Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
08 November 2023

Democracy Week 2023

Democracy Week 2023 brought together young people, experts, and policy-makers to discuss how to empower the next generation for a thriving democracy. The week featured a range of events, including panel discussions, workshops, and a special screening of the documentary "The Price of Truth."

From October 3 to 13, 2023, Geneva hosted its annual Democracy Week, a series of events organized by the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy to foster debate on democratic practices and empower the next generation of leaders. This year's theme, "Empowering the Next Generation," underscored the crucial role of young people in nurturing democracy and highlighted the need for engaging them in active participation.

Renewing Local Democracy Through and With Youth Public event

The program started on October 3 with the event "Renewing Local Democracy Through and With Youth" featuring the Deputy Mayor of Geneva Christina Kitsos and Deputy Mayor of Rome Andrea Tobia Zevi. This event, which took place against the backdrop of the Forum of Mayors, was organised alongside a policy workshop on the same theme the next day. These events brought together distinguished guests from the fields of politics and academia as well as youth activists from several European countries to discuss strategies for enhancing youth engagement in local governance.

On October 9, participants had the opportunity to delve into the intricacies of Swiss democracy through an interactive visit to Geneva's Hôtel de Ville. This immersive experience provided a deeper understanding of the country's unique democratic system.

This immersive experience provided a deeper understanding of the country's unique democratic system.

The week continued with an exploration of borders, diversity, and citizenship in India, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that these complex dynamics present in a democracy. The following day, participants delved into the concept of citizens' assemblies and their potential to revitalize democracy in Belgium, France, and Switzerland. On 10 October 2023, the Centre hosted a colloquium where researchers at different stages of their careers (PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting professors) shared their works in progress. 

The next day, a panel discussed the role of philanthropy in supporting youth democratic engagement, examining the potential for partnerships to foster civic participation and leadership among young people.

The philanthropy and youth democratic engagement panel

The week concluded with a thought-provoking session on the future of democracy in an era of artificial intelligence featuring Urs Gasser, Professor at the Technical University of Munich and Member of the Board of Directors, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University. The event explored the nexus between democracy and new technologies.

A panel discusses the future of AI and democracy.

This was followed by a special screening of the documentary "The Price of Truth," featuring Nobel Peace laureate Dmitry Muratov, who shared his insights on the importance of media freedom and the fight against disinformation in a democracy.

The documentary "The Price of Truth" screened in front of a full auditorium.

Throughout Democracy Week, the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy provided a platform for engaging dialogue and fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing democracy in the 21st century. The events highlighted the importance of youth empowerment and the need for innovative strategies to engage the next generation of leaders in shaping a more democratic and equitable world.


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