Continuously updated, programme of the Economic Forum 2020 consists of more than 330 events, divided into 17 thematic paths. The Economic Forum will once again take place in Karpacz, Poland, 8-10 September 2020.

The mission of the Forum is to create a platform of constructive dialog, encouraging glocal inicitatives and new solutions with concert for the natural environment and local communities.  We take into account the impact of the current COVID-19 epidemic, so the scope of the program will be adjusted.

Below you can find selected topics of the programme.

Partners’ suggestion regarding the programme can be send via e-mail at: program-fe@isw.org.pl.

Business and Investments

The concept of stakeholder capitalism began to gain popularity in the 1950s, it assumes that not only shareholders, but also the interests of all entities affected by the company's activities, should be taken into account in the strategies created by companies. However, in social discourse it only appeared permanently after the financial crisis of 2007 and in recent years also in the context of sustainable development. About how companies that dominate the market and set sector standards implement elements of the strategy for stakeholders.

Some Polish operators are already testing 5G in combat conditions, while others say they are ready for the next generation network. In fact, there is still a long way to go for the next generation of consumer networks. Before this happens, the appropriate frequency auction must take place. Four capital groups will fight for four blocks. After winning the auction and paying the block reservation fee, the operator who gets access to the frequency must, after six months from receiving the reservation, run at least 10 5G base stations in one voivodship city. In turn, before 2025, a minimum of 500 stations must be operating in a minimum of 16 cities. This is a real challenge.

The concept of an entrepreneurial state as an entity actively allocating public funds in high-risk investments, which private capital does not want to support due to too high risk and a distant time horizon. In recent years it is gaining popularity. Specialized investment vehicles are being created in individual countries. About best practices from abroad and how entities related to the State Treasury can diversify and mitigate risk in new business areas, so that Poland can win next national champions.

From IT to FMCG, Polish export have different faces. Technology giants and software houses can boast of numerous success stories and implementations at large international corporations. On the other hand, many FMCG networks have introduced the principle of supporting Polish producers from the food industry into their growth and expansion policy. What are the opportunities and threats for Polish exporters? What can exporters in different industries learn from each other?

Polish enterprises are increasingly willing to enter and export abroad and, using their and other companies' experience, are getting on better with them. Profits from foreign operations are steadily increasing, and entrepreneurs setting up their startups immediately do so with the idea of "born global". The "Made in Poland" label itself is increasingly recognizable, and foreign consumers trust our products. How to sustain this upward trend? How to strengthen the "Made in Poland" brand on foreign markets?

Construction of the Solidarity Transport Hub, which costs approx. PLN 30 billion is an important project on the investment map of Poland. The development of the infrastructure as well as the possibility to develop international cooperation (in the institutional and business fields) are the main advantages in favour of the Port. What is the significance of such investments in Poland for the Polish economy and foreign policy? What can their implementation mean for the future development of international cooperation?

PARP research shows that over 54 percent companies do not cooperate with other companies at all. Only 38 percent large companies declare cooperation with micro, small and medium enterprises. By introducing what instruments and incentives entrepreneurs can be encouraged to cooperate. On success stories of cooperation between SMEs and large enterprises.

The SME sector is vital for the Polish economy, accounting for nearly 50% of Polish GDP. Polish companies after a hard first half update their development strategies and plans. How has the last thirty years of the free market economy influenced Polish society and the entrepreneurial spirit? On the example of foreign Partners and their best practices, what are effective SME support systems? So that the next 30 years would be a further period of domination of small entrepreneurs.

A well-managed enterprise must grow and grow. It acquires more and more customers, occupies an increasing part of the market and employs more and more employees. Up to a point, this happens organically, through natural development. However, once the company has reached a significant size, it can use other available methods to expand its business. How can Polish enterprises benefit from mergers and acquisitions? What good practices should be implemented to successfully undergo these processes?

Modern face image of large cities is the multifunctional areas servising local communities, but also the economy of the region and the country. The Construction is responsible for over 40 percent of energy and natural resources consumption. Civilization changes impose new duties on present and future generations, but also give new business opportunities, create a new nature of jobs. Is it possible to maintain balance in the dynamic development of the metropolis to maintain its sustainable development.

Given the current regulatory and technological trends, the banking sector will undergo a major transformation in the coming years. There is a risk that it will result in the loss of customer relations and an increase in the instability of the banking system. What else can banks do to protect themselves and their clients?

For many Polish and Central European corporations, recent years have been a period of dynamic growth. Therefore, more and more often we are dealing with the situation of their presence not only in Europe, but also on other continents. Which way leads to success, what plan to adopt for the construction and development of the company, where to look for competitive advantages, giving chances for success?

In 2018, net inflow to Poland from foreign investments
direct amounted to PLN 50.4 billion. Investors with shares in domestic direct investment entities related to industrial processing, wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles as well as financial and insurance activities generated the highest income. How will FDI inflows be shaped in Poland in the coming years? How to encourage foreign investors to increase capital involvement in Poland "

Financialisation has been around for decades, with the financial gaining more and more importance at the expense of the real economy. Too often, however, their strength lies in speculation driven by the lust for easy profit. The result of it is speculative bubbles. The COVID-19 crisis will deepen the negative effects of financial markets’ excessive autonomy. The ultra-loose monetary policies pursued by central banks has gained a new impetus, causing the real sphere, which is the lifeblood of the economy, and the financial sphere to move apart. Is there a way to reverse this and regain balance?


The coronavirus pandemic changed our reality bringing about a level of uncertainty unknow for last decades while simultaneously showing unparalleled involvement of the entire society in fight with the threat it represents, Many companies were confronted with the specter of the crisis, the government needed to put into place new mechanisms to extend protection over society and economy. Non-profit organizations became involved in day-to-day care of the parts of population that were most affected by the pandemic – seniors citizens and medical staff. Despite the extreme conditions affecting businesses, the Polish government and NGOs i undertook an unparalleled in scale co-operation. How do companies react about the crisis affecting the entire society, what is the role to be played by NGOs, what changed in the co-operation between companies and public institutions? How is the pandemic going to affect the model of co-operation of particular sectors?

Business is based on numbers, assets and liabilities. Where is, therefore, the place for values, which are not calculable, and which cannot be captured in tables and graphs? How to find a deeper meaning in business operations? In which manner everyday business can help society? Can the aspects associated with “business with values” alluding to sustainable and stable economic activity; respect for employees, suppliers and clients; being a corporate “good citizen”; safeguarding the interest of generations to come and protecting the natural environments be supported by business? How to effectively communicate those key values in business and how to build strategy by bringing measurable business solutions and image related benefits? Our panelists know answers to some of those questions.

Europe and World

It was expected that the change of Kyiv's government in 2019 would bring a substantial improvement in Polish-Ukrainian relations, which had been subjected to difficult tests in the last few years. Controversy in historical policy was the most difficult to overcome. Kyiv and Warsaw also demonstrated a growing distance towards each other on other issues. The visit of the new Ukrainian president to Warsaw and initiatives from both sides have awakened hopes for a revived relationship. Can we talk about their strategic nature?

Brexit and the deepening divergencies within the North Atlantic Alliance cast a shadow over the current state of the European Union and NATO. The United Nations has increasingly been criticised for its decision-making powerlessness on the key issues. Is the international order founded after 1945 just experiencing the most serious crisis in its history? Should the existing functioning of the institutions upholding the global order be necessary to revise?

Georgia declares its intention to join the European Union and NATO. At the same time, border conflicts, the pressure of Russian diplomacy and internal troubles are blocking Georgia's road to the West. Is Georgia able to develop a new model of escape from Russian domination in a situation where "enthusiasm" for enlargement is weakening in Western countries?

The pandemic restrictions, a worsening labour market and the closure of borders have caused many labour migrants to return to their countries. However, the economic situation in the home countries has forced some of them to return– many European countries still remain more attractive places to stay and work. Individual countries, e.g. Germany took the opportunity and encouraged new workers with more attractive conditions. How much of losses have gained companies, employing economic migrants? Which actions implemented by the states and employers to protect foreign workers had turned out effective? Have the home countries taken the opportunity to retain their citizens?

