IAF Seminars 2019

IAF 2019

Please find here the overview about all IAF seminars we offer in 2019.

If you are interested in participating or want more information please contact -before the indicated closing date- the Friedrich Naumann Foundation representative in your country who will kindly give you more details about taking part in our seminars! 

► FNF Contact Data Worldwide

As our program is designed to support our projects abroad, the projects identify and suggest participants for our seminars. Hence we can not offer the possibility to register for our programs directly.

The Power of Networks, 27.01. - 03.02.2019

TOPIC

The implementation of our political ideas always depends on the support of others. In the political process, we often tend to focus on the support from voters; however, there is much more to it. Politicians and activists in civil society will only be able to realize their ideas once they have political allies, financial supporters, intellectual advisors, and “people-who-know-people.” This seminar will explore the multiple layer of social change through the lens of networks—and cover the topic from a theoretical as well as practical (i.e. how to build and use those networks) perspective. Moreover, as networking is a highly individualized concept that focuses on the individual contact point, we will discuss the tensions and tradeoffs that organizations have to make between personal networks and institutional memory.

OBJECTIVES

The seminar aims to fulfill the following objectives:

  • to establish a thorough theoretical understanding of the role of networks in social change
  • to carve out the (pre)conditions of a successful network
  • to share from best-practices (and worst-practices) in building and maintaining networks particularly in the social media age.
  • to explore case studies and think of strategic approaches to networking
  • to acquire the necessary tools and skills to build and maintain political/civic networks
  • to exchange relevant tools and skills between participants
  • to critically reflect on the tensions between personal and organizational aspects of networks
  • to develop guidelines that can be disseminated in the respective organizations/parties    

 

METHODOLOGY

Besides input session from the facilitators and experts, the seminar will aim at best-practice sharing and active exchange between participants. In order to enhance the learning experience and to emphasize the practical dimension of the workshop, the seminar will rely on non-formal education methods, such as simulations, case studies, and role plays. Moreover, we will use Skills Lab and Open Spaces to explore the available capacities and capabilities of participants.
 

TARGET GROUP

The seminar mainly aims at the senior to mid-level leaders of political parties, political activists as well as representatives of civil society organizations including NGOs and CBOs cascading from grassroots  to policy level Ideally, participants have first-hand experiences in developing networks for their organizations or themselves. The range of participants can (and should) include individuals that want to start to build a network/organization to individuals that have already established their networks and are looking for ways to expand and strategically expand their personal networks.

 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Moderation: Facilitation and Program Design, 10.02. - 22.02.2019

TOPIC

The Moderation and Facilitation seminar is aimed at supporting members of NGO’s, Political Parties, Think Tanks and other organisations who are responsible for the facilitation, planning and implementation of training and development sessions and events.

In this seminar participants will

  • Begin by understanding that audience participation and engagement depends on the “way of being” of a facilitator;
  • Consider refreshed ways to create a liberal environment in training sessions and events, where an audience is able to participate fully and think well for themselves;
  • Deepen their knowledge of, and ability to, apply innovative, relevant and engaging facilitation methodologies leading to interactive events and learning sessions;
  • Consider the various roles and responsibilities at these sessions and events, and think about how to maximise the cooperation between members of an organising team; 
  • Deepen their understanding of the various elements of organising and implementing successful and meaningful seminars, workshops or events, including investigating the needs of the audience; 

and,

  • Share best practice and experiences with each other about learnings, successes, ideas and challenges in their organisations and regions, as well as receive input from experts in the field. 

OBJECTIVES

The seminar will continuously draw on two streams of learning:
On the one hand, participants will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of programme development in order to be more successful at organising, scripting, designing and implementing innovative, relevant and meaningful sessions and events in their organisations. 

On the other hand, the seminar will take an individual skills and personal development approach with the second learning stream considering the unique development needs and ways of being of each participant.

This means that participants will be encouraged to consider their own individual strengths and needs as a facilitator, deepening their skills through practical exercises, feedback and reflection.
 

SEMINAR FOCUS

The seminar is best suited to individuals who have some level of experience in facilitation, training or event planning, and who want to continue deepening their skills and knowledge of facilitating events. Participants will continuously learn through doing, participating in group work, pair conversations, and role-play focused on improving their understanding of themselves as facilitators. 

The seminar will further explore ways to effectively deal with challenging or difficult scenarios, such as conflict resolution, managing moods and energy levels, managing the needs of different role players and encouraging interactivity, particularly at events and in large groups. 

Participants will be encouraged to consider the social, often non-political, trends impacting on training and development sessions, and events.

The entire seminar is conducted as an expression of what it seeks to teach.  The facilitators of the session will seek to BE the very principles they are communicating. The seminar is therefore deeply experiential and requires committed participation on the part of the delegates.

