PEACE IS NOT A GIVEN

A generation that has experienced peace as the status quo might easily tend to forget that war has historically been more of a status quo than peace. Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute and historian Niall Ferguson’s books are full of examples. The long period of peace in historically hostile Europe was due to the hard work of visionary figures after the Second World War. They worked on a European concept of unity and cooperation. An idea that was unthinkable in the past but is a reality today. For all the shortcomings we may experience, it is of the utmost importance to always remember what a great goal has been achieved over such a long period of time: PEACE.

It would be of utmost importance to create even more initiatives like this as a basis for addressing the global challenges that lie ahead. Challenges that we can only solve on a global basis.

GOST has made it a priority to support INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING through its missions by teaching history and raising awareness of issues of global importance. We are proud to have achieved this again with Expedition Blue Ocean ( www.ExpeditionBlueOcen.org ).

The list of supporters is long and we would like to extend a special thank you to

  • The House of Lords
  • Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Boyce
  • The City of London
  • The Police of the City of London
  • The staff of the House of Lords
  • St. Katharine’s Dock Marina
  • Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba
  • Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club
  • The Dover Harbour Board
  • Club Nautica Internacional de Hemingway Cuba
  • Maximino Gomez
  • Seaside Productions
  • Münz Corp.
  • Beach Cleaners
  • The Sea Cap Initiative
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

Preview: COLD HISTORY. HOT REALITY.

SECURITY BRIEFING. The battlefields of the past as a lesson for the protection of crypto assets today.

COLD HISTORY. HOT REALITY is a contribution to The Yearbook 2022 “Treasury and Private Banking”, edited by Roland Eller. The book is a well-known platform for building the bridge from the traditional to the new decentralised financial world.

COLD HISTORY. HOT REALITY by Jochen Werne is a plea for openness to new technologies, embedded in a historical-social security briefing on money, power and the indispensable need to protect assets. The battlefields of the past provide the framework for lessons on protecting crypto assets in our technology-dominated world and help us gain a basic understanding of the opportunities and threats in our new cyber reality.

COLD HISTORY – HOT REALITY was particularly inspired by conversations and articles from the following thought leaders, to whom I am deeply indebted.

Raimundo Castilla – CEO Prosegur Custodia Digitales, Ghislain D’Hoop – Ambassador of Belgium to Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Roland Eller – Founder and CEO of Roland Eller Consulting, Niall Ferguson – Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Christoph Impekoven – Co-Founder micobo GmbH, Benon Janos – CFO flatexDEGIRO Bank AG, Lior Lamesh – Founder & CEO of GK8, Bernd Lehmann – Historian, Commander of the German Navy (ret.), Rakesh Sharma – Author, Thomas Vartanian – Author and Counselor, Heath White – CEO Prosegur Germany, Johannes Winter – Managing Director of the Platform „Learning Systems“ – Germany‘s AI-platform

Preview and excerpt from Chapter I of “COLD HISTORY – HOT REALITY”

WHAT IS PAST IS PROLOGUE

Impressive and powerful, the words “What is past is prologue” are chiselled in white marble at the foot of the statue in front of the National Archives in Washington D.C.. The famous quote from William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is a haunting reminder to everyone that history provides the context for the present.

We live in a present that is changing at breathtaking speed. This fact concerns us daily, but if we do not take the time for a little history lesson, we are doomed to painfully repeat the mistakes of the past. More than aware of this realisation is the former CEO of tech giant Alphabet, Google’s parent company. He dedicated the following note to the New York Times bestseller, “The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook”: “Niall Ferguson … brilliantly illuminates the great power struggle between networks and hierarchies that rages around the world today. As a software engineer familiar with the theory and practice of networks, I was deeply impressed by the insights of this book. Silicon Valley needed a history lesson and Ferguson delivered.” Not only is Eric Schmidt impressed, but many of the thoughts in this article are inspired by Niall Ferguson’s illuminating papers and lectures.

The beauty of the past is that everything that has already happened, successes and failures, can always be explained in detail and serve as lessons for future challenges. Successful leaders use this knowledge to develop solutions to the problems of the future and to develop communication strategies to make their visions understood by others.

This article was written at a time when humanity is in the final stages of a global pandemic that is saddling countries with an unprecedented debt burden. At the same time, a “New Cold War” is emerging and an arms race for technological supremacy has begun. With new possibilities, the old equilibrium is shaken and a new, albeit familiar, competition for power and money begins. All this at a time when crypto-blockchain-based monetary systems are rapidly becoming a new reality.

The article, with its historical analogies, aims to give the reader a better understanding of how money, power and security are closely intertwined. This helps to put quite complex issues into perspective and gives a clear view of the dangers and opportunities of our changing reality.

The world and change are not to be feared, but understood.

Jochen Werne

The new YEARBOOK will be available in Spring 2022. Find out more HERE

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