World in Focus – warsaw international gathering



Where is the world headed? What shape will the new global order take? What role will cities and its inhabitants play in a changing world? These questions have become increasingly pressing.

“World in Focus” is an event specially designed to encompass meetings, dialogues and panel sessions which will tackle questions about Poland, Europe and the world. Questions we want to ask, but which offer no obvious answers. This is a two-day journey through fascinating and important international problems of our times – a journey taken together with prominent intellectuals, outstanding experts, practitioners and a diverse cast of participants from around the world. Discussions, film screenings and workshops devoted to developments in Poland’s and Europe’s neighbourhood will allow us to sharpen our focus and take a different perspective on contemporary challenges.

In this year’s edition we will take a closer look on the future of cities. Technological progress and robust labour markets make cities a welcoming place for more and more people. As a result,  put into focus the challenges the world and our civilisation faces today. While we tend to think about states when talking about international relations, cities are to a no lesser degree interconnected, as they exchange ideas and seek to find  answers to global challenges, such as climate change and migration. Well governed, they can take advantage of citizens’ engagement and new technologies, such as modern infrastructure, which make them friendlier to both their inhabitants and the environment.

During “World in Focus 2017” we will also talk, just as we did last year, about the most important and interesting current issues in politics, international security, integration and culture.

“World in Focus” is a meeting open to everyone who shares our fascination with the world and a concern for its future. We invite you to join us on October 13th and 14th in the Centre of Creativity Targowa and the Praga Museum in Warsaw.

Themes in Focus

2017 themes will be published here soon.


The majority of the world’s population lives in cities, where power & authority, money but also social and ecological challenges take center stage. Cities are communities of citizens who take charge in shaping their lives. Cities are further laboratories where new solutions are tested on a daily basis and they are the underlying factor of international politics nowadays. How can we best take advantage of their potential? How can we save and preserve nature and the environment, which faces several threats? How can we shape and design urban areas which are both people and environment friendly? These are only some of the many different topics that we will cover during several debates including those on social urban movements, new green & smart technologies and urbanisation.


The migration crisis, which shook Europe in 2015, is just only of the many examples of global migration patterns, constantly shaping new social and political realities. Both national and cross border migration is the effect of the economic growth and development of until recently poorer areas. Ethnical and religious conflicts along with climate change further yield constantly increasing amounts of migrants. These topics will be discussed during the sessions on migration and urbanisation in Sub Saharan Africa.


During the “War in cities, War for cities” debate, we will look at how changes of the liberal world order are influencing the way wars and military conflicts are carried out. In the most recent conflicts, citizens of Aleppo, Donetsk or Mosul had no guarantee of safety or security. Their cities were turned into battlefields, where many lost lives and infrastructure was completely destroyed. Issues concerning security and safety can further be observed in EU member states which have become a target for terrorist attacks.


Just like every other country, Poland is not immune to external and internal influences, which determine the current and future condition of the state. In the midst of a number of international challenges and internal disputes, scholars and politicians alike will discuss what Poland has to offer in terms of aiding development and economic growth, fostering healthy social interactions or improving and maintaining relations between close and more distant partners. Looking at issues in specific areas, we will explore how and to what extent can Poland become an active decision maker in shaping the future of the European project.


The European Union has experienced severe internal and external challenges, which require it to rethink its growth and development strategy. There are several different suggestions with regards to further (dis)integration of the EU appearing on the horizon, with different levels of support amongst different member states. This is one of the topics that we will undertake during the sessions on European challenges, social urban movements in Central-Eastern Europe and also the closing plenary session entitled “What sort of Poland in what sort of Europe?”


During this year’s edition, we will look at the world from the perspective of cities. During the opening session, we will put forward the very intriguing question of: Will cities rule the world? We will explore the new global order which is taking shape right before our eyes and we will further listen to the voice of Sub Saharan Africa. We will think about how globalisation is seen from the perspective of different regions – is it on the path towards more equal allocation of resources and wealth, or whether it is on the road to stimulating further inequality amongst society.

New technologies

New, constantly developing technologies have completely changed the way in which we live and work. They open up new ways of accessing and gaining knowledge but also define new segregation and exclusion boundaries. During the screening of Łukasz Bluszcz’s “Energy aNew” film and during the “Digitally green” debate, we will look at the above mentioned issues in greater detail. We will explore how new technologies can be best used to ensure fair and sustainable developments of societies and their environments.

Global transformations

This year, once again, we will focus on the topic of changes and transformations in the liberal global order. An order, which until now, was based on the idea of the sovereignty of nations, agreed upon after the second world war. This very fundament is, after the cold war, being severely questioned by a number of states. During a number of debates at this year’s World in Focus conference, we will take a closer look at the changes that have already taken place and those that we should be expecting to arise at any given point in the near future.

