NextGen

Through the NextGen Initiative, AmCham Germany connects young professionals with a strong interest in fostering the transatlantic partnership.

 

In bringing together this group of aspiring people from a variety of sectors, it is our goal to support tomorrow's decision makers and transatlantic business leaders. By participating in the NextGen Initiative, our member companies will profit from employees with a transatlantic mind set and an enhanced professional network that spans multiple industries.

Goals of the Program

It is the NextGen Initiative's declared goal to bring together enthusiastic young professionals who will not only enhance their own skill sets but also support the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany in becoming an attractive forum for their peers.

By offering a diverse program that ranges from seminars and conferences with high-level speakers to leadership case studies that will challenge the participants to exceed their own expectations, we seek to facilitate a group of young professionals that is in the best position possible to lead transatlantic business relations in the future. The centerpiece of the NextGen Initiative is a 5-day conference which kicks off the year the group will be spending together.

Benefits for Participants

In being chosen to take part in the NextGen Initiative, young professionals are given the opportunity to contribute their personal and professional experience to a diverse peer group. Participants will engage in a series of exclusive events and will be faced with several challenges, thereby enhancing their own skill set and widening their own professional network.

After completing the program, participants of the NextGen Initiative will

  • be "ambassadors" of the transatlantic partnership
  • be experts on the  “ins and outs” of transatlantic business and politics
  • be able to be chosen for the NextGen Steering Committee (for more details please view the section "Steering Committee")
  • be able to place their company’s current key topics in this peer group and on the AmCham agenda
  • have broadened their skill set
  • have established a network across different sectors and within AmCham Germany’s membership
  • exchange expertise and best practices among their peers

Other benefits include:
During their NextGen year AmCham Germany Membership and participation in almost all AmCham Germany Events will be free of charge for all NextGen participants.
As an alumnus of the NextGen program, you can be invited to special events. You also benefit from special conditions regarding your membership and the participation at AmCham Germany events for 2 more years.

Information for Participating Companies

In nominating their employees and thereby supporting the NextGen Initiative, participating AmCham Germany member companies will not only contribute to the future of the transatlantic business community but moreover will benefit from a program that strives to challenge, support and shape tomorrow’s transatlantic business leaders.

Companies will profit from their involvement in the NextGen Initiative by strengthening their position within the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany for years to come. Their participating employees will gain new experiences, be challenged to expand their personal as well as their professional skill set and will expand their network far beyond their own business sector.

Contribution:

Participating companies are asked to:

  • cover costs for each participant for accommodation and annual program (including the conference)
  • release participants from work during the conference in August (5 days - 3 workdays)
  • cover the travel costs to the Annual Membership Meeting in spring and the Transatlantic Business Conference in the fall and, if possible, to at least 1-2 of the Leadership Events.

In return, participating companies will gain employees

  • who have developed a strong network within their peer group across different sectors
  • who are informed and up-to-date on transatlantic issues
  • who have expanded their horizon as well as their skill set
  • who will become advocates of AmCham for the next generation

Selection Process

All corporate members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany receive the call for nomination via e-mail every year in late fall/early winter. They are then eligible to nominate two employees (ideally of different genders). To be chosen for the program, nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • be between 32 and 41 years of age
  • have at least  five years of work experience in a leadership or specialist position
  • have experience and/or show interest in transatlantic relations

We are seeking team players who will contribute their expertise and communication skills to our common goal of nurturing the next generation of transatlantic decision makers.

All nominees will receive the call for application via e-mail in early winter every year. A total of 25 to 30 of these applicants will be chosen by a selection committee to become part of the NextGen community. This process usually is completed around April every year.

The selection committee consists of members from the current NextGen Steering Committee and members from our bodies/committees (i.e. the Board of Directors) and the General Manager.

The NextGen Year

Throughout the year, participants will shape and take part in a variety of events that will establish their position within the Chamber but also foster growth and personal transformation. 

  • Five-Day Conference in August (Saturday - Wednesday)
    Kicking off their year as a group, the NextGen will participate in a five-day conference in a major German city. The conference will include dicsussions, on-site meetings and workshops that focus on understanding transatlantic business, current affairs as well as the U.S.-German relationship in a broader sense. We will plan activities and formats that challenge the participants to work together as a group but also contribute their personal strengths. 
     