Close cooperation and good neighbourly relations are in the interest of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Joint and coordinated actions are especially important for the border regions. Their involvement in cross-border projects, exchange of ideas and experiences significantly influence the development of these areas and also increase the investment attractiveness. Which factors help and which ones complicate the cross-border cooperation?

As the result of presidental and parliamentary elections there was a change of Ukrainian authorities, who declared the rapid implementation of reforms and ensuring their success.
However, the assessment of their actions is not clear - the opposition, as well as some experts, remind about the lack of a structured strategy for transforming the country and chaotic legislation. What did Zelenski's team achieve and what mistakes did they make? How has the pace of modernisation of Ukraine changed over the last year?

In the recent years, NATO's attention has been very much focused on Ukraine, mainly because of the complicated political circumstances of this country. However, the issue of cooperation between the North Atlantic Alliance and Ukraine has already divided its members and forever changed NATO in many respects. The approach of the Alliance towards Ukraine has therefore undoubtedly influenced the political situation in the whole of Europe. For Ukraine, membership in NATO seems indispensable, but does NATO really need Ukraine? What barriers stand in the way of joining the Alliance and how can they be overcome? Is there any, equally beneficial alternative to Ukraine's membership in NATO?

Until recently, we talked mostly about slowbalisation in globalisation due to reduced foreign direct investment, trade war and protectionism in the US. Nowadays, as a result of the economic depression triggered by the global coronavirus wave, we are confronted with the challenge of globalization as such. The pandemic has shown that total dependence on imports from China and, more broadly, South-East Asia can be dangerous to the West. Today it is already clear that value chains need to be reorganized, the question is how deep and how much it will hit consumers' pockets. And what will global trade be like as a consequence?

The fight against poverty, hunger and social inequalities, ensuring access to education or clean energy - these are just a few of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals contained in the Agenda adopted in 2015 by all UN countries by the General Assembly Resolution. According to this Agenda, all its goals should be achieved by the world by 2030. How can European societies work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? What are the biggest challenges in this context for Poland and other countries of our region?

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. The program, which raised great hopes at its onset, did not bring spectacular political results so far. Indeed, further enlargement of the EU has been shelved. However, rumours of its demise are premature. It does have significant and concrete merits when it comes to soft politics, which involves enhanced cooperation within various thematic development programs. No one can answer if and when any further political integration of the EU will occur, but so far there is no better alternative to the Eastern Partnership on the horizon.

Cybersecurity Forum

In European Union, Poland is one of the fastest digitizing economies. Despite this, in terms of the use of ICT in all sectors of the economy, the domestic market is still far behind European leaders. However, digital transformation seems to be inevitable. According to forecasts, by the end of 2020, 60% of enterprises will implement new IT solutions as part of a comprehensive digital strategy. How are companies doing on the path of digital transformation?

Critical infrastructure is a key element from the point of view of national security, stability and economic development, functioning of societies and individual citizens. The growing dependence of the functioning of the Critical Infrastructure on IT solutions and the changes taking place in this environment lead to new challenges for the provision of security. The threat can be both possible technical faults, human errors, but also intentional, hostile actions carried out in cyberspace.

Companies are increasingly using specialized software to support, among others production, sales, human resource management, recruitment, warehouse management, marketing and many other business processes. And although the benefits of each of these tools are really great, we will achieve the best results only when they are properly integrated with each other. Integration, however, is unfortunately associated with an increased risk of cybersecurity. In the event of an attack, key enterprise data can be stolen, used and made public. How to properly prepare for IT systems integration? What solutions should you choose?

Currently, business is undergoing many fundamental transformations due to the progressing digitization. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies that were based on the brick and mortar model collapsed. In the face of challenges posed by modern times, it seems necessary to run e-business. Is the modern economy "doomed" to e-commerce? Is this the final end of the brick and mortar era, which seemed to revive?

The financial industry, like all branches of the economy, is heavily digitized. Not only the services and products of banks can be used thanks to the facilitation of digitization. New open banking solutions enable third parties to create solutions that help both companies and individual clients in managing finances. In turn, from an external perspective to banks, more fintechs are emerging on the market - financial startups that benefit from the benefits of the digital age and offer services and products competitive to those created by banks. Do all these facilities meet cyber security requirements? How to protect yourself from potential attacks? Are banks ready for this?

Over 10 million customers in Poland use banking services via a smartphone. Contactless payments are the standard. According to NBP data, we make contactless transactions near 85%. Polish banks can boast of prestigious international awards in the category of design and the range of mobile services offered. About the future and prospects of the market including the risk of overshooting.

In 1990, there were around 100 million personal computers, 10 million mobile phone users and less than 3 million internet users in the world. 20 years later, we have 1.4 billion PC devices, 5 billion mobile phone users and nearly 4 billion of us are constantly connected to the Internet. The largest American listed companies after the industrial champions of the 1990s are now technology companies whose valuation at times exceeded more than $ 1.4 trillion in 2020. More than the entire German DAX index. In Poland, the third company in terms of market valuation is sometimes the game creator - CD Projekt Red. On how developed economies will be influenced by digitization in the next decade, and what to do to not lag behind.

Energy Forum

The energy system in Europe is undergoing a profound transformation. The shift towards low-carbon energy sources causes the involvement of energy companies in offshore wind energy. Although Polish farms in the Baltic Sea are still in the design phase and will start producing energy around 2025, a number of administrative and political decisions are necessary as to the shape of the Polish energy sector.

It is common knowledge that Gazprom – the biggest Russian company delivering gas to Europe – is a tool of Kremlin`s foreign policy. It raises reasonable concerns from countries dependent on Russian gas supplies. What measures should be taken by countries feeling themselves threatened by dominating the Russian supplier? Can LNG supplies and investing in shale gas create a viable alternative?

The Polish Energy Policy 2040 is a response to the most important challenges facing the Polish energy sector.
Ambitious plans to implement the assumptions of the Energy Policy of Poland 2040 specify:
• 60% share of coal in electricity generation in 2030
• 21% renewable energy in final gross energy consumption in 2030
• implementation of nuclear energy in 2033
• 23% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030 compared to 2007 forecasts
• 30% CO2 reduction by 2030 (compared to 1990)
How to achieve this goal?

A well-developed gas infrastructure makes it possible to achieve the objectives of the European Union's climate and energy policy, enabling access to natural gas as a low-emission energy source in many sectors of the economy. This applies in particular to Central and Eastern Europe, where significant reductions in the long term can be achieved by switching from high-carbon to low-carbon energy sources. The Polish transmission system can play a key role in the development of the Polish gas market and its role in the integration of gas markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

The European Commission has proposed 2050 as the EU's goal of achieving climate neutrality. This means maximum reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in industry, transport and energy. There are over 400 nuclear power plants in the world, more are being built. Undoubtedly, nuclear power is a reliable source of energy in the long term. Can it be treated as renewable energy source?

Energy companies involved in the processing and distribution of fossil fuels are increasingly diversifying their activities. Some of them announce ambitious climate neutrality targets. At the same time, they issue the, so-called, green bonds, whose interest rate is linked to the implementation of environmental objectives. The value of the green bond market in February 2019 exceeded USD 100 billion globally. We are witnessing an energy revolution. How will companies increase efficiency while becoming environmentally neutral? What actions should be taken to achieve the highest level of efficiency in the "new" energy era?

The negotiation period for the Fund scheduled for 2021-2027 will expire in June. Poland could be its biggest beneficiary. The support limit from the Fund is EUR 2 billion. The amount is related to the degree of links between the state and regions with fossil fuels and the number of jobs in the mining sector. How Polish regions and central authorities intend to use the acquired funds and how foreign experience in the field of energy transformation should influence the formation of national mechanisms.

The security of critical energy infrastructure is increasingly determined by IT solutions. This creates threats for the Distribution System Operators such as the possibility of hacking electricity meters. Another challenge is the further improvement of the continuity of supply ratios, which involves moving some of the infrastructure underground. The spring crisis of 2019 related to pollution of crude oil imported into the country was a test for domestic processors. About how to implement further solutions to increase the number of prosumers.

