IAF Seminars 2023

IAF Seminars 2023
© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

If you are interested in participating or wish to receive more information please contact the Friedrich Naumann Foundation representative in your country who will kindly give you more details about taking part in our seminars!   

As our program is designed to support our projects abroad, the projects identify and suggest participants for our seminars. Hence we can not offer the possibility to register for our programs directly.

Due to the current pandemic situation this programme may be subject to change and details will be adapted according to the given situation. Please contact us in case of any questions!

  • In most countries, liberal political parties are not able to govern alone and especially in illiberal environments, liberal forces - parties and NGOs - are often small. Influencing decision-making through coalitions and strategic partnerships might be a promising approach to implement at least some liberal policies. Being able to govern and thus being more visible in public may be good reasons for political parties to join a coalition and an opportunity to grow. However, many liberals fear losing identity or being marginalized in a coalition. Such questions show that power arrangements and coalition politics require caution and skilful handling.

    Target Group: Leadership personnel of liberal political parties and liberal organisations close to them, political consultants

  • Populists seem to be on the rise around the world and their opponents from different political camps seem to have difficulties to find the right antidote to fight that new (?) political force. Some place their bet on facts to fight lies, others on copying some of the populist features or trying to tackle what is perceived as the underlying causes that play into the hands of populists. But what is populism and why is it so dangerous for liberal open societies? What do populists have in common? This seminar is meant to analyse populism with regard to various criteria that are relevant to get a deeper understanding of its nature and, based on the results, to find ways and measures of how liberals could deal with this political enemy.

    The seminar aims to fulfil the following objectives:

    - to establish a thorough theoretical understanding of liberalism and of populism

    - to develop tools and senses that help to detect populism

    - to develop strategies and measures to counter populists

    - to develop guidelines and strategies that can be disseminated in the respective organisations/parties

    Target Group: The seminar mainly aims at liberal thinkers and political strategists from political parties, think tanks and NGOs who are currently facing populist forces in their respective countries.

  • Refreshed ways to create a liberal environment in training sessions and events, where an audience is able to participate fully and think well for themselves by innovative, relevant and fun facilitation methodologies leading to interactive events and learning sessions. Understanding of programme development to improve organising, scripting, designing and implementing innovative sessions and events in their organisations. Individual skills development by improving the understanding of themselves as facilitators, while enhancing their unique communication, listening, language and leadership skills.

    Target Group: Representatives of liberal NGOs, Political Parties and Think Tanks who are actively involved with, or responsible for the design, planning and implementation of training and development sessions, or events. The seminar is best suited to individuals who have some level of experience in training or event scripting and planning.

  • By using “big data” and digitalization our cities can turn into smart cities and help us to manage today’s and future challenges of growing cities in fields such as administration, urban planning, environment, economic development and others. Transparency, citizen’s rights, participation, and better decision making should be among the advantages of smarter cities as well. Which are the key elements of a smart city? Is it enough to digitalise infrastructure to make a city a smart one? Or is a city smart when it caters to the needs of its citizens while using resources and technology as efficient as possible? We will explore these questions after reflecting on the evolution of cities, the process of urbanisation, the advantages and disadvantages of living together in cities to get a deeper understanding from a liberal and philosophical perspective. What would liberals demand from a city to call it smart?

    Target Group: Politicians, City Planner, Architects, Engineers, Technologists, Artists with liberal disposition, Representatives of liberal NGOs and citizen groups who are working on improving local government (systems).

  • Many have entitled the media as the "fourth power" to keep checks and balances in a democracy. The picture of a "watch dog" seems to get cracks. Media are under pressure from politicians who undermine the reputation of the established media by accusing them of lying or taking sides with the political opponent, or by harassing journalists and news organisations/companies, openly threatening them with imprisonment or killing. With the internet a whole new world of access to information (true and false) has opened up and classical media came under economic pressure as well - while it is expensive to maintain quality journalism less people are willing to pay for it when they can get information in the web for free. Quality journalism also takes time for proper research - but with social media and millions of "citizen journalists" it is way more difficult to be the first to break the news and having it checked properly, to grow and keep an audience, and to convince with quality journalism when big parts of the audience seem to be only interested in what confirms their already existing beliefs and opinion.

    What can liberals do to support independent media and journalists under pressure?

    Target Group: Journalists, Blogger, Media Entrepreneurs, Liberal Activists and Politicians

  • Nothing has brought about more wealth and individual well-being than markets for ideas, goods, services, produce or finances. For liberals market economies provide the best system to allocate resources, to bring together supply and demand, and to relief humans from (extreme) poverty. At the same time some of the contemporary problems like climate change and pollution, widening gaps of living standards, social upheavals, deteriorating consumer protection, ruthlessness, and tax evasion are pinned to the market economy by its critics and enemies who call for regulatory measures to "tame the beast". Others pick up the criticism to pursue other and often hidden political goals. This seminar wants to take a closer look at the problems attributed to market economies, to explore causes and effects, and to work on concepts in defense of the principle of market economy and its implementation.

    Target Group: Liberal Thinkers, Economic policy makers from political parties and think tanks.

  • In order to be successful political parties need - in addition to their political competences - well-formulated strategies. Hence, strategic planning is a key competence for political parties and their leadership personnel. Strategy development cannot be delegated or outsourced. Strategy elements from other successful political players cannot just be copied. Own competences in strategic planning are needed and this hands on workshop will provide political leaders with processes, tools and concepts to develop their own unique strategies.