  • Annual Membership Meeting (Every Spring)
    At every Annual Membership Meeting, the current NextGen group will be introduced to AmCham Germany’s members. This event also gives participants the opportunity to get to know each other as well as connect with members of the AmCham Germany family. 
     
  • Leadership Events throughout the Year
    Guided by faculty from AmCham Germany Corporate Members, the NextGen will take part in several different leadership events focusing on the challenges in the life of a transatlantic business leader. These events will enhance participants’ skills and give them the opportunity to draw from their own personal and professional experiences to solve challenges in their career life.
     
  • Regional Chapter Events
    Together with the regional chapter committee that they are based in, the NextGen are invited to draft, coordinate and organize regional chapter events. The concept of these events lies entirely within the responsibilities of the NextGen and the regional chapter.
     
  • Involvement in the Transatlantic Business Conference in the Fall
    The Transatlantic Business Conference is one of the signature events in AmCham Germany’s event calendar. In 2018, the NextGen conceptualized and organized their own breakout session at the conference. This is an opportunity to experiment with different formats and present them to AmCham Germany’s larger membership.
     
  • Alumni Event
    Every NextGen year there will be an Alumni Event where the class of NextGens at the time gets together with our NextGen alumnis to network and exchange ideas.

The NextGen Steering Committee

The NextGen Steering Committee represents the initiative's ideas and interests vis-à-vis AmCham Germany's membership and bodies (Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Regional Committees). The Steering Committee serves as a point of contact for current participants in the program. The Committee also advises AmCham Germany on its signature events and is involved in other acitivities.

In addition, four committee members take part in the NextGen application and selection process for the upcoming cohort. Members of the Steering Committee also take part in meetings of the Chamber's Executive Committee as well as the Board of Directors, making the Committee the linkage point between the initiative and AmCham Germany's membership. 

Selection process NextGen Steering Committee

Every year, three vacancies will be filled with candidates from the NextGen cohort at the time to offer an opportunity for further involvement. 

AmCham Germany NextGen Steering Committee

Impressions of the NextGen Initiative

“It’s our goal that our NextGens become ambassadors for transatlantic friendship in their companies and that they learn what it takes and what it means to be a business leader." Dr. Sylvia Rothblum, Former Vice President and Diversity Champion of AmCham Germany

NextGen Kick-Off Conference

Thirty-two young high-potentials, nine speakers and a countless number of discussions, workshops and exchanges over five days: The 2019 NextGen kick-off conference at Lake Starnberg for the new NextGen cohort provided once more a a unique opportunity for rising young leaders to network with their peers across sectors as well as to meet political and business leaders and top members of the media. Many team activities, such as raft building, helped the group coalesce and established a special conference atmosphere. All participants agreed that successfully conducting transatlantic business requires a deep understanding of the transatlantic partnership.

The kick-off conference in early August of each year serves as the main event to the individual's experience during the NextGen program. This 4-5 day conference comprises the opportunity for the attendees to network at a beautiful location, have a direct exchange with high-ranking politicians and stakeholders in the transatlantic community, and delve into transatlantic thought and team spirit.

Further impressions from our 2019 conference can be found here
Under the circumstances in 2021, we offered the current cohort a one day hybrid kick-off conference and planned an in-person get-together in a smaller scale in Berlin, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.

Leadership and Alumni Events

As part of the NextGen Year, AmCham Germany frequently invites its current cohort to its Leadership Events. The goal of these events it to meet with politicians, innovators, and other business  stakeholders in the transatlantic business community and focus on a certain transatlantic theme or challenge in one main German city. These events provide the attendees the opportunity to deepen their leadership skills and foster transatlantic thought, regardless of the sector they are active in.

To strengthen the network, AmCham Germany further provides an annual alumni get-together, in which the complete network is invited. Such events follow a similar format like the Leadership Events and provide room for the attendees to deepen their transatlantic skills at their workplace and engagement within AmCham Germany.

Detailed impressions from our Leadership Event in Berlin in 2020 are available here.
The event report to our recent alumni get-together in Frankfurt in 2021 can be found here.

Thomas Henneberg

Manager, Head of Membership Engagement & Events

Henneberg