Forests are inhabited by over 80% of all species of animals, plants and insects living on land. How can we change our consumption habits through social education to broaden environmental awareness? On the implementation of innovative and pro-environmental technological solutions enabling achievement of sustainable development goals in the field of terrestrial ecosystem protection.

In 2017, a government electromobility team was established, whose main goal was to develop a concept for implementation in Poland. At what stage of the "Energy for the future" plan are we currently? Among the 28 EU Member States, various strategies have been adopted to increase the number of electric vehicles. From tax incentives, through maintenance and accounting allowances to social education or low emission zones like in the Netherlands. Which of these solutions prove to be more effective?

Hydrogen energy was invented at the turn of the 20th and 21st century. It means huge benefits not only for the energy sector. In the transport system, which is responsible for about 30% of energy consumption, alternative fuels such as hydrogen bring measurable economic benefits on an appropriate scale. In what areas should significant progress be expected for hydrogen to become an important secondary source of energy? Does the hydrogen power industry have a chance to become a serious competition for the existing energy carriers?

Innovations Forum

In the era of climate change and the threat to our planet due to global warming and depletion of the Earth, socially responsible innovations are gaining more and more attention and give hope to protect us at least to some extent from the potentially catastrophic effects of the current situation. How does Poland and Europe compare with the world in the context of creating new technologies that have CSR DNA in them? What can we do to stimulate the emergence of such solutions?

The theme of Artificial Intelligence has not been disappearing from the global agenda in recent years. Its advantages include the minimisation of human error, the replacement of humans in risk-taking, faster decision-making processes or, finally, 24/7 availability. In addition to the undeniable qualities, AI also carries a number of dangers. Rising unemployment, emotional indifference and a lack of ability to go beyond the scheme are examples being mainly indicated. Critics of Artificial Intelligence also point out its potentially destructive power if it were in the wrong hands. Should we really be concerned about the increasingly common uses of AI? Are the advantages of its usage able to reduce the risks?

Big Data, IoT, cloud computing, machine learning - modern businesses are introducing new technologies on a massive scale. Progressing digitization is unstoppable. An additional impulse for changes in companies was also the Covid-19 pandemic, which eventually forced many companies to introduce remote work. How can Polish enterprises benefit from the digital revolution? How not to lag behind the competition?

Polish technology companies have surprised the world more than once and proved that there is a place for them in the world of global business. Examples such as CD Projekt, Booksy, Brand24 only confirm this. What are the success factors that make a company more likely to enter the global market? Should young companies create their businesses immediately with motto: "Go Global" in mind?

Big Data are huge, unstructured data sets that cannot be analyzed with simple tools that have been used in enterprises so far. The rapid development of technologies such as IoT, 5G and progressive digitization mean that countless amounts of data are generated every day. How to use the potential of Big Data to increase company's competitive advantage? On the other hand, how to protect the company against potential threats and ensure cybersecurity?

Discussion about optimal use of the Internet of things in the future in towns and cities (Smart Cities) corresponding to the challenges of economic, social and economy 4.0.

It is widely known that the current teaching system in schools and colleges does not correspond to the rapidly changing reality of the 21st century. Archaic teaching methods and core curricula that do not contain issues that would allow young people to find their place on the labor market after completing formal teachings only cause frustration and confusion. Fortunately, products and services are created on the market that are intended to develop a passion for disciplines called STEM in the young generation. How can the state, corporations and innovative startups change the face of Polish science? How long will the transformation process take?

Nowadays, as in much of previous decades, this saying is indeed true. We are living the beginning of the „digital transformation” of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a paradigm shift in manufacturing
strategies. The change will not only affect the manufacturing strategy of industrial companies in the future, but it will also affect the social systems, employment and economic policies of nations. Will it
bring about changes in society, demographics, the arts, infrastructure, science and fashion?

The reality of the post-pandemic world is changing irreversibly, we are witnessing accelerated digital transformation. Many companies have moved their activities online, and some professions will permanently change the mode of operation to a remote work model. Poles' behavior in the area of digital content consumption is also changing. This is a challenge for network operators and telecommunications companies, which must prepare the national infrastructure for the increased demand for data collection and simultaneously connected devices, and secondly to bear the costs of modernization of the new generation, 5G.

According to research, inherited traits are responsible for our health condition in 16%, natural environment in 21% - mainly water and air condition, health care only in 10%, and our lifestyle in 53% We have no influence on some of the factors affecting health, such as the genetic predisposition, as well as age and gender. We are also able to minimize the destructive effects of civilization. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of today's society does not lead a healthy lifestyle, which is influenced by a poor diet and a small amount of physical effort, as well as a sedentary work. What can you do to change this? How to encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle?

Media and Communication Forum

Lack of trust in the press, radio and television is not only the domain of Poles, but also residents of other countries in the world. Recipients are wary of the content transmitted in the mass media, most often accusing them of bias and manipulation. How to build customer trust? Can the mass media be objective? What does the term "reliable journalism" mean in the 21st century?

Information consumers lose confidence in the media, because the information they provide is often provided with a more or less subtle commentary, data and statements taken out of context, or intentionally compiled. Publishing business is changing by adapting technological gains and participating in the race for priority and the "exclusive" label. Information attractively “wrapped”, with high "click-through" does not have to be real to sell well. And here comes the important question of whether the truth is also part of the truth, the interpretation of the fact, the statement containing the suggestion, etc. Fake news on the web is a growing problem today. Is it possible to fight this phenomenon effectively and how?

Experts have proclaimed the end of the printed press for many years. Now, more and more often, the same thing is said about radio and television. The ideal hybrid seems to be the Internet, which combines all these media. How long will traditional media survive in present form? How big are the information and advertising possibilities of the Internet compared to the press, radio or television? How is the content wiever different from that one preferring traditional media?

In recent years, more and more blogs, YouTube channels or social media profiles are being created in the public space that describe the world. Citizen journalism, which is considered more credible than mainstream media, is also gaining more attention. Do today's technological opportunities give anyone a chance to be a journalist? Where does journalism begin and hobby information ends? What are the benefits and risks of journalism treated this way?

The role of public media in a modern state. Does the profound transformation of mass media impose a new direction in the development of state media? Can public media compete with private giants? Can state media be independent and impartial? Is public media needed at all?

W czasie wielkich międzynarodowych kryzysów jedną z kluczowych ról odrywają media. Rzetelność ich pracy i obiektywizm często może wpływać na nastroje społeczne, uspokajając albo wprowadzając niepokój. Czy można się pozbyć emocji mówiąc o wydarzeniach, które mogą zmienić bieg historii? Dlaczego dziennikarze coraz częściej w swoich relacjach stają po którejś ze stron konfliktu? Jak ważny jest jasny przekaz pozbawiony nieprawdziwych informacji dla spokojnego funkcjonowania społeczeństwa w warunkach zagrożenia?

One of the main theories of communication speaks of glocalism - looking at the world globally from a local perspective. The same is in case of every recipient of information. First, he wants to know what is happening around his home, and then what is the situation in the country. How important is the role of local media for small towns and regions? How do local media compete with nationwide recipients and advertisers? Do local media have a chance to work without pressure from local government officials?

We have been seeing a global trend for a long time on the Polish media market. Consolidation and acquisition, primarily of industry websites, is to give the strongest advantage on the media market. Why are media giants interested in buying smaller entities from each other? How should public media operate on a commercial market, which must not take over other entities? How much money do you need today to play an important role in the media takeover market?

Propaganda is associated primarily with a totalitarian state, where intellectual and emotional manipulation aimed at achieving the desired social attitudes is based on lies and ethically inappropriate indoctrination. But is media propaganda as an instrument of society manipulation also possible in a modern democratic state?

Theoretically, asking a sufficiently large and proportionally selected (as to age, place of residence and social origin) statistical sample of citizens should result in an opinion on one or another matter - or e.g. citizens' election preferences - as close to the truth as possible. But often this is not the case. Why? Why do surveys ordered even at centers considered absolutely independent differ in their results depending on who is ordering (and paying for) the study? And is it not so that some questioned respond not so much according to their own opinion as to "politically correct" expectations (e.g. in countries dominated by liberal "political narrative" they hide conservative views)? How to create public opinion polling mechanisms that would be free of these burdens?

