Nizami Ganjavi International Center

Center for Learning, Tolerance, Dialogue & Understanding

Global Forces, Local Voices - Andorra la Vella, Andorra


Across the world, traditional political and economic structures are being challenged like never before. As industry and capital becomes ever more mobile, national socio-economic policies are being increasingly defined by global market forces. As globalisation grows stronger the need for decentralisation and greater local autonomy becomes increasingly stronger. Economically speaking these trends disproportionately benefit a small elite; national governments are challenged to respond to the challenges of globalisation. But there is growing disillusionment with the status quo, with falling voter turnout and a rejection of the conventional “career for life.” Instead, individuals, communities and civil society groups are taking their futures into their own hands, creating and embracing innovative ways to make money and enact political change – from separatism to social entrepreneurship, from crowdsourcing to car-sharing. In political terms, the repercussions of this trend are already being felt. Across Europe, traditional political parties – perceived as detached, complicit, “all the same” – are losing ground to radical, populist or separatist movements. Restless populations in Catalonia and Scotland threaten to redraw the map of the continent; disaffected young men are tempted by extremism of all kinds. From Marine LePen to Nigel Farage, Norbert Hofer in Austria and Donald Trump, voters increasingly identify with charismatic non-politicians who eschew openness and pluralism in favour of identity politics. What do the successes tell us about globalisation’s flaws? What has happened to democratic processes ? How can one build trust in politics be reinstated? Economically, traditional business models are also being challenged by new approaches. The so-called sharing economy – embodied by start-ups like Über and AirBnB –and many more allows an increasing number of people to make money on their own terms, and entrepreneurs are turning to the crowd for investment in lieu of banks perceived as unreliable or even untrustworthy. However, these businesses often operate in a legal and financial grey area, and those who “sell their time” to participate in the sharing economy enjoy little job security or social protections. How can governments embrace innovation while guaranteeing standards? And do these new realities of work and entrepreneurialism necessitate a new economic paradigm? And what of governance itself? The international challenges posed by globalisation demand international solutions, but our current global governance regime lacks legitimacy. Conversely, politics and business are becoming increasingly personalised, driven by mass scepticism of established paradigms and new technological opportunities. How do we reconcile local identity and international commerce? What does effective and equitable global governance look like? And can what should the role of the state be in a globalised world? Panels + Key Questions The meeting in Andorra will be conducted in four Panels. Each Panel will have a kick off speaker, possibly by an expert, outside speaker and respondents. The purpose of this discussion will be to come with initiatives, ideas and proposals that could support social entrepreneurship and provide recommendations, possibly in form of a joint editorial on these questions. Panel I: Re-Thinking Globalisation How can we address the failings of globalisation through better global governance? What steps are required? Panel II: “The Trump Effect” What does the rise of charismatic non-politicians tell us about the state of democracy? Can and should the Politics be (re)professionalised? What does this mean/entail? Panel III: Building a Sharing Economy Do new realities of work and entrepreneurialism necessitate a new economic paradigm? What is required to allow for vibrant new economic forces to increase overall wealth to realise themselves? Panel IV: The Future of State How much state do we need in a globalised world? What should be the concept of Statehood and or/how can it be formulated?