    Target Group: Leadership personnel of political parties and party experts who work on party strategy

  • What makes a liberal political youth organisation successful? On the one hand it is necessary to run and manage the organisation efficiently and professionally – especially, because resources are usually limited and the work is based to a large extend on voluntary engagement. The seminar will provide a platform to share experiences and to develop new and creative ideas. Subjects to be discussed will be the organisational structure, development of liberal policies, motivation and recruitment of members, relationship to a mother party /mother organisation, finance and legal framework / legal restrictions of the organisation’s work. However, the overall goal of a political youth organisation is a political one. For having political impact, it is necessary to develop a political strategy and to be clear about the organisation’s (political) goals. Some fundamental strategic understanding and practical skills on strategy development will also be a substantial part of this seminar.

    Target Group: Young representatives of liberal political youth organisations. Participants should be active members of these organisations (activists, board members or leaders on local, regional or (inter-)national level) and have knowledge about their organisation and at least some experiences with political work. Participants should be interested in the subject from a personal, practical and political point of view rather than from an observing or academic perspective. Youth organisations can but need not to be affiliated to a political party. The organisations should be already in existence or, at least, be in a concrete founding process.

  • We would like to see a world in which women are on equal footing to step into the leadership roles they desire, and to make a much-needed contribution in the world. This seminar therefore invites female leaders who are passionate about leadership, about making a contribution, and committed to building an active career in politics or public service, to join on a journey of connection, development and transformation as we explore the many aspects of female leadership in 2023 and beyond. This seminar explores topics related to:

    - Leadership skills, such as strategic thinking, negotiation, communication, public appearance, confidence

    - Each participant’s purpose, vision, values and unique leadership brand

    - Societal, regional and political trends and events affecting and impacting women

    - Future trends, and the ability to manage complexity and change

    - Cultivating an organisational culture that supports female leadership

    - Building a strong network of support

    Target Group: Purpose-driven female leaders who are currently in office, or with political or public service aspirations from Political Parties, Think Tanks and NGOs are encouraged to apply. Applicants can be elected officials or appointed staff members, provided they are in leadership, or aspire. Applicants should have a strong English-language ability, and be willing to share their experiences in the group, as the programme relies on interaction and active participation

  • The World of 2022 has showed us that a lot of the achievements of the so-called “Liberal World Order” can be undone in no time. Globalization, free trade, and (most heartbreakingly) peace have all literally become under attack in recent time. And the implications of this are all just to be unpacked. This seminar will dive into international power politics from all perspectives (from supply chains or currency wars to military spending) and develop answers to these challenges.

    Target Group: This seminar targets think tanks, public intellectuals, and political strategists that are liberal-minded. Participants should have a good grasp of geopolitics, political economy, and international institutions.

  • Confronted with many urgent issues, liberals need to reflect on and update the foundations of the Open Society — liberalism’s very own “utopia”. This is crucial, as the threats to liberalism have piled up over time without liberals successfully countering this development. 2021 marks 16 (!) years of continuous democratic decline in the Freedom House Index, leaving 80% of the world’s population living in partly free or not free societies. What can liberals do to strengthen the foundations of open societies and get it off the ground? How can they defend liberal values and principles and promote e.g. tolerance, diversity and participation as motors for progress and freedom?

    This workshop will address the most serious challenges that the Open Society faces on a global level: the rise of authoritarianism; the deepening (and often fuelled) polarisation in society; increasing scepticism about markets and re-appearance of large-scale state interventions; the decline of trust in experts and scientific knowledge; and the general lack of enthusiasm for progress and the achievements of humanity in the liberal democratic age.

    The entire event will attempt to treat the abovementioned subject matter from political, empirical, and philosophical perspectives and will explore ways for liberals to counter these threats.

    Target Group: Participants for this workshop should be fully conversant with liberal principles and ideas and play an active role in politics, preferably in a leadership capacity. This includes politicians, civil society leaders, human rights lawyers, entrepreneurs, journalists, lobbyists, pedagogues, and people that provide policy advice (think tanks).

  • The protection of human and civil rights is not an exclusive task for lawyers and activists but for all citizens and especially functionaries from politics, business, media and society. This seminar will provide the basics of the legal framework and instruments and highlight the most important areas where human rights violations occur, sometimes unnoticed. The second part will be dedicated to develop and discuss policy approaches towards the promotion of a broader understanding of and respect for human rights in the different areas.

    Target Group: Representatives from political parties, the economic sector, NGOs and media.

  • Campaigning is a core function of any political party. It is the way through which parties connect with voters to garner enough support to get into government, and to ultimately implement its vision for a better future. With the rise of the internet, big data and social media, traditional campaign methods have undergone radical change making it easier to communicate. And yet, many liberal political parties struggle to connect with voters. Furthermore, the prevalence of right-wing parties and increased populism across the political spectrum begs the question: How are progressive and liberal parties to respond?

    We will examine core campaign mechanics and roles including communications, fundraising, political outreach, field organisation & activity, research & polling, as well as policy offer. We will also explore various exciting campaign metrics and tech tools that enable teams to measure progress throughout the duration of a campaign and make better-informed decisions.

    Target Group: This seminar is best suited to individuals in political parties who have a deep, practical interest in the mechanics of campaigning and who are interested in best practice sharing and innovating with fellow campaigners from across the world on how to connect with voters.

  • No one is born a leader but can potentially grow into one. Enthusiasm and/or a strong cause are important for politicians, but knowing one’s unique strengths, grooming leadership skills, improving communication and presence are key to succeed to the top. This seminar offers a variety of opportunities to gain new skills and for personal growth; it is crafted to support young and enthusiastic liberals to use their potential, to successfully follow their ambitions and to grow into leadership positions. Participants will leave with new skills, with inspiration, a clearer sense of their leadership potential, and with new international contacts woven into their personal network.

    Target Group: Young Leaders and high potentials from liberal parties and NGOs.