Personal Democracy Forum CEE – online edition
Democracy: Can you hear me?
In April, we were supposed to meet at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk for the 8th edition of Personal Democracy Forum CEE. Unfortunately, the crisis caused by the pandemic and closed borders forced us to cancel the conference. We cannot meet in person to discuss, as we do every year, the interplay between democracy, technology, and people. This year, we were going to look at the 21 Demands created by the Solidarity movement in Gdańsk in 1980 through the lens of technologies, and redefine the role of solidarity in the modern world.
Over the past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to observe and experience what community, solidarity, and selfless cooperation really mean. On the other hand, we are observing many alarming tendencies (also those using technological solutions) related to limiting human rights under the guise of fighting an epidemic. We are facing a vision of an imminent economic crisis, as well as many examples of misinformation and propaganda.
We cannot and do not want to be indifferent to that. This is why we decided to organize Personal Democracy Forum CEE Online on May 14 at 12.00 PM (CEST).
We invited speakers who, in various roles, found themselves at the very center of current events, to discuss democracy and technology that shape our present and future reality. We will learn how COVID-19 affects the political and social landscape of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. Is there a way for activists from around the world and our region to address the problems caused by the pandemic? What can we do to ensure that the worst side effect of the virus wouldn’t be deformation of democracy? In addition, we will look at whether the crisis has strengthened the belief that Open Data is, among other things, the foundation for ensuring trust and cooperation within the society. We will consider what can be done for employees and the labor market, which has been transformed under the influence of technology, and is currently facing huge challenges.
We are convinced that this is the time not only to talk about 21 postulates for the 21st century. This is the time to use the heritage of the Solidarity movement to build new ones. Our recipe for surviving the crisis is: to be together (even though separately), to work together, not to bury our heads in the sand, not to bow down to hopelessness and, most importantly, remain in solidarity.