Common Ground

Coming up on Sept. 28: anti-Semitism in Germany

In the new Jewish year, our show addresses a sensitive question — Is it safe to be Jewish in Germany? Should German authorities be doing more given rising anti-Semitism and attacks like Halle? We are looking for audience questions to bring to our panel. Share your question via the  online form. We will select a few listeners to record their questions to be aired during the show.




Latest show Sept. 21, 2020: Cyclists vs Pedestrians

Frustration is high in Berlin over the rights of cyclists vs. drivers. But what about the rights of Berlin’s pedestrians vs. cyclists? We explore that fraught relationship and other human-powered, sustainable mobility conflicts in Berlin on the third episode of Common Ground with guests Carolina Mazza of ADFC (German Cyclists Association), Roland Stimpel of FUSS e.V. (Organization for Pedesterian Protection of Germany), Alena Büttner of the German Environment Agency and Dirk von Schneidemesser of Changing Cities e.V.

Sept. 14, 2020: “Should Berlin become a tech hub?”


When Google announced plans to open a campus in the Berlin neighborhood of Kreuzberg, local opposition was so loud that it ground the tech giant’s plans to a halt. A similar wave of protests hit Friedrichshain earlier this year against Amazon’s plans to make a 140 meter-tall office building its headquarters.

In this episode, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by Nina Monaghan, the vice-chairwoman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg; Yonatan Miller, co-founder of the Berlin Tech Workers Coalition, and freelance journalist and activist John Malamatinas.

This show was produced by Dina Elsayed.

Show Broadcast Sept. 10, 2020: “Who is a real Berliner?”



John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech was embraced by an overwhelming majority of city residents nearly six decades ago. But these days, there’s a lot of disagreement over who gets to call themselves a Berliner as the German capital rapidly evolves into an international city with immigrants from around the globe.

In the hour-long premiere of “Common Ground”, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by a panel made up of Berlin politicians Sawsan Chebli and Christian Gräff,  “Der Alte Ami” – Berliner Rundfunk DJ Rik de Lisle, and Maxim Gorki Theater Director Shermin Langhoff. Find out more. 

This show was produced by Dina Elsayed and recorded live at Pfefferberg Haus 13 on Sept. 7, 2020. 

About Common Ground

The show tries to foster civil dialogue in Berlin and beyond, and its topics will range from local, including the inaugural episode, “Who is a REAL Berliner?” to transatlantic discussion on the U.S. presidential elections and their impact on the sister cities of Berlin and Los Angeles (KCRW Berlin is partnered with KCRW in L.A.) “Common Ground” is a must for the large, English-speaking community of Berlin trying to make sense of urban life in Germany’s complex capital city.

The talk-show format show features guests from diverse backgrounds and nationalities who come together to share different perspectives, learn from each other and develop new ideas. In addition, the program will feature stories, questions and interviews to provide deeper insight into topics. 

“Common Ground” features six “town hall” events each year to allow for greater community participation both in Berlin and the in United States.  Topics will range from challenges and opportunities facing the German capital, examine the impact of political, socio-economic and cultural issues on daily life.

“Common Ground” is available to download wherever you get your podcasts. It is also available to stream at KCRW Berlin shares “Common Ground” topic information on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.









By the way – If you love our content, please consider donating to KCRW Berlin. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by supporters like you. Your donation supports our programming and events, feeding a flourishing English language community with local news, information and ideas.


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