15th Annual Symi Symposium

The 2014 Symi Symposium "Re-imagining Democracy" will take place from July 14-18 on the island of Spetses.

This year, we gather to exchange views on how to address the crisis of representative democracy leading to citizens disengagement from political institutions and to a significant rise of populism. From austerity-weary Europe to the hyper-partisan United States to an Arab spring-turned-winter, citizens feel disempowered and unrepresented in the political process. Such sentiments have fueled widespread societal angst and, in some cases, extremism.
Increasingly, our national democracies are proving ineffective at solving cross border challenges. At the same time, the absence of balanced and effective global governance structures and regulations has exacerbated many of our common challenges, such as climate change, financial regulation and tax evasion.

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15th Annual Symi Symposium

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14-18 July, 2014
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The 2014 Symi Symposium "Re-imagining Democracy" will take place from July 14-18 on the island of Spetses.

This year, we gather to exchange views on how to address the crisis of representative democracy leading to citizens disengagement from political institutions and to a significant rise of populism. From austerity-weary Europe to the hyper-partisan United States to an Arab spring-turned-winter, citizens feel disempowered and unrepresented in the political process. Such sentiments have fueled widespread societal angst and, in some cases, extremism.
Increasingly, our national democracies are proving ineffective at solving cross border challenges. At the same time, the absence of balanced and effective global governance structures and regulations has exacerbated many of our common challenges, such as climate change, financial regulation and tax evasion.

Symi 2014: Redirect military expenditure to ensure a sustainable future, by Kumi Naidoo

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Last year $1.74tn was spent on the world's military, according to new estimates released by the Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI) earlier this year. Seems like a lot? Let me put this into perspective. This amount is the equivalent of Canada's GDP or twice the GDP of the Netherlands.

Symi 2014: The Challenge of Deliberative Democracy, by James Fishkin

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Deliberative democracy is a practical answer to a philosophical question: what would the people think about an issue under good conditions for thinking about it? Why is that a philosophical question? How is it a practical answer? What does this add to democracy as we know it in real political systems around the world?

Symi 2014: Post EURO Elections, by Mary Kaldor

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Nationalism is a way of deflecting discontent towards a convenient scapegoat, an ‘other’ – the immigrant or Europe. It is a way of mobilizing political support while avoiding any commitment to address the underlying causes of discontent; that’s why it is often described as populism. Xenophobia and euroscepticism can never offer any constructive solutions. On the contrary, the more the nationalist rhetoric succeeds, the more our problems multiply and the more we blame the ‘other’.

Symi 2014: All power corrupts and the development of this power will corrupt us totally, by Anthony Barnett

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Two of the great themes of the Symi seminars since I have been privileged to attend the seminars in 2005 have been citizen empowerment, especially by making a reality of participative and deliberative democracy and trying to follow and analyse the consequences of corporate capture of power globally, and its dire consequences for the environment. Both of these themes are a response to the weakening of the traditional, twentieth century state with its mass parties and commitment to welfare.

Symi 2014: Toward a democratic governance of the Internet and more democracy for all, by Jean-Christophe Nothias

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  As a media editor and a co-founder of the Just Net Coalition launched in New Delhi, India, in February 2014, I was one of the many contributors to the NetMundial meeting in Sao Paulo and to the recent WSIS+10 High Level Event in Geneva. This paper is a short introduction to the very fascinating issue of seeing how we can introduce more democracy within Internet governance – and not just how to best use Internet in our democratic mechanism.

12th Annual Symi Symposium, Skiathos 2009 - 13th Annual Symi Symposium, Poros 2010

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12th Annual Symi Symposium, Skiathos 2009 - 13th Annual Symi Symposium, Poros 2010

During the 13th Annual Symi Symposium on Poros in 2010, Kemal Dervis, Vice President of Brookings Institution, explains how lessons learned from Turkey's financial crisis in 2001 can be applied to Greece. James Galbraith, from the LBJ School of Public Policy of the University of Texas, speaks about the Symi Symposium experience. Mary Kaldor, Director of the LSE Centre for the Study of Global Governance, explains why the Symi Symposium has been a ‘voyage of discovery’.

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13th Annual Symi Symposium

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12-15 July 2010
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The 2010 Symi Symposium "Fast Forward: Progressive ideas for Greece, Europe and the World" took place from July 12‐15 on the island of Poros.

With global attention fixed on the fiscal crisis in Greece and global economic recovery still uncertain, discussions  explored the opportunities that arise for improved governance and economic diversification. Taking the national, regional, and global dimensions into account, morning sessions were devoted to past experiences of political renewal and economic recovery abroad, while afternoons expored ways to apply and adapt the lessons learned to Greece.

Symi focused on how Greece can build new economic and social foundations through a combination of policies designed to restructure and revitalize democratic governnance, streamline the public sector, and incentivize a new kind of green growth that will increase productivity, enhance job creation and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon development model.

Preparatory Workshop for the meeting of the SI Commission on Global Financial Issues (2/2)

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Preparatory Workshop for the meeting of the SI Commission on Global Financial Issues (2/2)

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Workshop
New York 2009

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