Events list – World in Focus

Your vote is important for the future of European Union

Session language: English, Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

Your vote is important for the future of European Union

Discussion on the need to engage citizens in the elections to the European Parliament in May 2019. How to increase turnout among young Europeans? What are the ways to motivate all citizens to participate in the elections? What is the role of non-governmental organizations in this process? One of the themes will be the role of the Internet as a tool that offers many possibilities in advanced democracies. The meeting will serve as a presentation of, a new website designed to become the main independent, multilingual information centre for the elections to the European Parliament.

Please register for this session separately at


Future Cities

12.10 - Conference Room B 13:15 − 14:30 Paulina WilkEdwin BendykWitold DrożdżArtur Celiński

Session language: Polish

Cities – thanks to their diversity, proximity between their denizens and municipal authorities, as well as the benefits of agglomeration effect – become a laboratory of solutions to facilitate governance, solve everyday problems faced by citizens and respond to challenges of the future. The same happens to the new technologies, whose promise is to deliver data on every aspect of city’s functioning, in to enable an optimal use of resources and adjust city landscape to the needs of its inhabitants. This panel will be joined by distinguished experts and journalists working on urban and technological issues, to tell us about future cities. Are Polish cities keeping up with the technological revolution? Where can we learn how to build strategies of urban development? Where lies the biggest potential of technological solutions, and where they prove to be an illusion? Are we ready to protect IT networks that manage entire cities against potential attacks?


Workshops for Children – My Warsaw

10:00 − 16:30

Session language: Polski

World in Focus is an event open for everyone, no matter what their age is. We kindly invite children to join the workshops prepared specifically for them. Attractions will include the arts and crafts, as well as interactive games, such as Where do I live? What my favorite places are? or I think, therefore I am – the riddles and logical exercises stand.


How European is the European Parliament? New political movements in 2019 elections

13.10 – Conference Room A 11:30 − 12:45 Alberto AlemannoKerry LonghurstAziliz GouezKarolina Lewicka

Session language: English, Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

The European Parliament was supposed to represent the European demos, but elections to it remain dominated by national issues, while debates with the EP are opaque to citizens. This is reflected in turnout: merely low in Western Europe, abysmal in Poland. What is at stake in next year’s election? Can the new pan-European political movements, such as Diem 25 or the initiative that is growing out of En Marche, change the way the EP works and convince votes to show up at the ballot box?


Plenary Session: What can Brussels do? European values and sovereignty

Session language: English, Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

Recent moves by the European Commission concerning the rule of law in Poland are unprecedented and can be seen as a test for the European Union, where a dispute over fundamental values is growing. What leeway do the member-states have in interpreting the values and when does the Union have to step in to protect their core meaning? How to understand the principle of sovereignty and how does it limit Brussel’s ability to intervene? Are these interventions effective?


Opening session: Who holds the power now?

Session language: English, Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

Globalisation has made power diffuse. No longer are the national governments and parliaments solely in charge, as actions by global corporations, international organisation, norm entrepreneurs and even organised crime have an impact on our lives. What does sovereignty mean in an era of increasingly complex power relations? What should we, citizens, be wary of, how to act, with whom to talk to untie this knot and retain a modicum of agency and control over our circumstances?


Who has the power over our food?

13.10 – Conference Room B 13:45 − 15:00 Patrycja WanatAndrzej HałasiewiczMonika Styczek-KurylukTanja Busse

Session language: English, Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

Our shop shelves groan under the masses of relatively cheap food. Agriculture all around the world is increasingly industrialized. The crops are commodified on the market just like any other trade good. At the same time, the ever smaller group of international corporations enlarges its power over each step of food production – from the seeds and farmlands, fodders, fertilizers and pesticides, to the distribution and retail. There are merely three companies, which are responsible for over the half of the worldwide seed production, another four produce over 60% of the agricultural chemicals. It’s time to pose the question: is our food safe and sound and will it remain so? What are the consequences for the farmers and consumers? What could be done to retain the freedom of choice?