Tekst końcowy – EN

You are welcome.


Polecamy debatę o Chinach i ich relacjach z Europą, która odbędzie się już 25 stycznia! ...

Chiny u bram Europy // China at the Gates of Europe

January 25, 2018, 4:00pm - January 25, 2018, 10:30am

>>For English see scroll down<< Warszawskie Biuro ECFR serdecznie zaprasza na debatę publiczną: Chiny u bram: Europejskie i japońskie spojrzenie na nowe globalne ambicje Chin 25 stycznia w godzinach 16:00-17:30, Hotel Westin w Warszawie (Al. Jana Pawła II 21) W ostatnich latach Chiny odchodzą od dewizy Deng Xiaopinga, by "nie wychodzić przed szereg", wykazując coraz większe ambicje globalne i stopniowo, ale znacząco, zwiększając swoją obecność za granicą. Chiny aktywnie promują strategiczne inwestycje w Azji Środkowej, Europie i Afryce, a także działają coraz bardziej asertywnie w swoim sąsiedztwie, eskalując napięcia wokół sporów terytorialnych. Co więcej, Xi Jinping wykorzystał lukę otwartą przez Stany Zjednoczone w 2016 roku, stawiając się w roli orędownika globalizacji i wolnego handlu. Jednak w wielu obszarach chińska wizja globalnego ładu jest zasadniczo odmienna od tej, której hołdują zwolennicy liberalnego porządku międzynarodowego, tacy jak UE i Japonia. Jak można więc zareagować na nowe ambicje Chin? Czy istnieje sposób na konstruktywną współpracę z Państwem Środka? W jaki sposób UE i Japonia mogą koordynować swoje znaczenia, aby podołać wzrostowi znaczenia Chin i chronić liberalne podstawy ładu międzynarodowego? Aby odpowiedzieć na te pytania, zapraszamy na debatę z ekspertami: -Francois Godement - Dyrektor programu Azja i Chiny i Senior Research Fellow w ECFR -Bogdan Góralczyk - Dyrektor Centrum Europejskiego Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, politolog, sinolog, dyplomata, publicysta - Maaike Okano-Heijmans - Senior Research Fellow w Instytucie Clingendael, ekspertka ds. Japonii i Chin Debatę poprowadzi Caroline de Gruyter, Europejska Korespondentka NRC Handelsblad. Dyskusja będzie częściowo oparta o najnowszą publikację Francois Godement, "Chiny u bram Europy" ( Spotkanie odbędzie się w języku polskim i angielskim (tłumaczenie symultaniczne). Prosimy o potwierdzenie uczestnictwa w debacie do 24 stycznia poprzez formularz rejestracyjny: W razie problemów z rejestracją prosimy o kontakt: Warszawskie Biuro Europejskiej Rady Spraw Zagranicznych (ECFR) Ul. Sapieżyńska 10a 00-215 Warszawa T.: +48 22 536 02 35, 22 536 02 38 E.: --------------------------------------------------- Warsaw Office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has the pleasure of inviting you to the public debate: China at the Gates: European and Japanese perspectives on China's new global posture January 25th between 16:00 and 17:30 in The Westin Warsaw Hotel (Al. Jana Pawła II 21) In recent years, China has gradually, but significantly, expanded its global presence and ambitions, moving away from Deng Xiaoping’s prescription to “keep low profile”. It has actively promoted strategic investment in Central Asia, Europe and Africa and exhibited assertiveness in its neighbourhood, escalating tensions over territorial disputes. Furthermore, China’s Xi Jinping exploited the leadership gap left by the United States after 2016 and positioned himself as a champion of globalisation and free trade. Yet in many areas Chinese vision of the global order is fundamentally at odds with one espoused by liberal powers, such as the EU and Japan. How to react to China’s new ambitions? Is there a way to constructively engage this new power? How can the EU and Japan cooperate to manage China’s rise and protect the liberal foundation of international order? In order to address these questions, we invite you to a debate between: -Francois Godement – Director of Asia & China programme and Senior Research Fellow at ECFR -Bogdan Góralczyk – Director of the European Center of the University of Warsaw, political scientist, sinologist, diplomat and columnist -Maaike Okano-Heijmans – Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute, expert on Japan and China. The debate will be moderated by Caroline de Gruyter, Europe Correspondent for NRC Handelsblad. The discussion will be in part based the latest publication by Francois Godement, ‘China at the gates: A new power audit of EU-China relations’ ( The debate will be held in Polish and English (simultaneous translation). Please confirm your participation until the 24th of January via a registration form: In case of problems with the online registration, please contact our office : Warsaw Office of European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) Ul. Sapieżyńska 10a 00-215 Warszawa T.: +48 22 536 02 35, 22 536 02 38 E.:

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