to Content
Header Image

Democracy Bootcamp

Breakout / Democracy & the Rule of Law
in englischer Sprache

Practitioners share their expertise and experiences on how to strengthen democracy on- and offline.
14:00-14:45 How to Act Up against Online Disinformation and Extremism (Julia Ebner)
15:00-15:45 How to Create ‘Democracy Hacks’ (Che Wagner, Daniel Graf)
16:00-16:45 How to Manage a Pro-democracy Campaign (Lydia Toth)
17:00-17:45 How (and why) to Avoid the ‘Tyranny of the Annoying’ in Social Movements (Zack Exley)

Research Fellow, ISD - Institute for Strategic Dialogue, London
Political and Technological Consultant; Founder, New Consensus, New York
Founder, WeCollect; Co-Founder, PublicBeta; Co-Founder, Campaign Bootcamp Switzerland, Basel
Executive Director, Operation Libero, Bern
Co-Founder, PublicBeta, Basel


Research Fellow, ISD - Institute for Strategic Dialogue, London

 Julia Ebner is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and author of the bestselling book "The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism". She leads ISD’s research on cumulative extremism and coordinates the Online Civil Courage Initiative in cooperation with Facebook Germany. Julia spent two years working for the world’s first counter-extremism organisation, Quilliam, where she carried out research projects on terrorism prevention for the European Commission and the Kofi Annan Foundation and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on far-right extremism. In her role as the coordinator of the pan-European network Families Against Terrorism and Extremism (FATE), she led radicalization-prevention projects across Europe and North Africa. On the basis of her research, Julia advises parliamentary working groups, frontline workers and tech firms; speaks at international conferences; and delivers workshops in schools and universities. She regularly writes for The Guardian and The Independent and gives interviews in English, German and French on the BBC, CNN, ZDF, ARD, France24, Al Jazeera, LBC and others.


Political and Technological Consultant; Founder, New Consensus, New York

 Zack Exley is the co-founder of Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, campaigns to elect young new leaders from outside of politics to Congress. One of their successful candidates was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Zack also founded New Consensus, a non-partisan think tank that develops policy and research to fuel the big dreams of a new generation of leaders. In 2016, Zack served as a senior adviser on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and was an architect of the campaign's national volunteer-driven "distributed" campaign. Zack was an early pioneer in online political organizing and communications with and the Howard Dean and John Kerry presidential campaigns. He started out as a union organizer in the U.S. South and Midwest. With Becky Bond, Zack co-authored the book Rules for Revolutionaries, How Big Organizing can Change Everything, to capture lessons from distributed organizing on the Bernie campaign. Recently, as a Harvard Shorenstein Fellow, Zack published a paper on the power of the Alt-Right on YouTube, "The Anatomy of the Worldview of an Alt-Right YouTuber."

Daniel GRAF

Founder, WeCollect; Co-Founder, PublicBeta; Co-Founder, Campaign Bootcamp Switzerland, Basel

2003-2006 Managing Director, Green Party Zurich
2006-2008 Head of Communications, comedia
2008-2012 Spokesperson, Amnesty International
since 2012 Campaign and Strategy Consultant
since 2015 Founder, WeCollect

Lydia TOTH

Executive Director, Operation Libero, Bern

 Lydia Toth is the Executive Director of Operation Libero, a political movement which is campaigning for a cosmopolitan and progressive Switzerland. After the first successes of Operation Libero, she co-built their main office in Zurich which she is leading since September 2018. In her role Lydia is responsible for management as well as fundraising and administration: making sure that the limited resources are used to their fullest.


Co-Founder, PublicBeta, Basel

 Che Wagner is a policy researcher, political entrepreneur and a passionate team-, community- and crowd-builder around meaningful ideas. With PublicBeta, Che co-develops the new ‘Foundation for Direct Democracy’ for the crowd-based platform WeCollect and helps incubate new political projects for Switzerland. As a project leader at civicLab Geneva, he currently also works for the innovation of structures and services within the public sector. He served as director of the campaign for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Switzerland 2016. He studied History and Social Science in Basel/Switzerland and continued at the University of Zurich with the MA program 'History of Economics'. He is currently researching at 'European Global Studies' at the European Institute in Basel. His research areas include European law, economic/social policy and new forms of politics.

Political and Legal Symposia

show timetable


17:00 - 18:45Opening of the Political SymposiumPlenary
19:45 - 20:45Promoting Stability in Wider Europe: The Role of the EU and the OSCEPlenary
20:30 - 21:00POLITICO Happy HourSocial


08:00 - 09:00ABGESAGT POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
08:00 - 09:00DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 13:30An Update on European Union LawBreakout
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Mindfulness HikeBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 01: Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global MindsetBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 02: Experimental Government and the Story of Basic Income in FinlandBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 03: Demography and DemocracyBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 04: Digital Diplomacy vs Digital ColonialismBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 05: How We Benefit from Empowering the Young in PoliticsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 06: Lost in Translation? The EU’s Struggle to Speak with One Voice on Foreign PolicyBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 07: Extremism, Disinformation and the Role of New TechnologiesBreakout
14:00 - 18:00Democracy BootcampBreakout
14:00 - 15:30Opening of the Legal SymposiumPlenary
14:00 - 16:00Liberty and Responsibility: Two Sides of the Same Coin?Partner
14:00 - 16:00Security Radar 2019: Wake-up Call for Europe!Partner
16:00 - 17:00Growing Sustainably: Africa on the MovePlenary
16:00 - 17:30Ideology in the Courtroom: How Impartial Are Judges?Plenary
17:30 - 18:30What Can Be Done against the Climate Crisis?Plenary
18:00 - 19:30How Free Is the Press Across the EU?Plenary
19:00 - 20:00What Does the World Think? A Conversation on Fundamental Philosophical QuestionsPlenary
20:00 - 23:30ReceptionSocial
20:00 - 22:00European-Israeli DinnerSocial
20:30 - 21:30Less Freedom for More Security?Plenary


08:00 - 09:00DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:00 - 09:00POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Mindfulness HikeBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 08: Emissions Trading: an Effective Way to Reduce EmissionsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 09: When Machines Judge PeopleBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 10: How Free Should Trade Be? The Development of European Standards for Trade and Foreign Direct InvestmentsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 11: International Arms Trade Regulations: A Call for ActionBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 12: Does More Digital Freedom Automatically Mean Less Legal Security?Breakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 13: New Wars – New EpidemicsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 14: Human Rights Under Pressure: The Role of Ombudspersons and National Human Rights InstitutionsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 15: Security through Liberty: About the Will for Public OrderBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 16: A Pathway to Sustainable Business TransformationBreakout
14:00 - 15:30‘Soft Power’ or Defence Union? Military Cooperation in the European UnionPlenary
14:00 - 15:30The Struggle for the Rule of Law: Is the EU Fighting a Losing Battle?Plenary
14:00 - 18:00LAW Working GroupsBreakout
14:00 - 18:00Let’s Talk!Breakout
16:00 - 17:30Freedom of Speech at Universities: What Is (Still) Acceptable?Plenary
16:30 - 17:45Liberty and Security in the Context of International RelationsPlenary
18:15 - 19:15How Much Courage Does the Law Need?Plenary
20:30 - 22:00Speakers’ NightPlenary


09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Mindfulness HikeBreakout
09:30 - 11:00Brexit: Departure into the UnknownPlenary
11:30 - 13:00Tackling Complexity: Insights from the Alpbach Learning MissionsPlenary