TARGET GROUP

This seminar is aimed at public representatives, staff members or members of liberal NGOs, Political Parties and Think Tanks who are actively involved with, or responsible for the design, planning and implementation of training and development sessions, or events. 

 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Foundations of Open Societies: Individual Self-determination and Tolerance, 10.03. - 22.03.2019

The threats to open societies as envisaged by liberals are manifold: disillusionment with politics, hi-tech used for control and repression, the re-emergence of nationalism and fundamentalism of different kinds, the desire to be in control and the fear of losing power on the part of traditional and new authoritarian elites. How can this be countered, how can liberal achievements be preserved, and how can we again start to extend the boundaries of an open society?

 

TOPIC

An open society, a term popularised by the liberal philosopher Karl Popper, has always been an integral part of the liberal vision of how things should be. The individual and the freedom – the civil liberties and political rights – every individual enjoys are at its centre. We trust in the abilities of individuals – which is a reason why we support democracy. Moreover, we expect individuals to be active and vocal in ordering their affairs and promoting their interests. “Use the courage of your convictions”, to paraphrase Immanuel Kant, is perhaps the most appropriate motto liberals can use in this respect. A closed so- ciety, preferred by reactionary or revolutionary elites, will not tolerate any of the features that characterise this vision.

Lethargy and cynicism, whatever the reason, are the ingredients for disaster. They effectively prevent our vision of how things should be from becoming reality. This is why we as liberals must do everything in our power to create a legal and political environment in which ci- tizens feel free to live according to their individual choices and pre- ferences as well as to voice their concerns and act accordingly. Our institutional order must be geared to encouraging and enhancing ac- tive participation, not to discouraging participation and instilling fear. We need to be aware of the many informal conventions that encou- rage fair play, decency and mutual respect – and we need to commu- nicate and instil these values. The activity of the state must be limited to essentials: the citizen must be given as much space as possible. An open society requires an active citizenry, an enabling environ- ment devoid of fear and space for entrepreneurship and experimen- tation. It requires competition between different concepts of how things should be and robust debate between their respective propo- nents. This presupposes space for citizens’ initiative and action and, hence, limited government.

The liberal vision of an open society is one in which society is tole- rant of diversity, religious and political, and in which the state does not impose any comprehensive doctrine. A characteristic of this vision is rule of law – an institution that prevents arbitrary rule and lays down important and incontrovertible principles of law by which both government and individual citizens must abide.

The threats to such a vision are manifold: the disillusionment with politics that we see in many parts of the world, the opportunities for control and repression presented by hi-tech, the re-emergence of nationalism and fundamentalism of different kinds, the desire to be in control and the fear of losing power on the part of traditional and new authoritarian elites. How can this be countered, how can liberal achievements be preserved, and how can we again start to extend the boundaries of an open society? The need to do so is clear for all to see: we only need to look at the massive rollback against liberalism and open society in Russia, China, Venezuela, Turkey, the Philippines, and even (although to a lesser extent) Hungary, Poland and the United States under its current President, to name but a few examples.

There are also less obvious threats to an open society that need to be considered, those that limit the room for rational discourse and discussion: fake news and malicious propaganda, hate speech, po- litical correctness and the growing phenomenon of “safe spaces” in academic and other institutions. They prepare the ground for bigotry and misinformation and hence for populism and authoritarianism.
The entire event will attempt to treat the abovementioned subject matter from philosophical, empirical and political perspectives and will cover a variety of standpoints, some of them highly controversi- al. For instance, does an open society:

  • require or allow for positive discrimination?
  • or it to function smoothly and resolve conflict, require assimila- tion of immigrants or “multiculturalism”?
  • require more participation (eg, more elements of direct demo- cracy) or more centralised and streamlined governance?
  • require more surveillance for purposes of security or a greater protection of privacy?

 

OBJECTIVES

The workshop provides participants with an opportunity to:

  • familiarise themselves with the liberal concept of an “open society” and its major characteristics
  • assess why open debate and open markets are enduring foundations for democracy, societal progress and economic well-being
  • consider the links between open society, informational self-de- termination, subsidiarity and greater participation in decision making (eg, through direct democracy)
  • enumerate the reasons for trusting in individuals‘ rationality and ability to decide for themselves rather than in the efficacy of benevolent rule
  • examine the nature of threats that weaken and undermine an open society, eg, terrorism, political extremism, authoritaria- nism and populism and the techniques their representatives employ, as well as the underlying reasons for such threats
  • develop ideas on how to effectively counter attempts by various actors to diminish or restrict the freedoms citizens enjoy, including attempts to undermine privacy and the right to freedom of expression
  • devise ways of countering relevant threats in a robust manner, especially through the strengthening of institutions, through strengthening civil society and through the promotion of tole- rance
  • discuss a robust concept of tolerance, one that does not inclu- de submitting to intolerance, and how to implement it.