Social media are an increasingly important player on the advertising market. According to forecasts, advertisers can invest more in advertising in social media in the near future than in television. What factors make advertising on social media so attractive? What will the new reality of the advertising market look like?

The coronavirus pandemic has caused global paralysis. The virus from China will go down in history as the most important event of 2020. On the one hand, all humanity began to fear for their health and life, on the other, the global economy stood over the abyss. Under these circumstances, public moods may prove difficult to predict. Therefore, efficient communication is necessary. How should global governments communicate with citizens during the crisis? How to convey low-optimistic content so as not to cause panic? What responsibility does the media have - both public and commercial - during the crisis? What are the best communication channels on the line public administration-citizen today?

Social media has become an important space for image creation. For both private and public individuals as well as companies. Activity on social media influences how we are perceived by others. This is determined by the photos we share, the opinions we post on the web, the way we express ourselves, what we are interested in or how we dress. Are there any dangers in social media activity? What are the good and bad sides of a digital image? Can we lose control over the image on the web? Are there ethical principles on the web?

The strength of the so-called "fourth power" and its real impact on building public opinion are the assets of the media that are very well known. A free press without censorship is an essential element of any democratic society. However, media often also depend on the business, which puts potential profit first, while pushing freedom of speech into the background. In the era of visible divisions (not only political ones), hasn't "free press" become just an empty slogan? Do truly free media still exist?

Healthcare Forum

Modern technologies are increasingly used in medicine, translating directly into the results of treatment. Thanks to access to innovation, many of the diseases that until recently had to be considered fatal are now becoming chronic. Taking advantage of technological progress, you can not only cure the patient more effectively and faster, but also reduce the costs associated with treatment. What is the process of implementing groundbreaking therapies in Poland?

Despite the act, which will increase funds allocated to health care to 6 percent GDP in 2024, its financing in Poland still remains a challenge, and the situation is exacerbated by a shortage of medical staff and an aging society. Therefore, mechanisms are needed to increase the efficiency of spending, and the funds should go first to those institutions that are able to use them best. Consolidation, purchasing groups, consortia. These are only selected ways to optimize expenses in health protection. But is it effective?

The Benefits for patients and medical personnel resulting from adoption of modern solutions in healthcare are indisputable. E-prescription, E-referral, Online Patient Account, TOPSOR or Office for medical personnel, which have been already implemented in some places in Poland, are the beginning of the new age in healthcare. How does a payer introduce innovativeness and how to take advantage of innovative methods in healthcare infrastructure? Discussion during the panel will be focused on the practical sphere of e-tools, innovative solutions in the healthcare system, the expectations towards these elements in Poland and also on the new EU 2021+ perspective.

The healthcare is one of the most complex areas of the economy. In modern civilization, the rate of illness is faster than treatment options, which is why the demand for medical services far exceeds the possibilities of financing and partly even satisfying them. In the light of this particular importance, the issues of public health, patient awareness and their active participation in the health care system are gaining importance. It is necessary to change the paradigm and combine corrective medicine with educational, preventive and preventive measures.

All questions regarding drug policy are inextricably linked to the budget and financing. The pharmaceutical industry is recognized as one of the most innovative sectors of the global economy and plays a key role in the development of individual countries. The Strategy for Responsible Development indicates the need to strengthen the role of the pharmaceutical sector in Poland. However, this requires creating the right conditions for stability and transparency of the law and incentives for long-term investments.

Non-profit approach isn’t the same as no profit approach. This implies that both private and public hospitals should be managed effectively and make a profit. Financial results are having direct affect the possibility of the development and enhancing quality of medical services and patient care. How does central decisions on medical staff’s salary impact on their motivation?

Ensuring drug and product safety is connected with the need to ensure diversification of supplies and introduction of solutions that will allow the production of active substances in various places around the world, including in Europe. Once again, the question about RTR comes back.

Diseases have always accompanied people. Many of them, because of the huge number of victims, have permanently made history. The coronavirus pandemic made the world stand still for a while and the socio-economic effects will be felt for a long time. What diseases threaten us in the 21st century? What can we do today to prevent another?

Developments in the field of biotechnology and medical science seem particularly important when looking a recent experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. The need to invest in medical science, clinical research, epidemiology or innovative medicines is not only highly topical, but also necessary. These investments must be directed in a targeted and well-thought-out manner, so that both the drug safety of Poles and access to modern therapies or protection against infectious diseases become priority tasks for people are responsible for creating the health policy of the country.


In the face of the coronavirus epidemic, the medical profession proved to be a national good. There is no doubt that medical staff are a component part of the operation of any healthcare system. However, this professional group is still underestimated in terms of remuneration. Does the epidemic of a new infectious disease change the way of thinking of governments and healthcare professionals?

Protective vaccinations are one of the most important and effective interventions in public health. Thanks to them, they managed to eliminate a number of diseases that were considered fatal for decades. The expansion of the vaccination calendar should be one of the state's priorities. One of the priorities, apart from introducing further vaccines for reimbursement, is undoubtedly social education. Currently, due to the coronavirus epidemic and work on a potential vaccine, this topic has gained particular significance. Will we finally trust vaccinations?

Poland-Hungary Forum

Europe’s is getting old and the low birth rates are just one of the reasons. Increasing the number of jobs, ensuring the stability of employment contracts, more kindergartens and nurseries, a financial support program - these are some of the ways to fight demographic problems. How to support families in Europe? How to choose effective solutions, and not those which are only a ballast for the state budget?

Youth is the future of Europe. Building the country's economic and political development requires strength, determination, as well as innovative ideas. People who create the entrepreneurial spirit and motivate others to take the initiative over their own development path can have a positive impact on the policies of individual Central European countries. How to support young leaders?

Building awareness and consolidating historical identity is one of the most difficult tasks that the citizens are facing both in Poland and Hungary. How to promote years of shared history? How to protect original and unique monuments in the region that have become part of the local tradition? How can we work together to save this treasure from oblivion?

Relations between Poland and Hungary were shaped not only by common rulers and saints, but also through intense social and trade relations that deepened mutual trust. It is rare in Europe that both countries have such strong links and influence on each other's culture. How to support the development and encourage youth to take part in it?

The Carpathians are a coherent area that requires special attention from the European Union. Accelerating the development of the Carpathian macroregion needs to deepen cooperation between neighboring countries in this area. How to preserve the unique character of the Carpathian macroregion and how to ensure its sustainable development? How to build cross-border cooperation between the Carpathian states?

The Visegrad Group countries speaking with one voice mean more in the EU than each of them individually. Moreover, thanks to this cooperation, they can be a stronger partner for Western countries. Undoubtedly, Visegrad cooperation is based on trust and common values. Its aim is to jointly represent and coordinate the economic, diplomatic and political interests of Central European countries. However, there are important issues that divide the Visegrad countries. What will the future hold?

Regions Forum

Over the period 2021-2027, Cohesion Policy will continue to support locally managed development strategies and provide local authorities with resources to manage resources. The urban dimension of cohesion policy will be strengthened: 6% of the ERDF will be devoted to sustainable urban development and the European Urban Development Initiative, a new networking and capacity building program for urban authorities. Cohesion policy supports reforms aimed at an investment-friendly environment, as businesses can prosper in such an environment. It is vital that Europe, at all levels, makes the necessary investments that stimulate its economic potential and help create jobs.

Focus on regional development is one of the basic financial and political strategies of the European Union. Stron Europe means strong regions that are able to cope with fierce global competition, implement sustainable development assumptions or carry out investments in a proper way, thanks to which the quality of the region's specialization increases. The aim of the panel is to debate the new assumptions of EU cohesion policy and to present the possibilities of regional cross-border cooperation.

