Rhodes, October 6, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
On October 8-12, 2015, World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, the global think tank and discussion forum, founded by Jagdish Kapur (1920-2010), Indian entrepreneur, social scientist, futurist and Vladimir Yakunin, Russian public thinker and Doctor of Political Sciences and co-chaired by Fred Dallmayr, Professor of Notre Dame University (USA), Alfred Gusenbauer, federal Chancellor of Austria (2007–2008) and Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (1999–2004), is hosting the 13th annual Rhodes Forum on the Greek island of Rhodes. This year’s overarching theme, “The World Beyond Global Disorder”, convenes some of the world’s most renowned public thinkers, intellectuals and practitioners to explore the most pressing global and regional challenges which are, or are likely to become, sources of major political, economic and cultural conflicts.
Rhodes Forum presents different opinions and various ideas – but united to overcome hegemonic, aggressive and inhumane neo-liberalism. Split into six plenary sessions and five workshops, the conference invites leading experts in their fields to put forward their views on subjects at the heart of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilization’s” core objective to create a sustainable and co-operative future.
The issue of global disorder will be discussed by Johan Galtung, widely regarded as the founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies alongside renowned Indian political psychologist Ashis Nandy, New Confucian ethicist and Harvard Fellow Tu Weiming and Princeton law professor Richard Falk. In another session, Ali Allawi, the Former Minister of Finance, Trade and Defence for the Government of the Republic of Iraq will share a stage with Palestinian scientist and Author Mazin Qumsiyeh amongst others to debate the reasons behind the multiple crises that are occurring in West Asia and North Africa (WANA) and explore possible routes towards freedom and democracy in the region.
As the world wakes up to the idea that the prevailing neo-liberal economic models are leading to an escalation in global wealth inequality, leading economists at World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” will explore practical and viable alternatives to this current paradigm. Ruben Vardanyan, Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist and the latest board member of the Endowment for the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” will moderate a session on economic development and the extent to which international development organisations have been effective in implementing the United Nations Millennium Declaration 15 years on. He will be joined in the debate by Václav Klaus, Economist and Former President of the Czech Republic (2003 -2013).
It is the belief of the Executive Committee of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” that with the growing number of armed conflicts worldwide, many of which have overlapped regional boundaries, the world faces a deterioration of cross-cultural coexistence mode. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in reactions to the escalating refugee crisis in Europe which isdirect result of Western interventionist policies in the Middle East. Past events demonstrate that diverse cultural needs necessitate international and cross-cultural dialogue in order to address some of the world’s most pressing issues.
Set in Greece on the Island of Rhodes, an area at the centre of both the refugee crisis and Europe’s economic troubles, The Rhodes Forum provides a unique and apt environment for open discussion based on the principles of openness, inclusiveness, mutual respect, reciprocity and trust.
The organization’s Founding President, Vladimir Yakunin commented: “Everywhere we look there are clear signs that the incumbent neo-liberal socio-economic model is failing. Wealth disparity is increasing and the world is experiencing an unprecedented level of violent conflict based on ethnic and religious fractions. Now more than ever it is of paramount importance for those of us committed to responsible behavior in this chaotic environment to congregate and identify alternative global futures and work towards fostering a more just and sustainable world order.”
Plenary 1: The World Beyond Global Disorder (moderated by Prof. Fred Dallmayr).
Plenary 2: A Prosperous Future Together: Financial and Economic Policies for Inclusive and Equitable Development (moderated by Prof. Richard Andreas Werner).
Plenary 3: Which Way WANA? (moderated by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar)
Plenary 4: The New Threat: Hybrid Wars as Means of Suppression (moderated by Prof. Hans Koechler).
Plenary 5: Family Values as a Basis for Sustainable Human CivilizationDevelopment (moderated by Natalia Yakunina, Chairperson for the Endowment for the World Public Forum – Dialogue of Civilizations and Laurence Jacobs, Managing Director, World Congress of Families).
Plenary 6: Future of International Development Institutions: Challenges and Opportunities (moderated by Ruben Vardanyan,Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist and Board member of the Endowment for the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”).
There will also be a number of workshops that will be dedicated to the following themes: “Digital Media, Digital Transition and Internet of Things”, “Past and Future of European Security in the Aspects of Dialogue of Civilizations”, “China and Russia: History and Future”, “On the Way to the Network of the Dialogue of Cultures’ Schools”, “The Current Migration Crisis: Causes and Solutions in Europe and Beyond”.