EXCURSIONS

The excursion will take participants to Cologne and Berlin. In the latter city we plan to meet

  • organisations and lobby groups working on behalf of diff- rent types of minorities,
  • federal ombudspersons for integration and on equal oppor- tunity,
  • representatives of the Free Democratic Party,
  • representatives of social media on content monitoring (eg, Facebook)
  • and a legal expert on current challenges with respect to rule of law in Germany

 

PARTICIPANTS

Participants for this workshop should be fully conversant with liberal principles and ideas and play an active role in politics, preferably in a leadership capacity. This includes politicians, civil society leaders, human rights lawyers, entrepreneurs, journa- lists, lobbyists, pedagogues, and people that provide policy advice (think tanks).

 

LANGUAGES
English, Russian

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Liberals, Property and the Environment, 31.03. - 12.04.2019

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

The 12-day workshop at the International Academy for Leadership will begin with an overview of the most important environmental challenges we currently face and an assessment of the efficacy of efforts to meet them. We will also look at the policies and measures liberals have promoted over the past years, their visibility, consistency, efficacy and success, if any. 

Following these initial steps we will take a closer look at property rights and how their strengthening might produce viable answers to some or many of the problems identified in the initial part of the workshop. Many liberals claim that more attention to using property rights-based solutions might help solve a range of environmental problems without endangering or undermining liberal visions of society.  

For liberals private property is a defining characteristic of a free society. It is difficult to see how freedom can survive without it. Indeed, private property is the most important factor that distinguishes a liberal society from socialist or communist ideals. It assumes self-ownership and accepts that the right to own the things we need ensures peace, a livelihood and, with time, prosperity.

Yet many of our contemporaries believe otherwise. This applies to a considerable number of people, politicians, scientists, journalists and NGO activists who are opinion leaders and who campaign for better management of our natural resources and a cleaner environment. 

The workshop with examine the following assumptions, that in the fields of

  • politics property promotes stability and constrains the power of government;
  • ethics property is legitimate because everyone is entitled to the fruits of his/her labour; 
  • psychology property enhances the individual’s sense of identity and self-esteem; 
  • economics property is the most efficient means of producing wealth;
  • environmental policy property promotes the judicious, sparing and, hence, sustainable use of natural resources and, at the same time allows individuals and groups to be held accountable for their actions in a more effective and meaningful manner. 

Unfortunately, however, early liberal thinkers all too often took private property and its benefits for granted. They assumed that they were so self-evident and hence did not warrant explanation. This was part of the reason why socialists were so successful in slandering and undermining the institution of private property. Only recently – and, in particular, after the velvet revolution – have policy makers rediscovered the importance of private property. The liberal economist Hernando de Soto even goes as far as to claim that unprecedented development would occur if informal property in so-called third world countries could be formalised.

In a third step the workshop will explore how the concept of private property might conceivably be a solution to problems as diverse as pollution, land degradation, overfishing, deforestation, species extinction and waste. Might the enforcement of robust property rights conceivably help in efforts to protect the environment, rehabilitate areas that have suffered considerable damage, and promote the aim of achieving sustainability in the use of natural resources? Would the poor and disadvantaged sections of society stand to benefit? To what extent would successful “green” and “blue” growth policies benefit from efforts to apply and foster a property rights-based approach to economic growth and well-being? Could such an approach produce circularity, zero emissions and zero waste – as many proponents of blue growth would wish? Would it be sensible to go for such aims? These and many other questions will be dealt with here.

 

THE EXCURSIONS

A half-day and a 3-day excursion will be devoted to looking at and analysing initiatives and innovations in Germany that might be seen as examples of applying liberal policies to environmental problems. The focus will be on political and private sector initiatives relevant to the subject matter of the workshop. The shorter excursion will take participants to Cologne, the longer one to Hamburg or Stuttgart

FINAL SESSIONS

The last two days will focus on examples of successful application of property rights-based solutions for environmental problems and their relevance for countries represented at the workshop. Can these examples be applied elsewhere and under what conditions? We will then try to develop a series of liberal guidelines for tackling environmental problems that a) all participants can identify with and b) demonstrates how an economic system based on liberal principles can best cope with the challenges mentioned during part 1. 

 

OPPORTUNITIES AND OBJECTIVES

An opportunity to:

  • explore liberal thinking and policies related to environmental issues and their resolution 
  • study the effects that robust private property rights have – or might conceivably have – in dealing with environmental degradation
  • look at the policy implications of trying to apply liberal ideas to environmental issues and the imperatives that derive therefrom. 

