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Strengthening democracy, science and Europe!

Focus on: populism and democracy

It seemed almost impossible that the majority of Britons would vote for Brexit. And yet they did. Donald Trump President of USA? No, it’s not going to happen. Until it does. Experts examine populism and democracy from a range of different perspectives:

70 years after the foundation of the state of Israel Talia Sasson (ISR), activist, politician and public prosecutor, discusses Israel’s future with Major General Nimrod Sheffer (ISR). Here Sasson will advocate the thesis that democracy is only possible with peace.

Eric Rosenbach (USA), Co-Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge
The Belfer Center recently started a new initiative entitled the “Defending Digital Democracy Project”. Under Rosenbach’s leadership it will develop strategies to protect democratic processes.

Julia Ebner (AUT), expert in terrorism and extremism at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)
This researcher into extremism investigates radical movements that operate internationally, both online and offline. Ebner’s research examines radicalisation and shows how extremists exploit fear, uncertainty and anger.

Focus on: education and media

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are today’s biggest platforms for opinion. What can science contribute to digital education? And what will journalism look like in future? Experts in education and media discuss potential answers with reference to specific examples:

Anya Schiffrin (USA), Professor at Columbia University
The journalist reports on her own personal experience in describing working as a journalist under repressive regimes and argues why investigative journalism or “global muckraking” is an urgent necessity.

Joseph Lo Bianco (AUS), Professor at Melbourne Graduate School of Education
The Australian linguist examines the power of language and asks what language policy Europe is pursuing. His thesis: that integration and diversity are vital in the teaching of languages. An Australian’s view of Austria and Europe.

Tom Rose (UK), ARK Schools London
The expert in education and change does not confine himself to education, though he has set new standards in the education system. With ARK Schools he has developed the prototype for a new system of learning.

Peter G. Kirschschläger (CHE), political scientist at the Universities of Lucerne and Yale
Algorithms produce news for or instead of us: machines’ abilities outstrip our own. The first fatal accident involving a pedestrian and a self-driving car has reignited discussion about the morality of machines.  Ethicist Peter Kirschschläger argues for a responsible use of data and believes that machines cannot have morals.

Focus on: sustainability and innovation

Economic growth consumes more resources. Ways of bypassing this supposed law of nature in favour of sustainability and winning people’s support, are put forward by the following speakers:

Maja Göpel (DEU), Secretary General of the Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) and member of the Club of Rome
This political economist from the Advisory Council to the German government represents the position that markets shape the future: politicians and business are ignoring the consequences that our economic practices will have for future generations.

Jayati Ghosh (IND), Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University
Ghosh is one of the world’s leading economists. She is an activist and strong advocate for women’s rights and against discrimination. She demands that Europe creates fair conditions for global trade.