Do you remember the G20 summit in Hamburg? Already controversial in advance, it resulted in the violent images from last weekend. How difficult, however, that Communication about it, also showed various TV talk shows such as Maischberger, which Wolfgang Bosbach finally left under protest.

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Media consumption as a drug

Even if the scorched earth left a lot of anger and resentment in Hamburg, they are outraged People across Europe mostly back in the Everyday life submerged.

Only those in Hamburg, who have to build up their house, their shop, their possessions, will be busy for a long time - physically and mentally.

What questions does communication raise?

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If some are already on vacation, others often have grueling talks with insurance companies and lawyers. And the Attention the once angry media consumer has long since moved on to the next topic.

Let's leave the question of the political and social Sustainability as well as the psychological analysis of the willingness to use violence during the riots surrounding the G20 summit in Hamburg, the focus on communication allows for a few remarkable statements.

Where does communication matter?

Allow me a little numbers game here. Around 150 million € were the security and follow-up costs. Another 50 Mio € are still likely to damage. The pure talk times among the G20 summit participants were limited to a few hours.

If everyone wanted to talk to everyone else and we divided that by the total session time, a dialogue would have been around 1000 words. 20 times one Conversation makes 20.000 words and that for around €200 million, works out at around €10.000/word. The question remains: Isn't that cheaper?

4 theses on communication at G20

I am not concerned here with any political appraisal or condemnation, nor with a discussion of the trend towards pointless violence tourism. In fact, a few noteworthy statements are indeed made in the focus of communication, which is ultimately responsible for much of our lives.

1. Communication on peacekeeping

Basically it was and is Idea, to ensure communication between the self-proclaimed, most important states with the G20 summits. Here can for sure be noted with a clear conscience: As long as they talk to each other - from person to person - that's a good sign. Communication was and is provided it Honestly used, also part of peacekeeping.

No matter what comes out - as long as you still eat together at the same table, it's good. But true communication would probably also be a two-way communication or a mutually-oriented relationship in politics. Sometimes one person talks and the other takes it seriously, sometimes vice versa. Time the political Guide, sometimes the people.

2. Communication channel violence

The outbreaks of violence understandably play a very dominant role in public perception. The question arises:

It's not about the "guests" seeking violence - some of whom have traveled from several hundred kilometers - but about those who "demonstrate" peacefully to plan, but also attract media and attention thanks to their activities. Without them, the excesses of violence would also have fewer “windows”.

3. Communication = Think it - say it - do it!

Around the G20 summit there were “excellent” teaching examples in terms of communication. Mr. Trump terminated the Paris climate agreement a few days earlier. The outrage is great and from my point of view it is really a bad sign politically and communicatively. On the other hand, the question is allowed:

An agreement that everyone signs and sees as important, but which nobody will stick to afterwards, is probably a bit of a swindle. You say something, but you don't. It is also not credible in the long term. Basically, it can be said quite soberly: someone does not sign an agreement that no one adheres to anyway. Maybe it's more honest. Although the person concerned was probably not just about honesty ...

4. Crime communication only general places

Finally, another chapter was written in crisis communication. Mr Scholz, mayor of Hamburg, in the run-up to the summit, left his clear words in the drawer when the riots broke out.

The actual host was silent before he sent a few sentences via the speaker thanking the police officers. That the violence allegedly “careful Preparation” could not have been prevented, was “depressing”, according to the statement. These are general platitudes and polished test-tube phrases from the political arena rhetoric. Real dismay and shock read differently.


A G20 summit that has political repercussions but is unlikely to be in the participants' interest is a laboratory of learning lessons for people interested in communication. And it shows one thing: life is communication and communication is life.

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