The overall objective is to develop a set of liberal policy guidelines that incorporate the ideas that emanate from discussions during the workshop. 

 

TARGET GROUP

Participants of this seminar must have a good grasp of modern liberalism (there will be no introduction to this topic!) and be involved in policy development, implementation or in the assessment of policy. It is essential that participants consider themselves to be liberals and identify with liberal causes. Participants must also have a background working for political parties, think tanks or the media. A background in business, economics or in environmental management would be most useful.
 

 

LANGUAGES
English, Russian

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Education in Crisis – A Liberal Way Forward, 05.05. - 17.05.2019

Those interested in taking part will be invited to participate in an online event (11 February – 9 March 2019) designed to select participants for the workshop in Germany. The best 24 participants from the Online Phase will be invited to the seminar in Gummersbach. 

 

OBJECTIVES

  • To elaborate why education is, and should be, a central concern of liberalism and a priority in liberal policy-making
  • To spell out how education can secure and promote freedom and, at the same time, serve as a gateway both to self-improvement and self-fulfilment on the one hand and to economic and social progress on the other
  • To list the most important challenges faced by the educational sector throughout the world – especially those related to rapid technological progress, employment and peaceful coexistence (or lack thereof)
  • To specify the manifold problems of bad service delivery in the field of education and their underlying reasons 
  • To identify the central features of education policies that can be considered to be liberal, how they are different from other policies, and explain how and why they would meet the challenges and deficiencies detected
  • To detail the kinds of reforms required in the organisation and provision of education so that it becomes more relevant to the needs of individuals, their ambitions and their entrepreneurial or career activities.

CONTENT

The demand that basic education must be available for all people throughout the world – shared by liberals – is on the verge of being met. This demand is to the idea that the best of opportunities must be available to everyone in society irrespective of gender, social status, ethnic origin or religious belief. In our contemporary world, however, access to basic education only leaves us at square one. Being able to read and write does very little in opening up opportunities. Today we need much more because of a pace of technological and economic development never experienced before. 
Liberals all over the world express concern at the poor quality of education. The claim is that today’s realities demand radical changes in education policies. Our criticism is that these are not forthcoming. Poor education means being unable to seize the full potential of opportunities being created, being left behind and even means exacerbating the inequalities that exist in society. 

Liberals believe that part of the problem is a) the way in which education is organised and financed and b) the way 
independent of the state and how can this be achieved? Should higher education be run by business? How do we achieve a match between what universities teach and what the economy in which the educational establishment and teachers have become entrenched in their opposition to modernisation. Today it is becoming increasingly clear that state-run education systems, favoured by most reformers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are not in a position to adapt in the ways we need them to. Can we force them to change? Or should we try to challenge them instead through providing and promoting private, commercial and civil society-based alternatives?
Another important question covered by the workshop is the teaching profession and its future. Do teachers have a future or will learning increasingly become an online activity? Will future teachers be tutors and coaches rather than teachers in the traditional sense of the term? How would we recruit the right kind of people for such new roles? Who would members of such a profession be accountable to? What should curricula consist of and who determines the content? Do parents have a right to organise learning activities for their children – choosing from a menu of different products? How should performance of children be measured, if at all?
We will look at different models of financing education: should education be promoted through dedicated tax and savings incentives, should it be financed through voucher systems or should governments establish funds-follow-pupils systems? Should education be for profit? Would alternative ways of financing education exclude the poor and not-so-well-off from education? As far as higher education is concerned, do we still have a need for conventional universities in our high-tech world? Does scientific research require universities? If scientific knowledge has a “half-life” of less than two years, what should students focus on? Given the exploding costs of good university education, are online academic courses a viable alternative? 

A three-day excursion will take us to south-west Germany and  focus on experiences that provide added value to our workshop: eg, the importance of civics education in strengthening democracy; a decentralised school system and the advantages of competition; pre-school education as a means of overcoming social disadvantage; creating human capital through a dual system of education including vocational training.
needs?

In the final part of the workshop we will try to 

  • summarise points of general agreement. What would liberal reforms consist of? Are they realistic and how should they be achieved? How would liberal reforms differ from those of its rivals? Should the system be competitive and to what degree? Is it enough to focus on those members of society aged 5 to 25 or do we need to deal with those under 5 (pre-primary education) and over 25 (life-long learning) as well? 
  • discuss strategy and the best ways of communicating reform policies vis-à-vis political parties and the general public. How can one generate support for reform, given the vested interests we face from members of the education bureaucracy, teachers and their respective lobbies? Can liberal parties win support on a platform of education reform and how?

