“From Crisis in Perpetuity to Democratic Resilience”

Wednesday, 6 October 2021, Schlosstheater Neues Palais, Potsdam, hybrid
Hashtag: #M100SC
Facebook: @M100Sanssouci Colloquium
Twitter: @M100Colloquium
LinkedIn: m100-sanssouci-colloquium
Instagram: @m100colloquium
14:00 – 19:30


Registration (online)

14:00 – 14:05

14:05 – 14:15
PRESENTATION Masterpiece Young European Journalists Workshop

14:15 – 14:25

14:25 – 14:50
“The Revenge of The Real: Politics for a Post-Pandemic World”

Benjamin H. Bratton, Professor of Fine Arts, University of California, USA

Q & A

14:50 – 15:50
I. New beginnings: Leadership in (post-)Covid times

Input: Alberto Alemanno, Jean-Monnet-Professor of European Union Law & Policy, HEC Paris, France
Moderation: Annalisa Piras, Journalist, Filmmaker & Managing Director, The Wake Up Foundation, Italy/UK

Whether a “black swan” (Nassim Nicholas Taleb) or a white one, the Corona pandemic was and is a stress test for governments and societies worldwide. And Corona will not be the last crisis. What lessons do we learn from it? How crisis-proof are our democracies? What reforms are needed to identify emerging threats in time and come up with adequate responses in the future? And how can the cohesion and acceptance of societies be preserved in a state of emergency and how can we prevent concrete problems such as a pandemic, migration or climate change from becoming crises of democracy in the end?

II. Fit for the job? Europe’s role in a new world order

Input: Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman, Munich Security Conference, Germany
Host: Christoph Lanz, Head of Board, Thomson Media, Germany

Each for him or herself, closed borders, export controls: Neither the European Union nor the multilateral system looked good in the pandemic, which by definition knows no borders. And while authoritarian states became even more authoritarian (and EU members like Hungary and Poland less democratic), the EU, which is just embarking on a process of institutional reform for the first time since 2007, is in danger of becoming a geopolitical driven. How capable is the EU in global politics? What about relations with Russia and China? And what reforms are needed to meet global challenges, but also the expectations of citizens?

III. ’A matter of facts trust’: Science and Journalism in perilous times

Input: Wolfgang Blau, Visiting Research Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism an der Universität Oxford, UK
Host: Alexandra Borchardt, Senior Research Associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, UK

The covid pandemic has impressively demonstrated how much our societies depend on science and journalism. Epidemiologists and virologists shape public debates and political action, news media reported in real time on infection events and crisis management by governments. At the same time, both science and the media are sometimes under massive attack – the hallmark of a fundamental trend: opponents of vaccination, climate change deniers and populists attack the authority of scientific expertise and the legitimacy of editorially organised journalism. Even in pandemic times, parts of the population prefer “alternative facts” and conspiracy theories to the “mainstream media”. What are the implications of this for journalists and scientists, also in relation to reporting on other crises and climate change? What is the relationship between the two fields? How can the knowledge conflicts of our time be countered, or in other words: How must contemporary and effective science communication be designed in times of rapidly advancing media change?

15:50 – 16:15

16:15 – 17:00
Break and digital networking

17:00 – 19:30
Schlosstheater in the Neues Palais, Potsdam


17:00 – 17:30
“Resilience in late Modernity”

Prof. Dr. Andreas Reckwitz, Professor of General Sociology and Cultural Sociology, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany

Q & A


17:30 – 18:15
“The Totalitarian Temptation”

Podium: Dr Can Dündar, Turkish top journalist and editor-in-chief of “Özgurüz”, Dr Claudia Major, Head of the International Security Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and Saad Mohseni, Afghan-Australian media entrepreneur, Co-Founder and Chairman of MOBY Group.
Moderation: Ali Aslan, international TV presenter and journalist

The (military) withdrawal of the West from Afghanistan is the dramatic culmination of a series of failed attempts at nation-building in recent decades, especially by Islamic states. In countries such as Somalia, Liberia, Congo, Mali and Iraq, the involvement of Western states has brought neither peace nor freedom, but has mostly increased poverty, conflict and terror. The national-authoritarian backlash that Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland and Hungary have experienced is proof that the rule of law, so-called “Western values” and the path to liberal democracy are not self-sustaining in Europe either. According to a study by the National Endowment for Democracy, democratic countries are more susceptible to authoritarian tendencies today “than at any other time in the post-Cold War era”.

For all the differences: Where are the parallels between these different experiences? What makes people and governments so susceptible to autocratic forms of rule? Does globalisation ultimately lead not to a spread of democracy but to the globalisation of authoritarianism? And what can be done to counter the totalitarian temptation?

18:30 – 19:30
Schlosstheater in the Neues Palais, Potsdam (Livestream)



Mike Schubert, Lord Mayor of the State Capital Potsdam

An Agenda for Democratic Resilience: Results of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium

Presented by Annalisa Piras, Alexandra Borchardt, and Christoph Lanz
Moderation: Ali Aslan


Christian Lindner, Party leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP)

Acceptance Speech

Leonid Volkov on behalf of Alexei Navalny, Politician, Chief-of-Staff and Political Director of Alexei Navalny’s team