According to a report prepared by the UN in 2018, 68% of the world's population will be living in cities by the 2050. The position of urban centres is evidenced not only by their growing population, but above all the economy. It is fair to say that currently more than 70% of the world's GDP is generated by cities. And they are increasingly influencing global politics. Particularly, since most of the global challenges such as energy, cybersecurity and climate change refer directly to the cities. Some metropolises create special departments responsible for international affairs. Is city diplomacy reserved only for megacities? What are the benefits of actively conducted foreign policy by the city authorities?

What will the cities of the future be like? Definitely smart. Researchers around the world are working on technological solutions that are to make global metropolises more and more friendly, safe, functional and support the needs of residents - in infrastructure, transport, spatial planning, education or entertainment. What technological solutions are the most promising in the transformation of the urban tissue? Which of them will apply in the coming years, and for what do we have to wait for many decades?

After long years of stagnation, the railway returned to favor. Railway investments are one of the most awaited infrastructural investments in Poland. And it's not just about new rolling stock, track or station repairs, but first and foremost about launching new routes that are to prevent communication exclusion and contribute to the development of local Poland. What investments are most awaited? How will the railway change in the coming years? What is the state of the Polish regional railways compared to other Central and Eastern European countries?

The Regional Partnership consists of six Central European countries: Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. The Regional Partnership was established in 2001 on the initiative of the Austrians and is intended to be a forum for dialogue where topics related to current EU policy are addressed. The Regional Partnership is to contribute to the development of joint positions for the countries of the Central European region. Does the Regional Partnership fulfill its functions? What are the experiences so far of the Regional Partnership cooperation?

Degraded areas are inhabited areas where, for various reasons, negative social phenomena are concentrated and whose functions have ceased to be significant, or have been neglected in the planning, political or social process. These include post-industrial and post-military areas, or old downtown districts, where there is high unemployment, crime and low education. In recent years, Polish self-governments have carried out many successful revitalization processes, causing degraded areas to regain their radiance and become representative parts of cities. However, much more needs to be done. What and where should be revitalized? What are the benefits of revitalizing degraded areas? Which of the revitalization projects implemented so far can be a positive example for further such activities?

The International Monetary Fund predicts that in the coming years, due to the coronovirus pandemic, we will face the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s. Many local governments have suspended their investments so far. The government has prepared a programme - the Local Government Investment Fund - to support local investments, the amount of 6 billion zlotys (5 billion zlotys for communes and 1 billion zlotys for districts.

Local authorities are facing an unprecedented health crisis - the COVID-19 pandemic. How are they coping with the disease? Have they received sufficient assistance from the central authorities? What steps should be taken and what should be improved in order to be prepared for a potential second wave of the epidemic?

Mixed, paper or plastic? Although there are some disgraceful exceptions - no segregation at all or tossing one's own garbage into random pergolas in the neighborhood's rubbish bins, more and more residents are placing their garbage in the right containers. However, they are often accompanied by the question why, despite segregation, the prices of waste disposal are still high? What could be done to reduce it?

To attract investors, both foreign and domestic, the region must be attractive. More and more often it is not only the location but also the quality of life that determines the choice of place for investment. Extensive cycling infrastructure, clean water in taps, intelligent transport systems. These are only a few examples of indicators analyzed by investors. How else to increase your investment attractiveness?

In the current economic crisis, the government plans to drive the economy with investments in infrastructure. PLN 30 billion is planned for new roads and railway connections. In this year's budget, the largest Polish voivodeship - Mazowieckie - has been allocated the most funds for the construction and modernization of voivodeship roads. How - and whether - expenditure at the central level will translate into the development of regional infrastructure?

Drought, floods, an ongoing pandemic. This year is a difficult time for agriculture. Disasters have affected the quantity and quality of food produced. How - and if - can we stop the growing food price increase around the world?

Population of small and medium sized towns and cities constitutes about 40% of the total Polish society. Depopulation and the lack of comprehensive development strategies is the greatest threat to these towns. The flywheel of the urban economy is primarily to support the innovativeness of enterprises, stop the decline of the population, attract new residents and develop the brand of cities by using their resources.

Local authorities are on the first line of the struggle with the coronavirus. Crisis management, hospitals equipment, decisions regarding schools, kindergartens and nurseries - these responsibilities fell on the shoulders of local authorities. Simultaneously, they were hit hard by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Tax revenues fell by 40 percent. At the same time, the government has not introduced any legislation to compensate for these losses or at least help finance those additional tasks. Now the local authorities are facing a challenge to prepare for a new reality - the school year is beginning, the budget for 2021 will be adopted soon. How did the epidemic and the crisis affect local authorities? What will the budgets for 2021 look like? Can mayors count on government support? How to build local communities in these new times?

Management Forum

In the last several years, the biggest barrier to economic growth in Poland is bureaucracy, and its vivid manifestation - the overproduction of law. In 2019, 21.5 thousand of pages of legal acts of the highest rank (laws, regulations and international agreements) were adopted in Poland. There is no doubt that in times of such market uncertainty as it is today, a stable legal environment is necessary. What should be done to make entrepreneurs feel safe?

New solutions known as information technology change the traditional approach to doing business. The development of internet technology applications is extremely fast nowdays. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably, and specify the use of internet technology to introduce or extend transactions and business relationships on both the supply side (relationships with suppliers) and the sales side (relationships with customers). Why the e-commerce is the fastest growing sales market in the world?

Good succession is not only a chance to make the best use of the family company's assets, but also a way for future generations to maintain a lasting organization that will reflect the ideals, values and family goals long after the current boss has left. Only ... why only 30% of companies that want to make a generational change on the nestor-successor line succeed? How to prepare for succession?

Work and family life are inextricably linked. Corporate welfare services can be considered as a new form of compensation, convenient for enterprises, for employees and for the society at large. Together, it is urgent to seize this crisis as an opportunity to rethink about the relationships between work and family life, in the light of the demographic challenges currently discussed at the EU level and of the necessary recovery policies debated after the pandemic.

The success of each enterprise is based on motivated, committed employees who care about the best performance of their tasks and duties commissioned by the employer. Current research shows, however, that an increasing number of employees carelessly perform their duties and are often distracted during work, among others thanks to universal access to social media and other materials available on the Internet. Is it the employees 'or managers' fault that the productivity of work decreases at an alarming rate? What incentive system should you choose to ensure full employee involvement in the tasks entrusted?

In the world of a gigantic flow of information, in a real information buzz that takes away a man's chance for virtual analysis, each of us is looking for a way to easily identify what is important and unimportant, what is good and bad. In such a world, does the CEO, the owner of a company must be its symbol and what can it mean? Can the CEO be a brand?

Companies experience the first signs of an economic slowdown. The situation is also complicated by the current coronavirus pandemic, which has significant business implications, including changes in the organization of work and ways of doing business. Companies need strong leaders who can develop a strategy to act in uncertain realities and engage employees in change.

Globalization, strong competition in individual markets, high uncertainty from the environment, and complicated legal regulations mean that stakeholders, including public opinion, more and more often formulate a number of expectations for enterprises, including those related to CSR. In Polish conditions, this idea is relatively unpopular, especially among domestic enterprises. The situation is different on Western European markets or in the USA, where companies operating on these markets are often obliged to adapt business standards to the expectations of various stakeholders, including contractors. However, can really large international corporations be socially responsible? Are these ideas only written on paper or can they be realized in reality?

New Economy

The fall of the Iron Curtain has brough a stagnation to the international arms industry for years. However nowadays the defence sector is flourishing yet again. Interestingly, many states are becoming prone to purchasing hardware from domestic rather than international manufactures which although good for economy is not enough to sustain these companies. With that being said, how can small domestic companies compete with international arms corporations?

In the modern world, innovation is a significant factor in economic development. To encourage companies to invest, including investing in innovation, many countries provide financial support in this area. In addition to subsidies, many countries also provide indirect support in the form of tax breaks focused on innovation activities - investment breaks or R&D discounts. But such solutions cannot be burdened with excessive fortifications, which in turn may discourage their use.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic almost all governments in the world have been forced to act radically. Implemented restrictions caused many job losses. Decrease in wages and the disruption of global supply chains must end with an economic crisis. The recession probably will be even bigger than in 2008. How to mitigate the effects of the global crisis? How can we end it as soon as possible?

