The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium was initiated in 2005 by a group of leading media and public figures when Potsdam was running for European Capital of Culture 2010. Since then the conference annually takes place in Park Sanssouci.
Founding members are Jann Jakobs (Lord Mayor City of Potsdam; Chair of the M100 Board), Lord Weidenfeld (President, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, London; CEO, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London; Co-Chairman M100 Board), Dr. Mathias Döpfner (CEO Axel Springer SE), Dr. Frank Schirrmacher (Publisher Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Kai Diekmann (Publisher BILD Group), and Wolfram Weimer (Journalist, former editor-in-chief of Cicero).
The international forum brings together Europe`s top editors, commentators and media owners (print, broadcasting and internet) alongside key public figures to assess the role and impact of the media in international affairs and to promote democracy and freedom of expression and speech. As a modern-day East-West bridge-builder, the Colloquium fosters media relations and not only exposes differences but also common ground in the challenges faced by media from different cultures and regions.
I am very moved, especially because I was not expecting to hear these words, which are like an embrace for me. So I want to thank you for this award, for the incredibly moving words of Giovanni di Lorenzo, for this wonderful sky that has welcomed me to Potsdam, and also to thank the Federal Chancellor for her touching words, and for her encouraging presence. Because the awareness raised heartens me a lot more than words. Roberto Saviano, M100 Media Award laureate 2016
It is a great honour for me to be here and receive this great price. It's a very big day for me. I thank Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dr. Joachim Gauck for the kind and strong words, and for their appreciation. Thank you, I will never forget this day! Kurt Westergaard, danish cartoonist, M100 Media Award laureate 2010
At the same time, today’s prize is an appeal to all persons who hold positions of responsibility in governments, in culture and in the media: be steadfast, value-oriented and also COURAGEOUS when irresponsible persons and powers undermine or relativise our values of freedom. It is a virtue to yield to a convincing argument, but it is cowardice to yield to a threat from enemies of freedom. Joachim Gauck in his laudation to Kurt Westergaard, 2010
I receive [this award] with an immense joy, happiness and humility also, because I think by being with you today here, I am receiving this price in the name of those who are still suffering in the jungle of Colombia and of those in the world that are living in similar conditions and who cannot speak for themselves freely. Ingrid Betancourt, M100 Media Award laureate 2008
But I have to say that in our modern society the media has a very, very particular responsibility, also for the European idea. And I hope that the event today – and the events which will follow – will help us to communicate better, to explain better and to convince people that Europe – and acknowledging all the problems, the mistakes and the deficits – […] that at the end of the day the idea of European integration is the best idea that we have ever developed in our history. Günther Verheugen, former EU-Commissioner, in his keynote speech 2005