Athens Democracy Forum tackles issues of ever-changing geopolitical landscape

The Athens Democracy Forum will once again take place in Greece on September 14-18.


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The fourth annual event will bring together some of the most influential experts – policy-makers, business leaders, economists and academics – to explore the pressing challenges facing liberal democracies, their institutions and economies: the compatibility of liberal democracy and religion, migration, authoritarianism to the role of business.

The forum is hosted and moderated by New York Times editors, and presented under the auspices of Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos.

Joining the forum will be statesmen Irini Bokova of UNESCO and Yorgos Kaminis of the city of Athens, economists like Yasheng Huang and Yanis Varoufakis, and unexpected experts such as whistleblower Edward Snowden, author Sergei Chapnin, Paul Krugman, Op-ed columnist of the New York Times, Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent of CNN and Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, businesswoman, philanthropist and democratic activist from the US.

The Athens Democracy Forum has the endorsement of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Others speakers include Ross LaJeunesse, Global head of Free Expression and International Relations at Google; Ian Lesser, Senior Director, Foreign and Security Policy, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; Mario Monti, economist and former Prime Minister of Italy; Lucas Papademos, Vice President, Academy of Athens and former prime minister, Greece; Alexis Papahelas, Executive Editor of Kathimerini; Dr. Jennifer N. Riria, Group CEO, Kenya Women Holding Company Ltd; Geoffrey Robertson QC, Founder, Doughty Street Chambers; Kevin Rudd, President, Asia Society Policy Institute and former Prime Minister of Australia; Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch; Algirdas Semeta, Business Ombudsman, Ukraine;  Natan Sharansky, Chairman, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Roger Cohen, Op-Ed columnist, The New York Times, Steven Erlanger, London Bureau Chief of The New York Times, and Olga Kefalogianni, opposition member of Parliament and former Tourism Minister.

The threats to liberal democracies are growing: a massive refugee crisis, terrorist attacks, rising authoritarianism and an erosion of trust in politicians and institutions. The forum will address the questions of how nations, and citizens, navigate the ever-changing geopolitical landscape.

Staged among the Greek capital’s historic landmarks, key themes to be tackled include: Is democracy good for business? Is liberal democracy compatible with religion? Should the major institutions of global governance be reformed, or scrapped? Do terrorist attacks justify giving greater powers to security forces?

The official programme runs from 6 PM, September 14 to 1:30 PM, September 16. There are a wide range of experiential events built around the official agenda, including optional events and the Costa Navarino Weekend, a special, invitation-only affiliated event, which will feature internationally acclaimed architects, city mayors, and leading archaeologists.

This unique weekend event will be held September 16-18, 2016 within the framework of this year’s Athens Democracy Forum, with attendance limited to highly influential individuals with an interest in architecture, urban planning, culture and democracy.

Confirmed speakers and the draft agenda can be found on the conference website: http://athensdemocracyforum.com/

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