The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium started with three parallel Strategic Roundtable discussions on the digital platform Zoom, introduced by an opening speech by Benjamin H. Bratton, Professor of Fine Arts, University of California, USA, on “The Revenge of the Real: Politics for a Post-Pandemic World”(the speech is avaiable as text and video here).
After a lively and concentrated one-hour-discussion, the three moderators presented the results of the roundtable discussions, moderated by Dr Leonard Novy, M100 Board member and director of the Institute for Media and Communication Policy in Cologne, Germany (The recording is available here on our YouTube channel). 
The first presenter was Annalisa Piras, journalist, filmmaker & managing director of the Wake Up Foundation. She summarised the Strategic Roundtable “New beginnings: Leadership in (post-)Covid times”, which had been introduced by an impulse by Alberto Alemanno, Jean-Monnet-Professor of European Union Law & Policy, HEC Paris, France:
”Democratic resilience has not only been playing a role since the coronavirus pandemic. In an increasingly fragmented society, the issue of strengthening the value of community is once again more important than ever if we do not want to watch our society atomise into a horde of individualists.
For me, democratic resilience is the ability of a community to repeatedly accept democracy, supported by the majority of society and legitimized in the democratic debate as a form of society, state and life, in situations of social and political crisis and transformation, and to defend this fundamental value of a pluralistic society.“
Mike Schubert, Lord Mayor of the State Capital Potsdam
I am convinced that with these and other measures, with courage like Alexei Navalny and his comrades-in-arms have shown, the change of rule, the change of statehood from within is possible”, said FDP Federal Chairman Christian Lindner in his laudation on the occasion of the presentation of the M100 Media Award to Alexei Nawalny and his anti-corruption foundation FBK on 6 October 2021 in the Palace Theatre of the New Palace in Potsdam. “Alexei Navalny himself says: ‘Fight for your democratic rights and have courage'”, Lindner continoused.
“I am convinced the pursuit of freedom is always stronger than power and oppression in the long run. For liberal democracies, democratic opposition should remain a natural partner everywhere in the world, not only in Russia, but we should take the concerns of the people in Hong Kong equally seriously and not take our eyes off the situation in Belarus. We share the basic values of democracy, the rule of law and freedom with this opposition worldwide. Germany and Europe need a foreign policy that wisely combines the interests in dialogue, trade, exchange, and cooperation that we all share with our own indispensable values.”
I am very moved, especially because I was not expecting to hear these words, which are like an embrace for me. So I want to thank you for this award, for the incredibly moving words of Giovanni di Lorenzo, for this wonderful sky that has welcomed me to Potsdam, and also to thank the Federal Chancellor for her touching words, and for her encouraging presence. Because the awareness raised heartens me a lot more than words. Roberto Saviano, M100 Media Award laureate 2016
It is a great honour for me to be here and receive this great price. It's a very big day for me. I thank Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dr. Joachim Gauck for the kind and strong words, and for their appreciation. Thank you, I will never forget this day! Kurt Westergaard, danish cartoonist, M100 Media Award laureate 2010
At the same time, today’s prize is an appeal to all persons who hold positions of responsibility in governments, in culture and in the media: be steadfast, value-oriented and also COURAGEOUS when irresponsible persons and powers undermine or relativise our values of freedom. It is a virtue to yield to a convincing argument, but it is cowardice to yield to a threat from enemies of freedom. Joachim Gauck in his laudation to Kurt Westergaard, 2010
I receive [this award] with an immense joy, happiness and humility also, because I think by being with you today here, I am receiving this price in the name of those who are still suffering in the jungle of Colombia and of those in the world that are living in similar conditions and who cannot speak for themselves freely. Ingrid Betancourt, M100 Media Award laureate 2008
But I have to say that in our modern society the media has a very, very particular responsibility, also for the European idea. And I hope that the event today – and the events which will follow – will help us to communicate better, to explain better and to convince people that Europe – and acknowledging all the problems, the mistakes and the deficits – […] that at the end of the day the idea of European integration is the best idea that we have ever developed in our history. Günther Verheugen, former EU-Commissioner, in his keynote speech 2005