Sociologist JUTTA ALMENDINGER (Berlin) referred to the strong need for action in the area of education in Europe itself. For instance, in Bulgaria, where 40 percent of the population is functionally illiterate, and the situation in Portugal is diametrically opposed to that in Lithuania. "We are losing people", she stated critically, and called for a shift of focus – apart from excellence, more effort towards a general improvement of quality throughout the whole education sector. On the European level, the problem has been evened out by means of applying Gini coefficients, for instance, which blend out absolute differences by the use of relative values. JANNIS KALLINIKOS (London) took a self-critical look at science. All the social sciences have become mere appendages of economics: In the words of Luhmann, the primacy of economics has subordinated all other spheres of society. Especially against this background, it becomes imperative to conduct an analysis of neoliberal capitalism with its norms and narratives. Kallinikos pointed to the rise of new approaches such as network society, shared economy and the social media – are we witnessing the emergence of a new "culture of connectivity" ?
The closing panel discussion focused on the consequences for politics and research. Allmen¬dinger developed a lengthy research agenda: She proposed (1) more theory to define social inequality within a multifactorial frame, (2) to take account of the time factor across generations and (3) to correlate mobility with inequality. Furthermore, it is important (4) not only to look at relative values like the Gini coefficients but to take absolute figures into account, too. And finally (5) the change must take hold in our heads: We must all overcome the narrative that deems inequality necessary for the further development of humankind. Zuboff picked up on this by stating that research alone is insufficient and emphasizing the need to adopt a political position. The political agenda proposed by Keane included (1) the redistribution of wealth via taxing the wealthy, (2) inclusion of the global banking and financial sector in the system of redistribution and (3) extending the concept of inequality across generations and beyond the boundary of humans and the environment. Ultimately, (4) the normative question should be reformulated: "Why should we object to inequality?"
"An inspiring conference", was the overall evaluation of a conference that brought together so many high-calibre experts. Notwithstanding, the majority of junior researchers, who came from emerging economies and developing countries, pointed out that the conference itself could be considered to have been reproducing inequality to a certain extent due to the predominance of western speakers. Moreover, it had to be pointed out that throughout the whole event, no visible attempt had been made to develop an approach capable of integrating national and global levels within a common model so that both the global super rich as well as the global finance and banking sector could effectively be included in the redistribution of wealth. Currently, there is clearly a lack of conceptual imagination and political vision.
Vera Szöllösi-Brenig, Volkswagen Foundation
 http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality (07.06.2014).
 Cf. Jacob S.Hacker / Paul Pierson, Winner-Take-All Politics. How Washington made the Rich Richer and Turned its Back on the Middle Class, Ney York 2010.
 Gregory Clark i.a., The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, Princeton 2014.
 Larry Bartels, Unenlightened Self-Interest: The Strange Appeal of Estate Tax Repeal, in: The American Prospect (June 2004), A17-A19.
 Pierre Rosanvallon, Counter-Democracy. Politics in an Age of Distrust, Cambridge 2008.
 cf. David Brady, Rich Democracies, Poor People: How Politics Explain Poverty, Oxford 2009.
 http://www.modesofexistence.org/bruno-latour-the-affects-of-capitalism-royal-danish-academy-of-sciences-and-letters-copenhagen-26-february-2014/ (11.06.2014)
 Cf. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/mit-and-harvard-release-working-papers-on-open-online-courses-0121 (11.06.2014)
 Cf. Jose van Dijck, The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media, Oxford 2013.
Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, Ph.D., WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Prof. David Brady, Ph.D., WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel, WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Prof. Dr. Vincent Houben, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Speakers and Chairs
Jutta Allmendinger, Berlin Social Science Center
David Brady, Berlin Social Science Center
Paul Collier, Oxford University
Kitty Dumont, University of South Africa
Andreas Gestrich, German Historical Institue London
Christiane Hoffmann, Berlin Office Der Spiegel
Vincent Houben, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Surinder S. Jodhka, Jawaharal Nehru University New Delhi
Jannis Kallinikos, London School of Economics
John Keane, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Ina Kerner, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Cornelia Klinger, Institute for Human Sciences Vienna
Wilhelm Krull, Volkswagen Foundation
Johanna Mair, Hertie School of Governance
Steffen Mau, University of Bremen
Wolfgang Merkel, Berlin Social Science Center
Branko Milanovic, City University of New York
Jan Nederveen Pieterse, University of california
Jens Schneider, Osnabrück University
Almut Steinbach, Volkswagen Foundation
Shoshana Zuboff, Harvard Business School