Nowadays, the tourism/leisure potential of the region is dictated not only by the presence of picturesque landscapes and famous monuments but increasingly, also the presence of ‘alternative’ leisure spots. Tourism is of vital importance to the local economy hence any new hotspot for travellers should be well taken care of by the local authorities. How can lesser-known landmarks compete with iconic, famous tourist spots? How to support tourism in order to ensure success?

The outflow of population from peripheral localities to large cities, difficult transport accessibility and low population density hamper the socio-economic development of the regions. Asymmetry between the centres and the periphery affects the functioning of the regions, including the development of culture and tourism. What can be done to keep people in the periphery and thus stimulate the development of local cultural activities and creative industries?

The Factory of the Future presents opportunities and challenges. Digitization and automatization of today’s factories can lead to new models of revenue, new possibilities for logistics and manufacturing as well as new roles of humans and machines within the factory. At the same time, these processes also increase the degree of complexity of a factory, create possible dangerous new interdependencies and altogether different security risks. The panel will discuss the opportunities that come with the automation and digitization of factories, how this transition towards this new factory system of systems may look like, but will also consider the new threats that come along, if security is not considered early on in the process.

COVID-19 has shown how dangerous not only for health but also for the economy unforeseen crisis situations can be. The effects of the economic downturn have been felt by all sectors, most notably tourism, events and manufacturing industry, and the world stock exchanges are constantly falling indexes. Is it possible, and to what extent, to anticipate the threat and prepare contingency plans that will prevent similar situations to those at the beginning of 2020? How to develop effective crisis management systems and emergency procedures for companies?

Social capital as a feature of social structure is considered one of the factors of economic development, which allows to answer the question why some economies are more or less efficient than one could infer from other indicators, such as the human capital index.The concept of social capital, however, has many definitions and research methods, making it difficult to measure and define. Regardless, economists and sociologists have no doubts - for the economy to be efficient and competitive, it is necessary to build social capital. Just how to do it?

Circular economy, i.e. circular economy is an increasingly discussed topic both at the level of the European Union and in the country. Such a model certainly brings many benefits to the environment, but at the same time requires certain standards and restrictions - from both entrepreneurs and consumers. Do current regulations and costs support the introduction of such a model? How to support the dissemination of the idea of circular economy?

Industry 4.0, i.e. the fourth industrial revolution assumes the unification of the world of production machines with the virtual world of the Internet and information technology. According to such a vision, Industry 4.0 is the realization of an intelligent factory that needs less and less human interference throughout the entire production and distribution process. How do global organizations invest in digital transformation? What are the main challenges facing companies that want to transform into digital enterprises? How is the process of the fourth industrial revolution taking place in Poland, Europe and other countries of the world?

As a result of the epidemic, the nature of work around the world is changing rapidly. Some of us started working from home. Others have stopped working because of downtime or have simply been dismissed. Two million people feel insecure working under civil law contracts or self-employment. The nature of work and employment is drifting off in an unknown direction. Will governments be expanding or limiting workers' rights? Will we observe an accelerated automation and development of remote work, or moving jobs abroad? Does the full employment idea make sense? Or maybe a basic income should be introduced instead?

Globalization, which consists of economic and political processes inevitable for the development of all countries in the world, is one of the basic concepts of the 21st century. Globalization ensures trade liberalization, information exchange, social integration and development of large international corporations. Globalization processes, however, can be disturbed by a coronavirus pandemic if it results in mass unemployment, bankruptcies and a break in supply chains. Can a pandemic undermine the current shape of globalization? Does the modern world need to deepen globalization processes to ensure further economic development?

The crisis associated with the coronavirus and its aftermath particularly hit the service sector, which is the largest part of developed economies. Tourism, event and logistics business collided with crises suddenly and without preparation. A significant part of this business are small and medium-sized enterprises without significant financial reserves. What should be the model of public aid for those who collide with the crisis at the earliest.

Sport is one of those areas of human life that brings people together regardless of views, age or skin color. It is also a great opportunity for promotion. In many cases, athletes or teams are one of the best ambassadors of cities, regions, countries and even entire continents. Promotion of sport contributes to the dissemination of physical activity among the community, which has a positive effect on public health. Why is it worth investing in sport and how to do it wisely?

The Covid-19 pandemic has visibly changed our daily lives, forcing a number of changes in various areas of our activity, including the economic one. Through the coronavirus restrictions introduced all over Europe, the spectre of economic crisis hung over the continent. What are governments and entrepreneurs doing to save jobs and keep the economy growing? How will the European economy look like after the pandemic?

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have introduced a number of restrictions aimed to stop the spread of the virus. Some, such as Italy, have decided on a full lockdown, keeping only the industry branches necessary for the state to operate. The ways in which the ongoing defrosting of the economy varies from country to country, but everyone is keen to see their industries working at full speed again. How to restore a well-functioning industry and stable economy after the pandemic?

For a number of years Germany has been the biggest trading partner of Poland. Following Germany are Great Britain, Czech Republic, France and Italy. However, recent years have shown a dynamic growth of trading within Central and Eastern European countries. More often, Polish companies are looking for development perspective and should be aware of this trend within Lithuania and Belarus. What challenges, perspectives and opportunities does it provide for Lithuania, Belarus and Poland and mostly for the region of Podlasie? That is the issue for lecturers.

Waste management in Poland is moving towards widest possible recovery of raw materials or energy, so that waste is not a problem, but rather a marketable and valuable commodity. Energy recovery from waste will always be an integral part of waste management system, as it enables the management of those fractions that cannot be recycled and should not be landfilled, but have a high energy value. In the next 6 years, it remains to be seen how waste management in Poland will shape and what role incineration will play in it.

State and Reforms

In the most industrialized countries, there has been a systematic increase in the share of people over 60 in the general population. The increase in the number of older people in society is caused by two basic phenomena: a decrease in the number of births and an increase in life expectancy. Aging societies in Europe can cause economic problems for EU countries. Actual workload may increase with age. How will EU countries deal with this issue? Can the robotization or immigration from regions of the world where the total fertility rate is over 2 born children per parent be the solution?

The digitization of public administration has become a hot topic in recent years. In the Scandinavian countries, the digitization of public administration has already been done, and has served the people for many years. We have been doing shopping for several years without leaving home, why couldn't we submit a passport application in a similar way? Are European countries ready for the digitization of their administrative systems in the era of 5G Internet, and is the virtual transfer of confidential data completely secure?

Organized crime groups are the nightmare of many countries. Not only because of their direct threat to the security of citizens, but also because of their increasing negative impact on the economy. Criminal groups and the mafias that are popular in some regions are moving away from their traditional activities, investing in hotels, construction and waste disposal, among other things, and often committing corruption. What is the impact of organized crime groups on the state economy? How to effectively counteract criminal activities in the economy?

Corruption is an extremely complex problem that occurs in almost every area of life. Its scale is difficult to estimate. Research conducted by Transparency International shows changes in the process of counteracting corruption. Although Europe has been successful in the fight against corruption in recent years, there are still many regions that require more work in this area. How to prevent and fight corruption effectively?

Education and professional knowledge are key factors determining the suitability and success of an employee on the labor market. The education system plays an extremely important role in preparing graduates for the first job. Employers often alert, however, that university graduates have educational gaps and often do not have the skills necessary to successfully complete the recruitment process. That is why the question arises whether the education system responds to the needs of the modern labor market? What professions are the professions of the future? How to adapt the education system to the realities of the labor market?