Digitalization / Data / Power

13.10 – Conference Room A 13:45 − 15:00 Alek TarkowskiKatarzyna SzymielewiczMichał Paliński

Session language: j. angielski, j. polski Symultanic translation: Yes

Personal data are the traces of our digital lives. When suitably processed and conjoined, they can tell surprisingly intimate stories about their owners. We are not always fully aware of that, since the very processes of collecting and generating data go on outside of our informed perception, not to mention the fact that understanding the machines, which analyze our data becomes increasingly difficult.

The fact that data became a new kind of resources, which can be “mined” by the internet companies and used to affect our behavior, does not mean that we should give them up to the corporations, governments and security experts. It is exactly the opposite: the recent introduction of the european General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a great opportunity to think about the ways in which we can reclaim the control over the personal data ourselves.

During the workshop we will offer three possible paths of deepened discussion:

1. critical, concentrated on the risks associated with user profiling and behavioral moulding
2. optimistic, facing the chances and hopes associated with the responsible methods of data analysis
3. popular-scientific, which will serve as a way of getting acquainted with the functioning of data-processing software and hardware


One hundred years of women’s suffrage – different experiences

Session language: j. angielski, j. polski

This year we celebrate the anniversary of an event that had a great impact on the development of democracy in many different parts of the world. This key achievement of our predecessors was the women’s suffrage, which allowed women to enter the world of politics. We would like to invite you to join the discussion on how the women worldwide have been creating the democracy of tomorrow. How did the feminist movement develop in Poland and in Russia? How much have Russian activists achieved so far, especially since their activities surpass significantly the scope of events organized by Pussy Riot? The history of feminist movement will be analyzed from the perspectives of an activist, researcher and documentary director. Discussion will be complemented with the slideshow from the Russian protests, as well as the screening of the fragments of new Marta Dzido and Piotr Śliwowski’s movie, Siłaczki – the story of Polish suffrage, which will premiere on the 28th of November 2018.


Defending Freedom. How We Can Win the Fight for an Open Society – book presentation by Ralf Fücks

13.10 – Conference Room B 10:00 − 11:15 Ralf FücksMichał SutowskiKarolina Wigura

Session language: English, Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

Retaining the international order and further integration of European Union will not be possible under the current circumstances of democracy crisis, faced by the European and Transatlantic communities for the last several years. Each attempt to come up with a positive scenario for saving the liberal democracy and individual freedom is thus worth deepened reflection. We kindly invite to take part in the discussion with Ralf Fücks, the author of the book Defending Freedom – How We Can Win the Fight for an Open Society, which will be available in Polish this September.


Good Climate – from activism to politics. Why is the climate political?

13.10 – Conference Room A 10:00 − 11:15 Edwin BendykMonika SadkowskaRadosław GawlikCécile Duflot

Session language: English and Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

The consequences of climate change are tangible – heat waves, droughts, strong gales and rainstorms became part of everyday life also in Poland. One may argue that there are few better places to host this year’s international climate change conference than Katowice, Poland. Negotiators from all around the world will discuss how to address climate change through collective action. But to what extent will our everyday practices be changed by their conclusions? Is it not so that the bottom-up movements and collaborative efforts of diverse social groups are more effective in tackling this challenge? What is the role of local urban policies which are often much more ambitious and consequential than those elaborated during summits where the voice of civil society cannot be fully articulated? How can those different levels of action be brought together?


Lunch break

13.10 – Foyer 12:45 − 13:45

Lunch will be prepared by Kuchnia Konfliktu

About Kuchnia : it’s a social restaurant providing fair employment to migrants and serving their home country specialities



Plenary session: What kind of Poland in what kind of Europe?

Session language: Polish Symultanic translation: Yes

Our debates about the future of Poland are strongly intertwined with discussions about Europe – what it exactly is and what it should it be. What are the key problems of the European Union and how can Poland participate in their resolving? In which direction is the Eurozone moving and should Poland join it? How is the EU budget changing and what are the consequences for Poland?

In order to avoid staying in our own ideological “bubbles”, we invited the representatives of five different editorial teams affiliated in the Projekt “Spięcie” to join us in our discussion. We will create a space for ideas coming from vastly different ideological and intellectual angles, all with an eye for an honest debate about issues crucial for Poland and Europe.


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