 

TARGET GROUP

The workshop is designed for liberal politicians and think tank members specialising in education policy, interested leading members of the educational profession and journalists who cover educational issues in their work. It is essential that all participants have a proven track record as liberals, seek reform in the field of education are not averse to unconventional approaches to the subject.

Those interested in taking part will be invited to participate in an online event (11 February – 9 March 2019) designed to select participants for the workshop in Germany. The best 24 participants from the Online Phase will be invited to the seminar in Gummersbach. 
 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Before 28 January 2019. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
(only due when invited to the on-site seminar in Germany)

€ 260.00

Smart Cities and Modern Mobility, 26.05. - 02.06.2019

TOPIC

Using Apps for finding a shop or restaurant or looking for some friends nearby is already a reality and millions of people all around the world are using those conveniences every day. Still, this is just the first step of possible developments and changes of our cities. By using “big data” and digitalization our cities can turn into smart cities and help us to manage today’s and future challenges of growing cities in fields such as administration, urban planning, environment, economic development and others. Transparency, participation and better decision making should be among the chances of smarter cities as well. However - and especially from a liberal perspective - privacy protection and keeping autonomy of one’s own data must be taken into consideration.
A special focus of this workshop will be also on the changes in the sector of mobility. Many cities suffer from traffic congestion and related environmental and economic costs. Using the opportunities of digitalization and mobile communication can be an opportunity to solve or alleviate traffic problems.
Although some of the trends and developments are or turn into global trends immediately, our countries and cities are diverse and face different challenges. Developing a strategy to make the right decisions today and to put the subject on the political agenda are part of the workshop and will help participants to take concrete ideas back home.
 

OBJECTIVES

Participants

  • have a clearer idea of what makes a city a smart city
  • explore/know technological and lifestyle trends from around the world
  • are aware of the ever changing environment of urban development and the need to remain open and flexible
  • explore preconditions and challenges for technology, infrastructure and politics
  • explore challenges and advantages for individuals, societies and the economy
  • are aware of the main advantages and disadvantages of linking urban development and digitalisation
  • identify criteria for a smart city from a liberal perspective
  • formulate recommendations for liberal policy makers 

Soft objectives:
Participants exchange knowledge and experience with FNF colleagues in Germany
 

SUBJECTS

The following list is a collection of possible subjects (brainstorming) but needs to be focused on specific relevant items. In general the perspective of the "smart citizen" should be taken and provide the workshop with a unique and liberal profile, i.e. discussing subjects from an individual's viewpoint.

  • Current Trends of digitalization and their impact on smart cities and modern mobility (introduction, terms and definitions, state of affairs regarding the subject, possibly open data)
  • Specific perspectives in selected areas:

a) Smart Cities / Urban Planning

  • Social affairs and education (health, education, child care)
  • Environment and utilities
  • Business promotion: business and job opportunities (high speed internet, open data)

b) Participation

  • Transparency, citizen participation and (local government) politics
  • Challenges of “big data”: protection of privacy and autonomy of one's own data

c) Mobility

  • Solving the congestion and traffic problems of growing cities
  • Individual mobility (traffic management systems, autonomous driving)
  • Public transportation
  • Transportation of goods and freight
  • The differences of challenges in diverse countries: concrete conclusions for necessary decisions in our own countries and cities.
  • Strategies to increase awareness for the subject and put it on the agenda of (local) decision making bodies.

TARGET GROUP

  • Representatives of liberal parties, liberal governments, think tanks and NGOs who work in or take specific interest in digitalization, mobility or urban planning from project countries of FNF   
  • Liberal academics and practitioners in the above mentioned areas
  • A high level of participation and openness towards interactive new methods are required

- Subject to change -

 

LANGUAGES
English, Spanish, French

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Liberalism vs. Populism, 16.06. - 28.06.2019

- Detailed Abstract will follow -

 

Populists seem to be on the rise around the world and their opponents from different political camps seem to have difficulties to find the right antidote to fight that new (?) political force. Some place their bet on facts to fight lies, others on copying some of the populist features or trying to tackle what is perceived as the underlying causes that play into the hands of populists. But what is populism and why is it so dangerous for liberal open societies? What do populists have in com-mon? This seminar is meant to analyse populism with regard to various criteria that are relevant to get a deeper understanding of its nature and, based on the results, to find ways and measures of how liberals could deal with this political enemy.

TARGET GROUP

Liberal thinkers and political strategists from political parties, think tanks and NGOs who are currently facing populist forces in their respective countries
 

 

LANGUAGES
English, French, Russian

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Communication: Strategy and Skills, 28.07. - 04.08.2019

TOPIC

In a world dominated with competing messages, brands and ideas - how will your message resonate with your voters or supporters? In the context of your strategy: What is it that you want to communicate to achieve your strategy?  he seminar will present the full 360 degree picture of modern communication from concepts to practice.

