Benjamin Barber on flourishing democracy


Hello from Berlin,

Where we are spoiled by a few more days of sunshine before the next notoriously grey winter will hit us. As we are preparing for the Warsaw conference, we are excited about the prospect of having Benjamin Barber as our keynote speaker. An internationally renowned political theorist, Dr. Barber brings an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, globalization, culture and education in America and abroad.



Just recently, he travelled to Poland to speak at the European Forum for New Ideas in Sopot, and attended an award ceremony for former Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva. On this occasion, the former Polish President and founder of “Solidarity” (Solidarność) Lech Walesa dedicated the Lech Waleza Price to da Silva. We think Dr. Barber’s analysis of the meeting of the two elder statesmen that he subsequently gave in his regular blog for the Huffington Post entails a set of challenging questions relevant for our NECE event. The meeting of Walesa and Lula, Benjamin Barber sums up, “should inspire us to recognize that capitalism succeeds best not when democracy withers but where it flourishes”. It is worth reading his comments at the Huffington Post website (


For those of you who are interested in reading some of the works of Benjamin Barber, we recommend his classic "Strong democracy. participatory politics for a new age" and his book "Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism, and Democracy".


We are much looking forward to Dr. Barber’s speech on his return to Poland in November that will kick off and inspire our discussions at Fabryka Trzciny!



With very best wishes,


Almut and Matthias



Civil Society