Thirty years ago, many people believed that the spread of democracy was as inevitable as it was desirable. Those days are now far behind us. Instead, the public and policy-makers have watched as the spread of democracy has slowed and, by some measures, gone into reverse.
Those who believe that democracy is the best way to govern – and those who do not – know that democracy is in distress. Many wonder if it will survive. Others are determined that democratic decline is neither inevitable nor irreversible. The 10th World Forum for Democracy intends to get to the heart of what has gone wrong. It will look for the key contributing factors to democratic decline, consider how these might be addressed, and explore what kind of democratic future is desirable, and possible, in the interests of people across the world.
… Are deepening social, cultural and economic divides fraying people’s trust? Are democratically elected politicians failing to address citizens’ concerns? Are traditional democratic models and processes simply too slow or inefficient to keep up in our fast-paced, tech-driven modern world? This is an opportunity to take a look at the full range of challenges and their root causes.
… We need to ask not just how government should adapt, but what role we might expect business, communities, civil society, individuals and the international community to play. The influence of each of these has changed over recent years, sometimes beyond recognition. So, whose responsibility is it really if we want to reboot democracy?
…. Can we change it? Is it possible that the relentless rise of the Internet, Artificial Intelligence and the Metaverse can conform to democratic principles? Might they in fact hold the key to making democracy fit for purpose in the twenty-first century? The international, rules-based order has had limited effectiveness in preventing democratic backsliding and its consequences, how could the Organisations and States promoting democracy address this? This 10th World Forum will look to what our ambitions should be for democracy today, over the next ten years, and far beyond.
We are now calling upon NGOs, think tanks, educational and civil society organisations to express interests in presenting innovative initiatives aiming at enhancing democracy and reversing democratic decline from all over the world.
Any public or private organisation is eligible to apply. One presenter for the selected initiatives will be invited to Strasbourg to take part in the World Forum. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Council of Europe if required. In case travel and large gatherings will not be possible in November 2022, the World Forum for Democracy may be held under a different format.
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