RE-KINDLING THE FIRE

European Young Leaders (EYL40) Valletta Seminar

13 September 2018 - 12:00 - 15 September 2018 - 14:30
Introduction

The European Young Leaders meet during the second half of a pre-election year for Europe, during which the jostling of right-wing populists and left-leaning neoliberals will move from the national arenas of member states to take centre-stage at the European level. 

It’s a key moment for European citizens to examine their understanding of the European project, assess its strengths and weaknesses and their expectations for the future of the Union, in order to shape its governance for the coming years.

Winning audiences through both digital and traditional media will be intrinsic to the outcome of these elections, whilst citizens themselves must be more vigilant than ever to guard against “fake news” when assessing the campaigns of the candidates and parties vying for their support. Meanwhile, social platforms operating in Europe will face increased scrutiny as to how they filter and manage the information presented to their users, particularly in the wake of alleged Russian and North Korean interference in democratic processes across Europe, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The overarching pre-election theme has two main components which will be further reflected throughout the European Young Leaders’ programme during this important year. The first of these is the enabling and embedding of resilience in the people, policies  and processes of the European project. The second concerns the bridging of the gap between citizens and states, which has widened in recent years due to an increasing lack of trust and confidence in governments and the EU institutions. 

The Valletta seminar is the second in a series of seminars which form the foundation of the 2018 edition of the European Young Leaders’ programme, and its themes have been chosen to reflect the core work of Friends of Europe for this year and into the future. Many of the ideas generated in this seminar will feed into the 2018 workstream of our Citizens Europe programme and will also provide the basis for a series of wider follow-up debates via our online platform Debating Europe and its 3.5 million strong community of citizens.

Projects
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What do a microbiologist, an entrepreneur, a journalist and a Member of Parliament have in common? They are all European Young Leaders who are engaged in making Europe a global champion for a better world.
Programme
DAY 1

13 SEPTEMBER

The Parliament House
On the first day, we will be hosted by the Maltese Parliament. This beautiful building was designed by Renzo Piano as part of the City Gate Project, which also included building a new City Gate and converting the ruins of the Royal Opera House into an open-air theatre. 

12.30—14:00

Welcome buffet lunch

A moment to welcome the 2018 class of European Young Leaders to their second seminar and an opportunity for them to meet with their peers from the EYL40 community.
 

13.45—14.00

Welcome and introduction to the seminar:

Geert Cami, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Friends of Europe.
Aaron Farrugia, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue in Malta and 2017 European Young Leader.

14.00 - 15.00

SCENE SETTING 

IGNITING THE SPARK OF PEOPLE POWER 

Part I - Laying the foundation: trust, transparency and accountability 

In the early part of the 21st century, transparency is primarily achieved through leaks, whistleblowing, and hacking. These phenomena give us new information, but do not deliver change, which history tells us requires courage, conviction, passion, and motivation on the part of people who are willing to go the extra mile, push past the status quo and strive for something more. This has implications on perceptions of both corporate and public sector governance; from the point of view of ordinary citizens, the whole system appears corrupt.

With low levels of trust in both political and corporate leadership, how do we empower citizens to pursue real system change? How can we turn the cynicism that has been building over the past two decades into a common belief that any individual has the capacity to act to change things for the better?

With:
Bastian Obermayer, Pulitzer Prize-winning German investigative journalist and central figure in the ‘Panama Papers’ and ‘Paradise Papers’ investigations and 2018 European Young Leader.

15.00-16.15

GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER

IGNITING THE SPARK OF PEOPLE POWER

Part II - How to lead in the age of people power?

As emerging leaders facing the multiple crises of our time, we are going to need to harness all the energy we can. People are coming together in new ways, and leaders increasingly need to be able to tap into and respond to these dynamics. In this session, we will work together to explore the changing nature of leadership in the age of people power, exchange experiences and insights from our personal leadership journeys, and experiment with new tools and ways of thinking.

We will be working together to ask what we as leaders need to do more and less of in order to build trust and lead the change we need.

With:
Jon Alexander, British founder of the New Citizenship Project—an innovative lab to help catalyse the shift to a more participatory society.

16.45 - 18.00

PLENARY 

IGNITING THE SPARK OF PEOPLE POWER

Part III - Making use of the digital world

The arrival of big data collection has led to manipulation and brought with it new opportunities for profiling people in terms of their needs, wants, and fears, using the information collected as a basis for developing campaign platforms designed to appeal to the masses. This reverse-engineering of political leadership is fundamentally changing the nature of politics. It’s a dynamic so forceful that politicians and political parties are losing the ability to be authentic in their convictions and to develop relationships with voters based on trust.