 

METHODOLOGY

The seminar will use modern, dialogue-oriented methods and focus on the practical application of communication and media skills in a political environment. Participants will receive detailed and critical feedback on their individual or working group results. Participants will be requested to contribute actively and share their experiences.
Presentations and inputs will be provided by facilitators as well as external experts in Gummersbach and during a half-day excursion.
 

SUBJECTS

  • Strategic political communication 
  • Communication as part of a strategic plan and a brand strategy
  • Branding and powerful value propositions
  • Communication and media channels - advantages, disadvantages, alternatives
  • What is ‘news’ and how do journalists work?
  • The media - overview and successful concepts for media work
  • Media skills - practical training
  • Social media - potentials and pitfalls
  • Communication plans
     

TARGET GROUP

Politicians and directors of communication / press officers. Having already experiences in the field of political communication is a requirement due to the dialogue-oriented approach of the seminar.

(Subjects to change)

 

LANGUAGE
English, French, Spanish

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Local Politics and Citizen’s Participation, 11.08. - 23.08.2019

TOPIC

“All politics is local” is a prevailing phrase – not only in U.S. politics. Apart from the strategic meaning it implies also a liberal perception of politics – starting off from the individual, who should be instrumental in all decisions that affect their life. Looking for solutions at the local level, involving responsible individuals and making use of decentralized local competences and knowledge are important principles to get local government politics close to citizens, encourage their participation, communicate with them more effectively and make government more efficient. However, in reality local politicians around the world are facing huge challenges to implement such principles due to administrative, legal, financial and practical problems. Additionally, in a world where communication methods have become so diverse and the online and internet space is a growing platform for citizens to actively communicate with each other and their local authorities – engagement with citizens has become even more essential. It is important to note that digital communication methods such as the cellphone have made communication much easier across the world.
In this two-week seminar, we are going to focus on the above-mentioned questions and we will look for answers involving the views and experiences of participants as well as external contributors. Besides such input we will use participant oriented methods to cover the subjects of the seminar. This will include working groups, simulation exercises and practical individual training.

The seminar will cover ideas on a necessary framework for a functioning local government sector. Nevertheless we will also discuss practical concepts on how to work successfully at a local level in given situations with numerous limitations beyond the decision making power of councilors and mayors.
Content-wise the seminar will focus on six modules:

  • Local government politics and liberalism: Why is local government politics important for liberals and what should a liberal policy approach for local politics include?
  • Reform ideas for local government including the concept of ‘New Public Management’ Participation as an element of good governance at a local level: Different instruments of formal and non-formal participation. Participation as a success strategy for political parties and organizations. 
  • Communication techniques and how citizens and liberal local activists can use online media tools such as social media platforms and online forums to enhance participation and mobilise support for their ideals. We will also engage in practical training that looks at how we can strengthen our communication skills and use them to improve performance 
  • Local politics, political parties and civil society: How can we use a modern liberal approach for local government politics to be politically more successful? What are the roles of political parties and civil society? 
  • Developing effective plans and programmes to implement liberal ideas at local government level that include citizens and their interests 

SUBJECTS

1) Local government politics and liberalism

  • Why are local self-administration, subsidiarity, decentralization and participation liberal concepts? Why is local government such an important sphere of government?
  • How can we implement these concepts? Which frameworks are necessary? (legal, financial etc.) 
  • Analysis in our own countries: the legal environment and the autonomy of local government to make its own decisions.
  • How do we develop, protect and grow local government autonomy?
  • Is local government politics ‘non-ideological’? Is there a specific liberal approach?
  • Where are achievements / best practice examples and deficits / needs in our countries?

2) Reform ideas for local government 

  • On the way to New Public Management – and back? How to create a citizen oriented, efficient, democratic and responsible (non-corrupt) local administration? What are our priorities as liberal politicians and how can we implement them according to NPM principles?

3) Participation as an element of good governance on local level

  • Formal and informal means of citizens’ participation; participation in the digital age (new media tools, cell phones etc.)
  • Information rights, initiative rights and decision rights
  • How can we enhance citizens’ involvement in local politics?
  • Where are achievements / best practice examples and deficits / needs in our countries? What should be the role of civil society and their institutions such as NGOs and citizens groups?

