H/t Dan Everett.Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg, was often a center of critical thinking. When Frederick the Great invited Voltaire to Sans Souci, or Albert Einstein made Caputh his summer home, local and international intellectual forces combined to reflect on the central issues of their times. In establishing the Einstein Forum in 1993, the State of Brandenburg affirmed its commitment to renewing Potsdam's traditional role as a center of the Enlightenment, in the very broadest sense.The extraordinary success of the Einstein Forum's first years showed that it fills a need met nowhere else. By offering an institutional context for intellectual innovation outside the university, the Einstein Forum promotes the exchange of ideas across disciplinary as well as national borders.Through lectures, workshops and conferences which are open to everyone, the Einstein Forum serves a double function: to give the general public the opportunity to engage with major thinkers at work, and to encourage those thinkers to overcome traditional academic boundaries. At their best, such exchanges not only make available opportunities traditionally confined to elite audiences, but also lead to a democratization of the intellectual process itself.