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.


Czy autonomia strategiczna Europy jest możliwa pod względem wojskowym i jakie przeszkody polityczne mogą stać na drodze do niej?
📢Zapraszamy na publiczną debatę ECFR Warsaw i Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Polen 15 marca, w której udział wezmą:
✅Marcin Zaborowski (Visiting Fellow w ECFR)
✅Claudia Major (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik w Berlinie)
✅Olivier de France (Dyrektor ds. Badań w IRIS w Paryżu)

Debatę będzie moderował Piotr Buras, Dyrektor Biura Europejskiej Rady Spraw Zagranicznych (ECFR).
Zgłoszenia na debatę przyjmujemy do 13 marca:

Strategic autonomy for the EU? How to care better for security

March 15, 2018, 2:00pm - March 15, 2018, 9:30am

English version below -------------------------------------------- Warszawskie biura Europejskiej Rady Spraw Zagranicznych (ECFR) i Fundacji Konrada Adenauera (KAS) serdecznie zapraszają na debatę publiczną pt. Strategiczna autonomia UE? Jak Europa może zapewnić sobie bezpieczeństwo 15 marca w godz. 14:00-15:30 w siedzibie Fundacji Batorego przy ul. Sapieżyńskiej 10a, Sala Turowicza Prezydentura Donalda Trumpa podważyła gotowość Stanów Zjednoczonych do żyrowania bezpieczeństwa Europy w czasie, gdy kryzysy w sąsiedztwie UE uwypukliły jej zależność od amerykańskich gwarancji. Wydatki obronne państw członkowskich są zbyt małe, a ich przemysł zbrojeniowy zbyt rozdrobniony, by Unia mogła uzyskać odpowiedni stopień autonomii strategicznej bez daleko idących reform. Czy PESCO - nowa inicjatywa w dziedzinie bezpieczeństwa i obronności - jest w stanie wzmocnić zdolności obronne UE? Czy państwa członkowskie będą musiały zwiększyć wydatki wojskowe, a jeśli tak, to o ile? Czy autonomia strategiczna Europy jest możliwa pod względem wojskowym i jakie przeszkody polityczne mogą stać na drodze do niej? By odpowiedzieć na te pytania, zapraszamy na debatę publiczną, w której udział wezmą: " Marcin Zaborowski (Visiting Fellow w ECFR) " Michał Baranowski (dyrektor warszawskiego biura German Marshall Fund of the United States) " Olivier de France (dyrektor ds. badań w IRIS w Paryżu) Debatę będzie moderował Piotr Buras, Dyrektor Warszawskiego Biura Europejskiej Rady Spraw Zagranicznych (ECFR) i jest ona organizowana w związku z raportem ECFR i KAS autorstwa Marcina Zaborowskiego pt. 'Poland and European Defence integration'( Polecamy również komentarz Marka Leonarda i Norberta Röttgena na temat europejskiej obronności ( Debata odbędzie się w języku polskim i angielskim - zapewniamy tłumaczenie symultaniczne. Prosimy o potwierdzenie uczestnictwa w debacie do 13 marca 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) and Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Poland have the pleasure of inviting you to the public debate: Strategic autonomy for the EU? How Europe can better care for its security March 15th between 14:00 and 15:30 on the premises of the Stefan Batory Foundation, ul. Sapieżyńska 10a, Turowicz Room Donald Trump's ascent to presidency put into question the willingness of the U.S. to underwrite European security, just as crises in EU's neighbourhood underscored its reliance on American guarantees. Spending by member-states on defence is too small and their arms industries too fragmented for the EU to reach a necessary degree of strategic autonomy without substantial reform. Can PESCO - a new initiative on security and defence cooperation - strengthen EU's defence capabilities? Will the member states be forced to increase military spending, and if so, by how much? Is European strategic autonomy militarily possible and politically feasible? In order to address these questions, we invite you to a debate with: " Marcin Zaborowski (Visiting Fellow at ECFR) " Michał Baranowski (Head of the Warsaw Office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States) " Olivier de France (Research Director at IRIS, Paris) The debate will be moderated by Piotr Buras, the Director of the ECFR Warsaw Office. The discussion will be held on the occasion of he publication of an ECFR and KAS report by Marcin Zaborowski, 'Poland and European Defence integration' ( We also recommend ECFR's recent commentary on European defence by Mark Leonard and Norbert Röttgen ( The debate will be held in Polish and English - simultaneous translation will be available. Please confirm your participation by March 13th via the 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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