Topics for the 64th Young Königswinter Conference 2024

The theme of the 64th Young Königswinter Conference will be What sort of democracy are we striving for? The up to 40 participants will discuss the following three topics:

Topic 1

Societies are becoming more polarized. How strong are our liberal democracies?
  1. With the rise of fake news and conspiracies, is there/should there be a limit to freedom of opinion when it comes to the defense of democracy?
  2. The role of young voters and social media: what are the impacts on future elections?
  3. What is more important in elections, to have a democratic process or a democratic outcome? How do we make sure more people feel represented by their governments again?
  4. Which electoral system is better at dealing with populism, proportional representation or first past the post?

Topic 2

Economic and financial questions in an age of transformation: how do we handle it?
  1. In order to face the challenges arising from climate transition, demographic change and the transformation of our economies, do we have to work harder, less or smarter?
  2. Different generations have different priorities when it comes to work, life and salaries. Instead of pitting generations against each other, how can we learn and benefit together to facilitate the transformation for everyone?
  3. Digitalisation, investments in infrastructure, climate transition, climate justice: how to go about it (incentives vs bans) and who is paying for it
  4. How do states have to change in light of these fundamental questions of transformation? How much of the burden should be carried by the state, as opposed to the individual?

Topic 3

The year of decisions – what does democracy mean in practice?
  1. Consequences of the elections in the European Parliament, the US and the UK
  2. In light of multiple crises around the world, have we taken our eyes off the fight against global warming? How do we prepare for an increasingly disrupted and disruptive global climate that has the potential to exacerbate geopolitical unrest?
  3. Defending democracy in practice: under which circumstances would you join the army? How do we defend democracies from threats from within?
  4. Do we need to introduce a year of National Service?