Thematic focus of the Forum

Throughout our week-long conference we want to bring together perspectives on democracy from civil society, academia and administrations. We will focus our attention on four thematic tracks:

Track 1: Swiss Direct Democracy in Practice

Switzerland is not only the host of the 2021 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, it is also one of the most advanced direct democracies in the world. How does it work in practice? What can we learn from the Swiss example? What can Switzerland learn from the rest of the world?

On Sunday 27 September, Switzerland heads to the polls in a nation-wide referendum. On the ballot will be questions on the acquisition of military jets, animal protection and hunting laws and paternity leave - all issues that were the subject of a citizens' initiative. We will hear from campaigners in the home-stretch towards the referendum, we will hear from administration how they prepare for a nation-wide vote and we will look at how Swiss Direct Democracy works. 


   Sessions in this track:


Track 2: Climate, Sustainability and Direct Democracy

The Climate Crisis is one of the greatest challenges we collectively face today. Around the world, people have taken to the streets to demand swift action, but in many countries governments have failed to follow suit. How can citizens use direct democracy tools to call for and even enforce stronger action to save our climate and to protect our environment?

How can direct democracy tools be used to address environmental challenges and climate change? This track will be very hands-on, with a focus on training young activists. The sessions will offer examples from different countries and compare possibilities offered by different direct democracy instruments.


   Sessions in this track:


Track 3: The Future of Democracy

In an increasingly interconnected world, our democracy needs to follow suit. New, innovative democratic tools are being developed from the local level to the global level. In this track we look at new democracy tools and initiatives.

How can we ensure that every citizen's voice is heard? How can we use new tools to make our democracies more resilient? Can we save our international institutions by making them more democratic?


   Sessions in this track:


Track 4: Democracy in Crisis

The Corona virus has posed a truly global challenge that not only impacts our daily lives, but also our democratic rights. At the same time, citizens everywhere are increasingly demanding for a bigger role in decision-making. What have been the effects of the pandemic crisis and how can we move forward?

In recent months, we have seen unprecedented challenges to our democratic practice and process. The Corona virus pandemic has impacted the lives of every person on this planet and our democracies are in no way immune to this. How has democracy been impacted during the pandemic? What will be the lasting effects on our democracies? How can we make our democracies more resilient to crisis?


   Sessions in this track:

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