Our democracy is in turmoil. At stake are its method and players. The seeds of conflict, division and polarisation are being sown by the populist right. The lobbyists wield power and influence behind the political scenes. This leads to counter-pressure from the left, in which more and more movements and collectives seek dialogue and consensus. Is this how we protect our social rights? Can this counter-movement improve society without conflict? Though expertise can help, it is often synonymous with arrogance and an ivory tower mentality. Will we restore the reputation of expertise? With expert citizens as the new paradigm?
7:00 pm - Reception
7:15 - Debate 1: Consensus or conflict ?
So many people, so many opinions. Democracy it at its best when all these opinions, after rational debate, lead to social advancement. But what if it isn't possible? If one pushes harder than the other? On the other hand, is it really necessary for us all to agree? Can't we just all go about our business without confrontation? Or is a society not a society until everyone shares the same values?
With: Thomas Dawance (Community Land Trust Brussels) and John’s Mbulula (voormalig MRAX, Mouvement contre le Racisme, l’Antisémitisme et la Xénophobie)
7:45 - Audience participation
8:15 - Break
8:30 - Debate 2: Experts or citizens?
A democracy has many players. Experts can be useful, but some associate them with living in ivory towers. They show little understanding. Should we reinstate the expert? And what about the growing demand from groups of residents for inclusion in the decision-making process? Can experts and citizens stand shoulder to shoulder, as equals?
Delphine Morel de Westgaver (BXLAir), Simon De Muynck (Centre d’écologie Urbaine/igeat) en Wolfgang De Meuter (VUB).
9:15 - Audience participation
9:45 - Reception