“We see that global challenges need global discussions”

The aim of the discussion festival is to hear experiences on shared concerns or current phenomena from people living in different countries in Europe, and by listening to others, learn to understand different perspectives. Additionally, a goal is to be inspired by new ideas that could provide responses to the common challenges we are currently facing in Europe.

“With the ever deepening environmental challenges, geopolitical disruptions and technological advances the global governance needs to speed up to keep up. Our hyperlocal discussions are a testing platform for a new form of international democratic discussion, allowing for a truly international thoughtful public opinion to emerge.”

The festival is taking place across more than 20 locations, each hosting a physical hub. Participants have the opportunity to join the festival from any of these hubs and engage with people in other countries who are attending the festival in their own hubs, through a video broadcast. Participants will interact virtually using video technologies. 

The discussions will tackle relevant local topics within the contemporary context in Europe. Discussions will have facilitators who will encourage participants to share their thoughts and ideas and create a discussion with experiences from different nations. 

We’re facing more and more challenges that require international cooperation and decision-making. The challenges are complex, and we can’t solve them alone. As a result, the EU and other transnational actors play a more important role, but citizens lack the platforms to address these challenges. There is a feeling that international cooperation is too far and complex. Hybrid European Democracy Festival would be the pan-European public sphere that connects everyday problems to global challenges. By exchanging experiences and ideas with other citizens who share the same concerns, we may be able to achieve this.” – Joanna Kurvits, Project manager

Mark your calendars for May 17-18 and be a part of this unique festival. Join us for a chance to participate in enlightening discussions alongside other participants and gain insight into experiences from different countries regarding current phenomena.

The pilot discussion about why we need higher education

On Saturday, August 12, a hybrid discussion on the importance of higher education took place in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia. With participants situated in all three countries, and a discussion facilitator located in Finland, each location hosted a live audience. Through headphones and large screens, participants were able to engage with one another in real-time audio and visual interactions. This hybrid solution for the discussion was created by Miltton Events.

The discussion led to the recognition that students in these three countries are facing similar challenges in higher education, including insufficient funding, a decline in the quality of teaching, and concerns about the well-being of students. 

The participants themselves had discovered a remedy in the form of student communities, which provide a strong sense of belonging. Allocating both time and physical spaces for nurturing communities was deemed crucial.

Foremost, higher education has taught the participants self-awareness. Especially the ability for self-reflection was emphasized. Education has nurtured critical thinking, enabling a new perspective on matters. Moreover, it has introduced novel viewpoints, including the ability to question one’s own country’s current situation. 

Through higher education, participants have learned to find their own ways to impact society and become active citizens. It has conferred credibility within the professional sphere, assisted in discovering one’s voice within society, and empowered individuals to stand by their values.

According to the participants, universities must prioritize the ongoing enhancement of both accessibility and quality. Learning from mistakes and avoiding their repetition is crucial. Hence, fostering collaborative endeavors is essential. 

Gaining insights into how similar challenges have been addressed in other contexts and jointly generating solutions would offer significant value.

Discussion can be rewatched here: https://fb.watch/mpG5n_gEU-/ 

Read more on the blog post of Adel Rizvi (SAMOK Executive Board Member), who participated in the dialogue.

Lue lisää keskusteluun osallistuneen Adel Rizvin (Samokin hallitus) blogitekstistä.


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