4) The importance of effective communication – listening, engaging and communicating

  • How can we strengthen our communication skills and use them to improve performance (practical training focusing on a variety of communication platforms including online media
  • How do we use local media, both traditional and new media to communicate with our residents – what are the most effective ways of communicating with our residents as a local government but also as individual liberal politicians?
  • The importance of listening and understanding in effective communication 

 

    5) Local politics, political parties and civil society

  • How can we use participation and citizen orientation as instruments to increase political success? What does this mean for structures and strategies of political parties? Local government level as a particular chance for opposition parties to switch voting patterns (with practical simulation / strategy exercise)
  • How can we make a difference for our residents? Creating centers of excellence’ despite difficult framework conditions and building momentum in voters’ minds about what we can do for their daily well-being.
  • Where are achievements / best practice examples and deficits / needs in our countries.

 

​TARGET GROUP

  • Active liberal local government politicians like councilors, mayors or representatives of local party branches.
  • Representatives of liberal NGOs and citizen groups who focus in particular on the local level.
  • Politicians or individuals involved with issues of local government.
  • Functionaries of liberal political parties who are involved in training of local politicians or consolidating party structures on local level

(Subjects to change)

 

LANGUAGE
English, Arabic, Russian

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

IAF Innovation Lab, 01.09. - 08.09.2019

- Detailed abstract will follow - 

 

Liberals around the world embrace and promote change, progress and innovation. However, they often see and feel a gap between the way how they would want a modern liberal organisation to work and the reality within their own organisation. A gap that can severely undermine perceived authenticity and hence weaken the own brand. How can liberals encourage others to experiment, take risks and accept failure as an important element of learning and progress if at the same time they are not showing the same enthusiasm within their own organisation?  but to close a. and at the same time is . This Workshop will look at organisational structures and development. corporate communication and culture, learning and knowledge management, technology, external communication, events, formats etc.

 

TARGET GROUP

Mid to senior management of liberal parties, NGOs, think tanks, power &mandate to initiate change in their organisations, experts on organisational development, campaign technologies or innovation; FNF Project Directors, Head of Desks. Technologists welcome

 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Promoting Entrepreneurship and Open Markets, 15.09. - 27.09.2019

TOPIC

The 12-day workshop at the International Academy for Leadership in Gummersbach begins with an overview of common criticisms, much in fashion again, of free markets and their underlying foundation, economic freedom. A free market order is often termed “capitalism” by its critics, a term that is intentionally used in its pejorative sense. The criticism is extended to its proponents and those who successfully do business in a free market environment, the capitalists. Liberals prefer the term entrepreneur. Are the criticisms valid, are they overdone or are they misleading. How should liberals deal with them?

This will be followed by a systematic overview of how liberals see markets, their features (including the way they deal with scarcity, the concept of “spontaneous order” and the “profit motive” as a driving force) and the people who do business in and exploit market forces. Why should one try to open markets? Do they work well and are they better than their alternatives? Should everything, including important utilities be private and market-oriented?  Are markets best left unregulated or should they be regulated? If they are to be regulated, how much, by whom and to what purpose? Are financial markets a special case?
The next section of the workshop will deal with the en-vironment that markets and entrepreneurs require in order to function in an optimum manner, i.e., as liberals would like to see. 

Before the final part of the event, in which the focus will be on policy, the measures will be listed and described that might help to open and develop markets, with a focus on good governance, free trade, legal measures (including anti-trust measures, (if deemed necessary), privatization and deregulation. The same will be done with respect to entrepreneurship. Special questions here will be how to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks. What kinds of incentives encourage entrepreneurship? Are subsidies for start-ups a good or a bad idea? 

The final sessions, the last two days, consist of two parts: part one will be a simulation based on a real case. Participants will be confronted with measures that have agreed upon and their effects. The task will be to develop a liberal alternative. Finally, in the  second part, also a summary session, participants will be asked to list and briefly describe and comment upon, important features of liberal policies designed to open markets and promote entrepreneurship – taking into account and differentiating according to the concrete conditions existing in the countries represented.

THE EXCURSIONS

 One half-day and a 3-day excursion are an integral part of the workshop and will incorporate German case studies on the topic of entrepreneurship:
 

  • the German liberal party, the FDP, and its policies in the business sector 
  • the difficulties of starting a business in a highly regulated economy (the example of Germany)
  • entrepreneurs and the German tax regime 
  • the problems entrepreneurs face when trying to abide by laws and regulations originating in the European Union
  • government sponsored start-up initiatives, their problems and potential
  • training for the business environment: lessons from a) academic business schools and b) vocational training

TARGET GROUP

The participants to be invited are young leaders in positions of responsibility from political parties, civic initiatives, the media and the civil administration. They consider themselves to be liberal and are expected to have a basic knowledge of what liberalism is and, in particular of its values and objectives. The seminar is designed not as a basic introduction to the theory and practice of free markets, but as an opportunity to reflect and exchange views on policy: how to go about opening markets and promoting entrepreneurship.  Selected participants will be asked to prepare a short presentation either on a) a problem in their respective home countries relevant to the subject of the workshop or b) an example of how business-friendly environments can be created
 

(Subjects to change)

 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Safeguarding Freedom in the Digital World, 13.10. - 25.10.2019

Seminar with a preparatory online phase.