Pandemic and Universal Basic Income - Pros and Cons
The pandemic brings new facets to the discussion of Universal Basic Income (UBI) - a fixed transfer payment for all citizens regardless of employment. Its supporters consider the introduction of UBI inevitable due to: automation and digitization that removes large groups of employees from the labor market; income instability in flexible employment; reducing the number of compulsory social security funds; aging of the society, etc. Opponents, for their part, point to the ambiguity of the general picture of future societies, fears of reduced motivation to work, financial constraints, etc. What are the pros and cons of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The climate catastrophe is one of the most serious and threatening problems we must face. According to the recent studies, almost 60 percent of respondents in Poland share this opinion. Since the beginning of the year, we have witnessed over 5,000 wildfires in Poland. We have experienced floods, droughts and other severe weather events. Access to water, the right to live in a clean and safe environment are not certain anymore. The effects of the climate catastrophe affect our health, social relations and economic development. How should we tackle it? How to limit its effects? How to plan development policies in these new, difficult conditions?

Relations between the legislative, executive and judicial authorities depend not only on the letter of the law, but above all on democratic traditions and on those in power. The separation of powers is a model applicable in all democratic states, but in each of them the system has its own specificity. The judicial reforms introduced by the government of Law and Justice in Poland arouse much controversy in the country and in the world. How does the separation of powers function in other European countries? Is there an ideal model?

The strength of strategy theory and rules remains underestimated, is poorly utilised or wrongly understood by many leaders of more important corporations, state organs and civil service. Governing large structures of business or state policy requires the development of strategic way of thinking, the knowledge of the scenario building rules and strategy realisation methods. Spectacular failures in various layers of human activity may be linked to attributing to much significance to tactical decisions, logistics or routine activities, instead of focusing on working our strategic priorities and choosing the actions focused on long-term achievements. The participants of this debate will attempt to determine how to build a cohesive strategy guaranteeing success in the economic competition and cooperation environment.

In the economy, politics and science, more broadly in social and public life, the last years of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century confirm the theses about the growing role of women. They bring more forbearance and peace to the world of competition and constant dispute, and are able to build compromises faster and more smoothly, without which we cannot live. Does this mean that women will rule the world?

Climate changes resulting in floods and drought are becoming more and more visible and water is an increasingly scarce resource. In the era of these changes, a coherent policy should be developed to limit the negative consequences of these phenomena. One of the nationwide measures that we can use is retention of water. Until now, no comprehensive document has been created, which brings together multi-faceted strategic actions for the development and implementation of this measure. Is the National Retention Development Program - prepared by the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation in cooperation with partners from the government and science sectors - a response to the identified problems and threats?

Civil societies are particularly sensitive to generational changes and subsequent transformations in the manner of conducting public discourse and politics, understood as concern for the common good. With the next generation entering the forefront of national politics, we ask the question - what policy do young people want? Is it as a social group awaiting changes and being in ideological opposition to older representatives or purely functional changes. How young people intend to take care for common goods in Poland.

The imminent economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing member state governments to seek additional sources of funding for their budgets. Does this mean that the European Funds will now attract even more interest than before? Will countries that have not used the potential of additional EU funds so far turn to this form of improving their budgets?

European transport should be safe, innovative, environmentally friendly. Mobility and an advanced infrastructure network are essential for economic development and, above all, for the free movement of goods and services. That is why it is so important to develop common solutions in Europe for transport policy. What is the future of transport in Europe? What are the current trends and modern solutions for infrastructure development? How should regional cooperation in transport further develop?

In recent months, the world, long and wide, has been paralyzed in a way that has no precedent since 1945. All sectors of the economy have suffered. The lockdown took its toll on transport, tourism, and the hotel industry. But production was put to a halt also due to a shortage of pharmaceutical substances and primary components of consumer goods manufactured in China and shipped to other parts of the world. The only sector to have escaped the recession is new technologies. What does it take to lift the economy out of the crisis? What mistakes should be avoided in the future?

Poland and other countries of the region have been criticized for years for violations of the rule of law. At the same time, we have been hearing for a long time about the need to reform the justice system to increase the efficiency of courts and prosecutors' offices and reduce the risk of unjust prosecutions and convictions. Poland's position in many international rankings of the quality of democracy and economic freedom is falling, and the investment rate in relation to GDP in Poland reached in 2017. the lowest value since 1995. What impact does the rule of law have on this? What lessons can we learn from disputes about the rule of law in Poland and the region? What should be the main points on the rule of law agenda that would allow real justice reform? Why this is important for democracy and economic growth in particular in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic.

The years 1989-1991 marked a breakthrough for many countries of Central and Eastern Europe which regained their sovereignty and carried out democratic and economic reforms. The majority of them were integrated into the Western supranational structures, i.e. the EU and NATO. But the balance sheet of the 30 years of freedom in this part of the world remains ambiguous, namely due to the crisis of liberal democracy, the revival of nationalism, social pauperization, peripheral development, etc. Are these challenges surmountable and how does Ukraine position itself against this background?

International Politics

The "Divide and Rule" principle has been present in politics since the Roman Era. Its primary goal is to incite internal conflicts in subordinate (for example, in the field of information) areas and to act in conflict as a conciliator of the conflicting parties. In the so-called realpolitik, there are no eternal alliances and the weaknesses of countries that use sentiments and emotions are used, not a countries using pragmatic approach. This principle can also be applied in internal affairs of the country. It consists in the fact that the basic goal of stronger centers of power is to defend its position by weakening the opposing forces by fighting or inciting conflicts. Is this principle still applied in political life? What are its positive and negative effects?

In the face of contemporary threats to European security, the deeper integration of NATO armies is a must. However, what is the most effective way of achieving this synthesis? Joint hardware procurements, multinational exercises, or maybe international foreign deployments and mixed units? Is there one ‘Golden Mean’ to this or is the issue much more complicated?

For many the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ equalled the need do dismantle NATO as it suddenly became obsolete. However the current geopolitical situation clearly indicates that there still is a need for collective security organisation such as the Alliance. The number of threat is so great that different members have different security priorities depending on their geographical and political position. What is the greatest contemporary threat to European security? Russia, China, Iran or the cyber-sphere in general?

A divide between a democratic West and an authoritarian East has been true for decades or even centuries. Russia and China have always been ruled with an iron, feudal fist and never knew the taste of liberal democracy. Even today, behind the façade of democracy there lurks authoritarianism. The West, on the contrary, built its identity on the foundation of liberalism. The problem is that an authoritarian rule has always had it easier than liberal one. It doesn’t have to explain itself to the public, worry about reelection, the opposition or human rights – in line with the principle that the end justifies the means. Will this trend be amplifying with the demographic depression of the West? Should liberal societies choose to fight with the same weapon to level the playing field in international relations?

The Polish-Croatian project has undoubtedly an attractive image. Nevertheless, from a political point of view, it is difficult to mention any tangible results coming from this initiative. Moreover, in the opinion of most experts, the Three Seas Initiative should focus primarily on economic aspects. One of the more important examples of economic joint ventures is the Three Seas index (the so-called CEEplus) listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, in which the main goal is to show the investment attractiveness of the region. Will similar policy mechanisms also follow the instruments of economic cooperation? Does the Three Seas Initiative have a chance to become a real geopolitical force in the Old Continent?

Nagorno-Karabakh, Transdnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and more recently Donbass - these are all areas of conflict. The para-states created by Russia to paralyze the independent policy of post-Soviet countries and maintain Russian influence in the area of the former Empire. Will the international community be able to escape the trap of "frozen conflicts" and get real progress in resolving them?

The population of EU countries is 450 million - more than the United States and Russia combined. The EU is the largest trade organization in the world and generates a quarter of the world's wealth. As an organization, it is a member of the G7 (together with four other EU members) - a group of countries that decide on the direction of development of global politics and trade. On the one hand, the EU would like to maintain its position in economic globalization, guaranteeing favorable trade and investment exchange on a global scale, on the other, it is clearly visible that it is politically lagging behind the US rivalry with Russia and China. Is the EU making full use of its position and capabilities?

The two candidates propose a large number of economic policies they would introduce upon winning the presidency. From taxing wealth and income to industrial and trade policies, European business will feel the impact. The invited experts will analyze selected economic planks and offer predictions of their success. They will specifically bring out their relevance to American trade and investment in Europe.

Bilateral German-Polish relations have a very important role in the united Europe. Despite historical conflicts, reconciliation and the development of good neighbourly relations have been achieved. 30 years after the political changes in Poland and the reunification of Germany, it can be said that this was the best period for cooperation in the history of both nations. How can we use the positive experiences? What chances do Poland and Germany have for the coming years?

