Democracy Defence Dialogues

Democracy Defence Dialogues

What does democracy mean to you? How can we defend democracy in everyday life?

The Russian attack on Ukraine has brought to the fore that living in a democratic society cannot be taken for granted. In the midst of a crisis, in particular, democracy needs active defending and actions that reinforce its core values. Democracy rests on the foundation of a way of life that communities – including those you are part of – live by, with freedom to be oneself and equality between different people at its core. Ultimately, democratic life is based on everyday actions at home, at work, at school and in leisure activities as well as local and state governments and parliaments.

Democracy Defence Dialogues offer a platform for people to come together to constructively discuss the ongoing crisis and the means available to us to strengthen democracy in our own communities.

We are inviting you to organise a constructive dialogue event in defence of democracy by 31 July 2022

The goal is to build mutual understanding about what democracy means to each one of us. What are the issues that concern us or inspire confidence in the midst of the current crisis? What can we do to defend democracy? What makes you, your community, organisation or our decision-makers act to strengthen democracy?

The outcomes of the dialogues will be gathered and summarised to present ideas on how individuals and communities can support democracy through their own actions and how local, national and international actions to protect democracy are interlinked. Finland’s Ministry of Finance will produce the summary for the use of the national and local governments.

Promoting democracy in different communities and areas of life enhances democratic practices throughout society, including equality and non-discrimination, freedom of speech and rule of law. It will also help ensure that we can continue to live in peace and are free to express our diverse opinions without fear of arbitrary penalisation. The inherent strength of democracy also protects our societies against external attacks.

How to get involved?

Joining the Democracy Defence Dialogues is easy and requires no major effort from the organiser. The most important thing is your enthusiasm to get involved!

  • Consider combining the theme of defending democracy without another topical issue, for example: “What does democracy mean to us and what can we do to support and defend it?”; ” What does democracy mean to us in Riga/Berlin/Sevilla and what can we do to support and defend it?”; “What does democracy mean to our school class/workplace/club and what can we do to support and defend it?”
  • You can register your interest to organise a dialogue through this link by 30 June.
  • You will receive an e-mail with further guidance on how to organise your dialogue event.

An updated list of all the dialogues taking place on either day will be provided at the bottom of this page. A summary of the dialogues will be published on the events pages free for everyone to use.

The dialogues can be organised as 2-, 3- or 4-hour events, either face-to-face or virtually.

If you would like to get involved as a participant in a Democracy Defence Dialogue, simply choose a suitable place and time from the list of dialogues and join in!

The aim is to see as many dialogues as possible organised by a diverse set of organisers throughout Finland and the world in which the participants are given a platform to hold in-depth discussions, hear each other’s opinions, remove boundaries between different viewpoints, learn new things, share their observations and together build a vision of what defending democracy in different contexts means in practice.

The crisis caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine has shown that people have the will and need to talk about the situation and to find ways to strengthen democracy but there are not enough forums for this purpose.

Your contribution is important! Get involved!

The Democracy Defence Dialogues are co-ordinated by Dialogue AcademyTimeout Foundation, Sitra, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance.

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