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8th Green Summer Academy: An alternative with a human face (programme preview)

Can we build a sustainable and liveable society?

25 years ago, there was a mutual understanding within Eastern European societies on the transition from the Soviet-type dictatorship, centralization and isolation to a Western style democratic model – based economic and political liberalism. This was manifested by the introduction of the multi-party system, rule of law, market economy and the region’s European and transatlantic integration.

The success rate of democracy import without necessary social and economic base is disputable after a quarter of a century within the entire region, while in Hungary we can argue that it has failed, beyond doubt. The greatest beneficiaries of the EU membership were most visibly Western European corporations; the financial sector; Eastern European corrupt politicians skimming Western investments; and the labor from our region moving permanently to the West for employment.

In the meantime, the neoliberal zeitgeist has greatly diminished social solidarity, commitment to democracy and the support for the European project in the West, as well. The general disappointment with the EU is exploited from East to West and North to South by populist forces: instead of more integration, common solutions and the breakdown of barriers, they promote nationalism and isolation.

Therefore, the main question of the Green Summer Academy this year is finding the alternative with a human face – one that doesn’t turn its back on challenges, doesn’t try to get rid of them by laying a smoke screen. An alternative that aims to create a livable, economically and ecologically sustainable society.

Our questions will be the following:

  • What sort of country and world do we want to live in 10 years’ time? How can we create a social minimalconsent around a progressive but realistic vision for the future?
  • What can we do as citizens to establish such society within the local communities, in the domestic politics and on the level of Europe.
  • How can we as civilians persuade the economic and political elite in system that is centralized and directed from above?
  • How can we protect our initiatives based free spirit and responsibility in the face attacks from a populist and irresponsible government?
  • What can we do for those who lose the most from the current system’s injustice and irrationality, while they are the furthest from being able to pursue their own interests?
  • What successful domestic and international initiatives, models and examples are there that can inspire and motivate us or we can learn from?

Presentations, discussions and workshops planned:

  • TTIP: What and why should we know about the planned free trade agreement between the USA-EU? Why is it concerning and why should we criticize it? What kind of civil initiatives have been set up until now against it and how can we join the fight? (in cooperation with Védegylet – Protect the Future)
  • Basic income and the possibilities of economic-political participation (in cooperation with Dinamó Blog)
  • The “abusive public document requester” – how to become an investigative journalist? (in cooperation with atlatszo.hu)
  • Paks NPP extension vs. energy revolution: How can we make Hungary’s energy supply sustainable in the medium- and long-term and what needs to be done for it to be realized? (in cooperation with Energiaklub)
  • Connecting the struggles: How to build effective resistance? How can activists and organisations defend themselves against an undemocratic government? How can we cooperate more efficiently?  (in cooperation with the Green European Journal)
  • Against the headwind of hatred: Refugees and immigrants in Hungary and Europe. What should we do with them, what can we do for them, how can they enrich our society? Why is there a need for international developmental policy, why only though taking responsibility globally can the migration flows be handled?
  • Soft tourism: introducing the Budapest Greenways initiative
  • Community space design – theory, examples and practical
  • Efficient citizen pressure in Hungary for Green issues: Illatos Út chemical contamination and its friends (in cooperation with Greenpeace Hungary)
  • Innovative charity: how can we help „well” ? Social solidarity beyond money
  • Political representation of the people on the edge of society (in cooperation with the School of Public Life)

We will publish the entire programme very soon… Watch this space!

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