 

CONTENT

Digitalisation has opened up a world of opportunity. Today we have access to vast amounts of information, inconceivable 20 years ago. The cost of communication with others has plummeted and is now marginal. The majority of the world’s population has cheap access to the means of communication, hardware, software and the associated services. As far as freedom of expression is concerned, this no longer tends to be the privilege of professionals. Other rights have become easier to enjoy because of digital media: the right to freedom of assembly, the right to education, the ability to enforce and protect one’s right to property more effectively, the right to freedom of belief.

But digitalisation and the way it has been implemented also pose serious challenges to freedom as we know it. They are in the news. They include attempts by various governments to control or cordon off the internet, efforts to abolish the principle of net neutrality, the use of social media and associated technologies for hybrid warfare, an increasing readiness to engage in “fake news” and exploiting susceptibilities in this regard, a compartmentalisation of news driven by user preferences, surveillance of internet use, internet security, and restrictions imposed by dysfunctional rules on copyright, to mention only a few.
Other questions we will tackle are:
Should there be censorship of the internet (in order to tackle pornography and extreme violence, for instance), is it possible to censor the internet and, if yes, how would this be done and what would the effect be? 
Will traditional media die because of the internet and does it matter if they do? Or can they reinvent themselves? What would they need to do differently?
How important are the principles of rule of law so dear to liberalism in a digitalised world? Is it possible to implement them in a meaningful way (eg, how do we deal with cases of blanket surveillance without individual warrants)?
Do we need new rights in a digitalised world, like a “right to be forgotten?”
How should the internet be policed? Do we require some form of legal status and protection for whistleblowers, given the enormous volume of internet traffic?
How important is the principle of non-anonymity for a proper and transparent functioning of the internet and the media associated with it? What do we do with the phenomenon of automated bots?

How do we deal with the social media-based interference in political and electoral processes through foreign powers attempting to tilt results?
How do we train citizens to use internet-based media critically and responsibly in the interests of promoting freedom?
There are further overarching issues from a liberal point of view that apply to all forms of communication, digitalised or not, such as:
Are there any legitimate reasons for limiting freedom of speech (hate speech, blasphemy, incitement to violence, for instance)?
What would a sensible balance between security and privacy consist of? 
How can we ensure the kind of tolerance and civility that we need in order to protect the freedoms modern means of communication allow?
 

OBJECTIVES

A lack of awareness amongst non-experts as to the seriousness of these challenges is a serious deficit we have to face. One of the reasons we are organising this workshop is to introduce young liberal politicians, policy makers and others to them, their urgency, and to encourage the finding of appropriate and implementable solutions that do not contradict liberal principles and values.

 

TARGET GROUP

Liberal politicians and policy makers, social media content producers and bloggers, journalists providing online content for various internet-based media, liberal internet and security experts, educationalists.

All participants invited to the event are required to participate in a preparatory online phase (approx. 2 weeks, dates to be scheduled - time required: approx. 2 hours per week).
 

(Subjects to change)

 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Strengthening NGOs – Management, Strategy and Fundraising, 03.11. - 15.11.2019

 

- Detailed abstract will follow. - 

 

TARGET GROUP

Representatives of liberal NGOs - such as economic Think Tanks, Human Rights Defenders etc. - who work in close cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in their respective countries or regions and ideally hold a leadership or management position and are involved in fundraising activities

 

LANGUAGES
English, Spanish

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

Campaigning: Strategy and Tools, 01.12. - 08.12.2019

- Detailed abstract will follow. - 

 

Campaigning consists of a lot more than a noteworthy claim and fancy tools. It combines craftsmanship and hard work. A successful campaign needs a solid foundation: a well drafted strategy, the right data, the right people, correct understanding of the target groups, the political environment and opponents; the skills to draft the right messages and communicate them in the most effective way through the most efficient channels, highly organised management and controlling mechanisms in place. And a successful campaign is tailor-made. This workshop shows the direction towards such a campaign and provides the opportunity for campaigners to exchange experiences and learn from each other.

TARGET GROUP

Leading personnel from political parties who have a relevant position and expertise with regard to their party’s campaign .

 

LANGUAGES
English, Arabic, (French)

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

IAF Seminars 2019

Here you can find the overview of our seminars to download:

  • IAF Seminars 2019 - English (pdf)

Further languages will follow.
 

Application deadlines might be earlier within the regions. Please check with your respective FNF project office.