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Discussion: A center strong in strategy: democratic patriotism for all

[The language of the event is Polish]

Join us for a discussion:

A center strong in strategy: democratic patriotism for all

Moderator: Magdalena Rigamonti (Onet)

Panelists: Prof. Maciej Kisilowski, Wojciech Przybylski (Res Publica), Prof. Anna Wojciuk – co-authors of “Let’s Agree on Poland” (Znak 2023) and Dr. Czesław Bielecki, Jacek Cichocki, Waldemar Pawlak and Anna Streżyńska.

When: May 31, 2023, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: Mirrors Room, Staszic Palace, Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland

Not so long ago, Western intellectuals were openly proclaiming the defeat of democracy when confronted with supposedly faster and more effective authoritarian regimes. The defeat of China’s zero-COVID policy and the heroic, and effective, resistance of democratic Ukraine to Russian aggression, however, demonstrated the shortcomings of the authoritarian vision of the power of the state apparatus understood as its expansiveness and ability to subjugate everyone around it – from the public to neighbors near and far.

The authors of “Let’s Agree on Poland” – a collective work of 28 experts of the association “Incubator of Social Contract” published by Znak (2023), who are exponents of views ranging from the left and liberals to the conservative right – will present in this panel the alternative vision of a strong state described in the book. The panelists will present, comment on and discuss, specific proposals for reforming the Polish government center implementing such a vision of state strength understood as a focus and networking of activities based on stability, consensus and shared values.

About the panelists

Jacek Cichocki – political scientist and sociologist. Expert at the Strategies 2050 Institute. Previously director of the Center for Eastern Studies, minister in the governments of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Ewa Kopacz, served as Minister of Internal Affairs (2011-2013), Coordinator of Special Services (2008-2011), Head of the Prime Minister’s Office (2013-2015).

Dr. Czeslaw Bielecki – architect, publicist and politician, anti-communist opposition activist in the People’s Republic of Poland, from 1997 to 2001 member of the Sejm of the third term and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Knight of the Order of the White Eagle.

Prof. Maciej Kisilowski – Central European University in Vienna, deals with̨ strategic approach to law and public affairs, scientific director of the Executive MBA program for top managers, graduate of Yale, Princeton and INSEAD universities.

Waldemar Pawlak – politician, Chairman of the Council of Ministers (1992, 1993-1995). Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy in Donald Tusk’s governments from 2007-2012. Member of the Polish Sejm from 1989 to 2015.

Wojciech Przybylski – president of the Res Publica Foundation, editor-in-chief of “Visegrad Insight,” conducts a multi-year strategic foresight program in Central Europe on future European policies on behalf of the European Commission.

Magdalena Rigamonti – press and radio journalist and author of books. Permanently associated with the Onet.pl portal. Previously worked in the newspapers “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”, and “Polska The Times”, in the weeklies “Newsweek Polska” and “Wprost”, as well as in the radio stations Tok FM and Polskie Radio 24. Member of the board of Press Club Poland. Winner of the Grand Press award.

Anna Strezynska – CEO of MC2 Innovations, Minister of Digitization (2015-2018); President of the Office of Electronic Communications (2006-2012); Undersecretary of State for Communications at the Ministry of Transport and Construction (2005-2006). In 2008 honored with the Andrzej Bączkowski Award.

Prof. Anna Wojciuk – University of Warsaw, formerly at Harvard, EUI, Columbia University and Cornell University, political scientist, researcher of the power of states in the international arena, president of the Social Contract Incubator.

About “Let’s Agree on Poland.”

The authors and contributors argue that the key to a stable democracy is greater involvement of provincial and municipal governments, as well as citizens, in the mechanisms of governing the country. In a light-hearted style devoid of academic jargon, they describe the assumptions of the proposed social contract. In collaboration with well-known writers and novelists, they show in fictionalized form how the proposed system would work in practice and what its introduction would mean for citizens. This book is an invitation to a new way of thinking about the future of our country and to find a Poland that will accommodate us all.