World in Focus – warsaw international gathering

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Idea

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.

Cities

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.

Migration

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.

Security

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.

Poland

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.

Europe

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?”

World

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

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