The example of the global Covid-19 pandemis has shown just how undecided some European leaders are. First, they criticised the EU for interfering with internal politics of member states. At the same time when the pandemics came, they criticised Brissels for the lack of centralised decision on shutting the borders and declaring EU-wide emergency state. What should be the future of EU be when it comes to decision-making? Further decentralisation or the consolidation of decision-making powers?

By using public popular tools, such as social networks like Facebook, Twitter it is possible to influence the public opinion of a foreign country to the extent that might even affect the election results. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the so-called trolls, operating for the needs of the global players. A significant activity of such measures is also noticed in Poland. Will the cyberwar become the main battlefield between the poles in the future? How hostile activities in the network affect the shaping of European geopolitics? How small and medium-size countries can effectively protect themselves against the effects of hostile activities in the network? How can common education help in this matter?

What is Russia today? Is the wide-spread on the West opinion of an authoritarian state, where fundamental human rights are not respected, true? Or maybe the image of a country where power has a social mandate, created by the governmental media is real? How do Russians see the situation in Russia today and how do European observers see it?

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic affects many aspects of our lives: economic, social, political. In such a difficult period as the last months, an additional problem for the states is the effective foreign policy. Therefore, it should be extremely important for the authorities to ensure a stable position of the state on the international arena. However, this is not an easy task with the divergent interests of many countries, which sometimes impede the principle of "unity is strenght", which should guide the international community in difficult times. What impact will the coronavirus have on the development of inter-state relations? Will the Covid-19 pandemic change the current order and create new directions for international integration?

Polish "Eastern Specialization", based on almost a century-long tradition of Sovietology studies, has a great importance for Poland and significant impact on its position in the region, enabling the strengthening of positive relations with the governments and economies of its Eastern neighbors and building a positive image of our country abroad. Thought the analyzing of the nine decades of Polish Sovietology - presenting its historical achievements, educating and rising the elites and the activities of the contemporary continuators, we will present Poland's leading role in the region in tightening cooperation with Eastern partners, promoting scientific achievements in the field of Eastern studies, scientific and research networking to support broad dialogue between the societies of: Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in the context of building a civil society, taking into account the historical role and importance of Poland, promoting the Eastern Partnership as a project of Eastern European Neighborhood Policy, which contributes to create political, social, economic and cultural ties between the European Union and countries of the Eastern Partnership region.

Plenary Sessions

Europe - a continent based on a community of nations and values - has to face up to new challenges. Migration crisis, financial breakdowns, COVID pandemic - these are threats that put the heads of state to the test and require solidarity. Are the values underlying the Polish Solidarity movement, thanks to which we overthrew communism in the peaceful way, still valid? Is it possible to ensure internal security and harmonious economic development based on these basic values such as solidarity, freedom and community? Is Europe, if put to test, still ready to show solidarity?

The European economy is developing in a difficult global context. While economic growth forecasts in the so-called old EU countries do not reach even 2 percent, Central and Eastern European countries and Malta achieved the highest growth in 2019, oscillating from 3.5-5 percent. Is this growth dynamics still "cutting coupons" from a kind of " backwardness pension" in the region or the effect of a good strategy? How to use in the best way the region's potential for the development of economic cooperation throughout the EU?

The coronovirus pandemic was (is) a test of government efficiency and effectiveness. Its scale and range can be comparable only to the impact of the great crisis of the 1930s. The effect of this crisis was the strengthening of totalitarian regimes and the outbreak of World War II. The 2020 pandemic has led to widespread restriction of civil rights in a democratic world. And yet the most effective in the fight against the virus was the authoritarian Chinese model. Does this mean that we are witnessing the twilight of the world of liberal democracies?

Society

In Europe in XXI century the coexistence of different cultures or religions within one country, is becoming a common phenomenon. Is the multiculturalism an aspect that can enrich the tradition and culture of a given country, or should we be worried that this trend might have a devastating effect to values and social order? Is the existence of many different cultural, national and religious groups within one country possible?

Sport today is not only the competition of the world's best athletes and lucrative sponsorship contracts and TV broadcasting rights. Sport is also actions aimed at promoting social integration, especially among the youngest people. Many sports stars actively participate in such initiatives or establish their own foundations, promoting values important to each society. How to use the popularity of athletes to achieve social goals? Is it possible to effectively integrate society through sporting competitions?

Active citizenship in the basic definition is free, voluntary activity for the benefit of the state or the local community. An active citizen knows his rights and obligations, participates in elections, is involved in the life of his community, represents his community and cares for its interests. An active citizen undertakes initiatives to improve the functioning of his nearest environment. Why active citizenship is important? Does it have a real impact on the proper functioning of the state? Can active citizenship be learned?

Cultural diplomacy is one of the key foreign policy tools. It aims to build the image and position of the state on the international stage. The proper application of cultural diplomacy through the promotion of tradition, history or art brings measurable political and economic profits. In recent years, new activities have been undertaken in cultural diplomacy. These activities are aimed at building a dialogue between representatives of different cultures who want to get to know and understand each other. Which countries of the world are exemplary in conducting cultural diplomacy? What is cultural diplomacy in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries like?

The panel is meant to present mutual stereotypes in the view of the latest common history by Poles and Russians (topics such as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Katyn, the Warsaw Uprising). In the current tense political relations between the two countries, such a discussion should help to understand the rationale the other party by the decision-makers present among the panel guests and possibly lead to corrections in the historical policy of Poland and Russia.

The activity of non-governmental organizations most often focuses on activities for democracy, civil liberties, human and animal rights and environmental protection. Non-governmental organizations shape modern citizens and reach a wider audience. Are NGOs the future of strength and civil unity? Who's afraid of NGOs?

Forty years ago, Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki were the first to stand on the summit of Mount Everest in winter. Earlier, nobody believed that a person could survive in the winter at an altitude of over 7,000 meters. The historic ascent of Poles to the top of the eight-thousanders has changed the world of himalaism. In Poland, discipline has gained immense popularity, which it enjoys to this day. What is the Polish winter Himalayan mountaineering like today?

The problem of smog has been taken up by public opinion and the media for many years. Every year, especially in the so-called during the heating season, millions of Poles must breathe contaminated air, which has a very negative impact on health and can even lead to death. What progress has Poland made over the past few years in reducing air pollution? How do we compare in this respect compared to other European Union countries?

Although during the communist era the authorities tried to control all aspects of public life, including artistic activity, which according to the idea of socialist realism was to serve propaganda purposes, literature was one of the main pillars of the fight for freedom and dignity of the citizen. Today, in countries where attempts to increase control of social life by the authorities are observed, such as in Russia or Belarus, can literature still act as the conscience of the nation? Can contemporary literature inspire political changes? Are contemporary writers still fighting for freedom?

The coronavirus crisis has proved to be an exceptional challenge for Europeans, Chinese and Americans. Whole communities and individuals as well felt their helplessness, for the first time on such a large scale, regardless of the place. At the same time, a huge number of initiatives appeared on the web, giving the opportunity to preserve faith in man and his dedication in seemingly hopeless situations. How to help others, is there any universal way to convince others to do so, how to gather co-workers around the noble initiatives?

Family is one of the highest values for people in Poland. Although the modern family model is constantly changing, it is still a very important factor in social life. What affects changes in the perception of the family as a basic social unit? What factors have the greatest influence on the development of family ties?

History is a teacher of life - says an old Latin sentence. It helps to solve problems, to understand the old times, teaches, cultivates, commemorates and documents great actions. Is a source of inspiration and fascination. It allows to get to know the history and achievements of people who influenced the course of the world and life of many people. Should the young generation of Europeans have a lesson in history? What did the turbulent fate of the continent teach them? Is a common approach to history more important than the historical policy of each country separately?

For many years there has been a public debate in Poland about the healthcare model – from its financing to its availability for citizens. Debates around this issue leads to conflict between two visions: national healthcare versus private healthcare. But is there a chance to compromise? That is the issue for lecturers.

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