relic“: The French, Gold , and the Demise of Bretton Woods. URL: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3545&context=faculty_scholarship S. 17 (Abgerufen 25.9.2021)

Osterloh, M., Weibel, A. (2006): Investition Vertrauen. Prozesse der Vertrauensentwicklung in Organisationen, Gabler: Wiesbaden.

Steil, B.  (2020): The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the new world, S. 377 

Stolze, D. (1966): Besiegt de Gaulle den Dollar? In der ZEIT Nr. 36/1966. URL: (https://www.zeit.de/1966/36/besiegt-de-gaulle-den-dollar/komplettansicht (Abgerufen: 26.9.2021)

The Guardian Editorial (2021): The Guardian view on Biden’s UN speech: cooperation not competition URL: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/22/the-guardian-view-on-bidens-un-speech-cooperation-not-competition(Abgerufen: 29.9.2021)

Unal, B., Brown, K., Lewis, P., Jie, Y. (2021): Is the AUKUS alliance meaningful or merely a provocation – A Chatham House expert comment. URL: https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/09/aukus-alliance-meaningful-or-merely-provocation (Abgerufen: 24.9.2021) 

Zeit-Online (2021): Frankreich sieht Verhältnis in der Nato belastet. URL: https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2021-09/u-boot-deal-frankreich-australien-usa-streit-nato-jean-yves-le-drian?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fmeine.zeit.de%2F (Abgerufen: 25.9.2021)

A new Age of Enlightenment

A new Age of Enlightenment

From Antarctica to Artifical Intelligence, a man-made journey between brilliance and madness

by Jochen Werne

When we look carefully at our past, we come across a fascinating and sometimes schizophrenic human history of partial madness and absolute brilliance – not only when it comes to the use of new technologies. Let’s take a look into some of these stories.

1961 HAVANNA, CUBA: The world is on the brink of a nuclear holocaust. A reality created by the effects of the Cold War, political doctrines, hard borders and, not least, technological progress. Only diplomacy and pure instinct for the essence of human existence on both sides prevented the worst.

A story that reflects the precarious situation of the world at that time particularly well is found in Fidel Castro’s indirect offer to the Soviet Union to “solve the problem” and carry the communist revolution to victory by launching nuclear missiles from Cuban soil. His comrade-in-arms Che Guevara even went a step further, saying, “We say that we must tread the path of liberation, even if it may cost millions of nuclear war victims. In the struggle to the death between two systems, we can think of nothing but the final victory of socialism or its downfall as a result of the nuclear victory of imperialist aggression.” In 1962, the former First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, replied in a letter to Fidel Castro that he did not agree with the idea because it would inevitably lead to thermonuclear war and that there was still a need for a world into which the revolution could be carried.

1961 NEW YORK, USA: In the same year, 12 nations ratify a treaty for the joint administration of an entire continent. A continent larger than the United States. A continent that is home to 90% of the world’s freshwater reserves and is of extraordinary importance for the climate of our planet: Antarctica. It is the year in which one of humanity’s most encouraging treaties was signed – the Antarctic Treaty.

OPEN-SOURCE CONCEPT: The treaty – contains several chapters on the exclusively peaceful and scientific use of Antarctica. Along with this, the treaty also regulates the joint use of all research results and data. A concept that seemed revolutionary for the time and which is crucial for finding solutions to the great challenges of our time – such as climate change or effectively combating a pandemic.

2022 PLANET EARTH. Throughout history, we have often underestimated both the positive and negative impacts on society that come from revolutionary technologies. But technology itself cannot be judged in terms of good or bad. Rather, it is how society uses it that must be judged. Today, we are again on the brink of such a societal challenge.

We live in a globally connected world. Technological progress has made data one of the most important resources. The co-founder of Twitter, Evan Williams, surprisingly stated the following in a New York Times interview in 2017: “I thought that if everyone could speak freely and share information and ideas, the world would – automatically – become a better place. I was wrong”.

It would be easy to get the impression that this phenomenon is new, but Niall Ferguson, professor of history and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, is convinced that today’s technological progress and its impact on society are comparable to the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. The printing press had many positive effects on the progress of mankind and catapulted the Bible to the top of the book bestseller list for 200 years. Unfortunately, the same technology made “Malleus Maleficarum”, also known as the “Hammer of witches”, number 2 on this list for the same period. The book was the basis for the witch hunt and brought death to so many innocent people. Certainly, today the contents of the book would be called “fake news”.

PRESENT & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

We are all shaping the world of tomorrow today, and our aspirations have already led to much good. Technology and human creativity have, for example, contributed to a massive reduction in poverty rates worldwide. In the last 25 years, more than one billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty.

If we look at the moment, we cannot avoid dedicating a few lines to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is a global challenge and could be the next story of human brilliance and madness. We will witness tremendous advances in medical research and pandemic response measures thanks to AI-based analytics. But we will also witness a recession, which historically has always been an element for populism and nationalism. All this in an environment of fear and closed borders. In these situations, where many feel helpless, change has always come from progressive thinkers who were convinced of their ideas, from Kant to Ghandi to the thought leaders of today.

In our open society and with machine and deep learning technologies in our hands, we have the opportunity to make the world a better place. We can make a difference in our professions, and we can stand up and make our voices heard against polarising movements and injustice in every way. We can use our creativity and intellect to defend “the progress of thought”, which has always had the goal of “freeing man from his fear”, just as it was one of the goals of the Age of Enlightenment.