Driven by data collection providing new insights to campaigners, is the idealistic side of leadership being neutered by an over-reliance on digital voter-profiling? What techniques and approaches can be developed to manage, respond and mitigate the influence of big data on our democratic processes? 

With:
Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister of Malta for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation 
Julia Kloiber, Senior Fellow with Mozilla focusing on emerging technologies and their influence on society and founder of Code for Germany – a program is to promote transparency, open data, and civic technology

18:00-19:00

Bus transfer to hotel 
 

    19:00-19:30

    Free time

    19:30-20:00

    Bus transfer to dinner venue 

    20:00-22:00

    EVENING PROGRAMME 

    Dinner with Helena Dalli*, Maltese Minister for European Affairs & Equality and Alexiei Dingli*, Mayor of Valletta


     

    22:00

    Return transfer to hotel


     

    DAY 2

    14 SEPTEMBER

    St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity 
    On our second day we will be surrounded by history. The St. James Cavalier was built in the 16th century by the Order of St John and was one of the first buildings to be built in Valletta. 

    09:00-10:00

    Bus transfer from hotel to St James Cavalier
     

    10:00-11:30

    PLENARY 

    FIXING FLAWS OF THE HUMAN BODY 

    How genomics offers new horizons for healthcare

    New gene-editing techniques make it possible to correct errors in the genetic code that result in diseases like cystic fibrosis. Although these are new (and mostly untested) tools, researchers in China have started to actually ‘fix’ flaws in human embryos. This has huge potential for the thousands of rare diseases for which there is no cure or treatment. From implantable cybernetics to hacking the genome, human bodies are the new frontier for health breakthroughs. Digital innovations are improving clinical outcomes, human experiences and labour productivity. 

    But what are the ethical implications of new health technologies? How do European policymakers regulate this personal space? And how do we ensure equal access to the benefits of these innovations for all citizens?

    11.30-12:00

    Coffee break 

    12:00-13:30

    PARALLEL SESSION I 

    BUYING INTO BLOCKCHAIN

    Learning from Malta

    With its recently launched and visionary ‘National Blockchain Strategy’, Malta is positioning itself on the frontline of innovation for building a burgeoning FinTech sector. But turning a vision into reality is a formidable challenge. We will examine the institutional ecosystem needed to develop and commercialise blockchain, fintech models and disruptive innovation.

    With:
    Abdalla Kablan, is an entrepreneur and academic specialising in machine intelligence, big data analytics and computational Finance and founder of Scheduit – a social network that uses AI to match relevant business professionals.

    12:00-13:30

    PARALLEL SESSION II

    HOUSING: A DRIVER OF INEQUALITY IN EUROPE 

    Implementing an inclusive approach

    Housing exclusion is growing in Europe: almost all Member States are seeing an increase in homelessness, increasing numbers of citizens are locked out of housing markets and neither the private nor the social rental sector is responding adequately to citizens’ needs. What are the key drivers of the housing crisis? How can affordable housing be made accessible to all? Did the Grenfell tragedy in the UK led to a push-back movement against government policies of cutting budgets and privatising public services?

    With:
    Myriam François, Franco-British writer, broadcaster and academic with a focus on current affairs, the Middle East, Islam and France and 2017 European Young Leader.
    Juha Kaakinen, Chief Executive of NGO Y-Foundation, which is one of the drivers behind Finland being the only European country to reduce homelessness

    13:30-14:30

    Lunch 

    14:30-16:30

    CO-CREATION

    YOU DECIDE! 

    Activities co-designed with Young Leaders

    This session is an opportunity for Young Leaders to have their say on topics or activities they would particularly like to focus on during the seminar. Ideas for the session will be crowdsourced from the community of EYLs and alumni in advance of the seminar.

    For this session we are envisioning an unconference format, feel free to think about possible subjects and send over any suggestions you might have.

    Amongst others:

    Italy’s anti-establishment government. What are its implications on Italy and the wider Europe? with Alessandro Fusacchia, former head of cabinet to the Italian minister of Education Strategic, advisor of H-Farm and 2012 European Young Leader

    The aftermath of the refugee crisis in Europe. What’s the leverage to better integrate refugees in Europe? with Diane Binder, France Vice-President of International Development at Suez, Founder of Action Emploi Réfugiés and member of the Presidential Advisory Council for Africa to President Macron

    16:30-17:30

    Coffee break and walk in Valletta 

    17:30-19:00

    OPEN SESSION

    A SEAT AT THE TABLE

    Empowering citizens across Europe

    Engaging people in the political process and regaining their trust is the key question facing Europe as it redefines itself during the 2019 elections campaign. But Europe can’t do this on its own. To take full advantage of this key moment, politicians and citizens need to come together to reflect on the current status of the European Project. If we are truly committed to defending and rebuilding democracy, now is the time to take joint action.

