“I once said that democracy is a discussion. However, true discussion is only possible where people trust each other and genuinely seek the truth. Democracy is a conversation between equals, a united contemplation of free citizens before the whole public.” - Tomáš Gariggue Masaryk
The symposium Democracy in the 21st century: Challenges and New Frontiers was held at the Plenary Session Hall of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic in Waldstein Palace in Prague on September 15, 2019. Watch the event after-movie below.
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Modern democracies are epitomes of unprecedented progress, freedom and wealth. Their people live longer, are healthier, more educated, and far less threatened by poverty and violence. However, we should not take these developments for granted. In recent decades many democratic countries have also seen growing mistrust in political representation, widening social division, and increasing influence of ideological fringes of the political spectrum. These phenomena deserve our focused attention and careful examination, lest we lose what we hold dear.
For that reason, the Vice-President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Jan Horník and the mathematician and founder of the Institute H21 Karel Janeček joined forces to organize an international symposium Democracy in the 21st century: Challenges and New Frontiers. Its aim was to bring together politicians, academics, journalists, and other figures from public life from the Czech Republic as well as from abroad and facilitate a much needed conversation about current trends in modern democracies and potential threats to free societies.
International experts presented a diverse collection of viewpoints to help us tackle hard questions about democracy in the 21st century; the topics ranging from philosophy of democracy, political science, innovative voting systems, the role of technology in society, and social games for implementing change.