Sources:
https://www.plattform-lernende-systeme.de/home-en.html
http://www.niallferguson.com
http://antarcticblanc.com
https://www.ats.aq/index_e.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/technology/evan-williams-medium-twitter-internet.html
Photo source: https://pixabay.com

Comment: Passion as the driving force for everything

The Prosegur focus topic – current clip

Chief Development & Chief Visionary Officer Jochen Werne on the subject of sustainability

This year, the Bavarian State Medal was awarded to Jochen Werne by State Minister Thorsten Glauber for his personal commitment and services to the environment.

Prosegur congratulated him on this honourable recognition and asked him how this passion flows into his daily work at Prosegur.

You can see his statement in our latest clip

www.prosegur.com

https://www.stmuv.bayern.de/ministerium/auszeichnungen/verdienst_umwelt/detailansicht.htm?tid=21865

GOST co-founder JOCHEN WERNE is awarded the STATE MEDAL, the highest honor of the Free State of Bavaria

Munich, 26 October 2021

GOST co-founder JOCHEN WERNE is awarded the STATE MEDAL – the highest honor of the Free State of Bavaria – for special commitment to environmental protection and announces an extraordinary new project with the EXPEDITION BLUE OCEAN.

In the Imperial Hall of the Residence in Munich on 26 October, Minister of State Thorsten Glauber presented the Environmental Medal 2021 to selected personalities, municipalities or organisations for their special commitment to environmental or consumer protection. The honor of this highest award of the Free State of Bavaria is bestowed on a maximum of 15 people each year. 

Jochen Werne, who founded the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST) together with Guido Zoeller in 1999, was awarded the Bavarian State Medal. For more than 20 years he has been working to raise awareness in society for ocean issues. Over 30 GOST expeditions across the world’s oceans culminated in 2018 with the Expedition Antarctic Blanc in an act of state in Antarctica supported by 19 heads of state and led to extraordinary attention to the concerns of our environment and the need for close friendly international understanding.

In his laudation, Minister of State Glauber underlined the inspiring enlightening character of the expeditions and the scope of their commitment to the protection of the oceans.

Werne emphasizes, “This extraordinarily honorable award may bear my name, but it is for me a GOST AWARD. Without the commitment and passionate dedication of all GOST members and supporters to each mission, all that has been created would not have been possible.”

GOST is already planning the next major initiative, Expedition Blue Ocean (www.ExpeditionBlueOcean.org), which is open to anyone who wants to contribute to the oceans. Expedition Blue Ocean will take the sea route from Monaco in the Mediterranean to the Arctic port of Longyearbyen. Comparable to the Olympic torch relay, the expedition flag will be passed from one ship to the next. In the process, many crews will make a small but very important contribution to achieving a major goal. This will also serve symbolically to involve important actors in the field of marine protection and international maritime shipping in a dialogue. 

Expedition Blue Ocean will serve as a platform for all crews and supporters in ports to promote the beauty of our oceans through events, fundraisers, international media coverage, etc. This will be done by raising civil society awareness of the importance and fragility of our planet’s marine ecosystem in light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Viewers around the world will be able to follow the prestigious yachts, their crews and the events on the internet and social media, or get involved themselves as ambassadors of the expedition with their own contribution. The expedition management can be contacted at info@expeditionblueocean.org.

Please find the Press Release in English below

After the storm: Expedition UNITED OCEANS supports the rebuilding of international relations

Expedition „UNITED OCEANS“

“The severe pandemic brought pain and hardship to all our lives and many of our efforts to support international understanding through international diplomacy had to step back to the important goal of not putting lives in danger. Who could understand this better than seafarers.

But now there is light at the end of the tunnel…dawn on the horizon. And even if we cannot all meet on the same boat and on the same ocean yet, we want to announce a very special challenge with GOST’s 2021 Expedition UNITED OCEANS – of course in compliance with all COVID-related regulations.

In June, GOST members from around the world will meet on different oceans with different yachts for Expedition UNITED OCEANS. While this time the current of the salt water will unite us, we celebrate the freedom of the seas and the friendship that knows no boundaries.”

Jochen Werne
Co-Founder
Global Offshore Sailing Team

Video cut from different Global Offshore Sailing Team expeditions. Voice: John F. Kennedy. Speech at the Admirals Cup Dinner 1962. Video prepared with Splice.
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“EXPEDITION UNITED OCEANS”

Del 29 de Mayo al 5 de Junio de 2021.

“Una grave pandemia nos ha traído dolor y dificultades a nuestra existencia. Muchos de nuestros esfuerzos para apoyar un acercamiento internacional a través de la diplomacia, se han visto frenados, en un esfuerzo de no poner en peligro vidas humanas. No obstante, en estos momentos en que se aprecia una luz al final del túnel, así como un nuevo amanecer en el horizonte, y aunque aún todavía no podemos reunirnos todos en el océano, queremos anunciar un nuevo y especial desafío de Global Offshore Sailing Team GOST para este año 2021; se trata de la realización de la EXPEDICIÓN UNITED OCEANS, cumpliendo, por supuesto, con todas las regulaciones y protocolos relacionadas con el COVID19. En estas mismas fechas, los miembros de GOST de todo el mundo se reunirán en diferentes océanos con diferentes yates, que navegarán apoyando la “Expedition United Oceans”. Esta vez y simbólicamente, serán las corrientes oceánicas las que nos una para celebrar la libertad de los mares y la amistad que no conoce de fronteras”.

GOST
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