    Friends of Europe is organising several discussions with citizens on how to involve people in politics. At the last EYL-seminar, we invited 100 Warsaw residents to join the Young Leaders for a conversation on active citizenship. In this session, we will continue the discussion, this time with Maltese citizens. We will be asking the Young Leaders and our Maltese participants to debate the practical implication of the recommendations tabled at the Warsaw meeting: are you willing to put in the time and effort needed to participate in politics? If yes, how? What practical tools could Europe introduce to facilitate your participation?

    The session will aim to identify key recommendations to improve the direct participation of citizens in national and EU politics. These recommendations will be shared with EU decision makers in the lead up to the 2019 European elections.

    With:
    Roberta Metsola
    , Member of Parliament, European Parliament, Vice-chair Committee on Petitions and member LIBE Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

    19:00-20:00

    EVENING PROGRAMME

    Bus transfer to dinner venue

    20:00-22:30

    Dinner

    DAY 3

    15 SEPTEMBER

    The Auberge of Aragon
    The last day of the programme will be spent in the Auberge of Aragon, which was built in 1566 by the legendary architect Girolamo Cassar. The independence of Malta in 1964 was drafted on a table which still remains in the auberge today.

    09:00-10:00

    Bus transfer to venue

    10:00-11:00

    CONVERSATION WITH... OVER BREAKFAST

    PEER-LEARNING ROUNDTABLES

    Connecting with EYLs and alumni

    Over breakfast, 30 minute short conversations with European Young Leaders run in parallel on issues that matter to them, to gain expertise from this resourceful network.

    Portugal’s drugs depenalisation policy -  what lessons for the rest of the world?
    Ricardo Baptista Leite, Member of Parliament, National Assembly, Portugal

    Voice building for the unheard by and for a new generation – fighting political apathy and changing a consensus
    Nassira El Moaddem, Editor of the Bondy Blog, online French newsblog designed to give a voice to groups often underrepresented in mainstream news media coverage

    Political journalism in a populist age – a new climate of antagonism towards journalists?
    Pavla Holcová, Price-winning investigative journalist and founder of the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism

    Why Africa is Europe’s most important strategic partner and why its development is instrumental
    Diane Binder, France Vice-President of International Development at Suez, Founder of Action Emploi Réfugiés and member of the Presidential Advisory Council for Africa to President Macron

    Europe goes beyond the low-earth orbit: human exploration of the moon, Mars colony and beyond?Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Spanish astrophysicist and scientist, who discovered our closest neighbouring star, works with NASA and the European Space Agency and was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine

    How neuroscience enables AI to give computers the power of vision
    Radoslaw Martin Cichy, neuroscientist, leading the research group Neural Dynamics of Visual Cognition at the Free University Berlin and  receiver of numerous awards and grants for his ground-breaking research

    11:00-11:30

    Coffee break

    11:30-13:00

    GROUP ACTIVITY

    MAKING EUROPE MATTER

    What if Europe didn't exist...?

    Europe has been the most successful peace project in history, a cooperative effort that has bestowed unprecedented social and economic benefits on its people. But the EU is in crisis. The European debate is confused, characterised by doubt, fear and disenchantment.

    Yet Europeans continue to enjoy some of the greatest civil protections and social advantages of any region in the world, and whilst there is still much that can be done to improve the European project, it remains a success story worth telling. Europe is the only place in the world with a social model that offers all citizens education, healthcare, a minimum wage, a pension, annual leave, and equality between men and women.

    But what if the EU had never been established? What if Europe - as we know it - were to no longer exist? What would be the impact on the everyday lives of Europeans? In the run up to the 2019 elections, what story will you tell to campaign for Europe?

    With:
    Flavia Kleiner
    , Swiss political activist and founder of Operation Libero - a counter-campaign against the extreme right Swiss People’s Party
    Matthew Goodwin, academic, writer and speaker known for his work on British and European politics, political volatility and risk, populism, Brexit and electoral behaviour and 2018 European Young Leader.

    13:00-13:30

    Pitch your own ideas for Europe!

    13:30-14:00

    Closing remarks and what’s next

    14:00-15:00

    Lunch

    15:00

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

    In addition to the official programme, you will have the option to round off your trip with an informal post-seminar programme over the week-end in Valletta, the 2018 European Capital of Culture.

    A cultural tour to Mdina, attending the Malta Pride 2018 Parade, and other optional activities will be organised.

    Partners

    With the support of

    John S Latsis Foundation Fondazione Cariplo eucom
    Registration
    Registration to this seminar is by invitation only.
    Contact form
    To register or if you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the form below.
    Event starts
    13 September
    2018
    12:00