Is it bad to be disappointed with democracy? Does a citizen have to be civic? Do we have to tolerate intolerance? These relevant questions reflect the heated debates in the public realm and are becoming increasingly relevant in Lithuanian society today. In the “Demokratija šiandien” (eng. “Democracy Today”) series of events, which is part of the long-awaited “Tavo žodžio vasara” (eng. Summer of Your Word”) project, we will be looking for answers to these questions together with young people and leading experts.
The “Demokratija šiandien” series consists of three debates in major Lithuanian cities, exploring the key topics of democracy – knowledge about democracy, civic engagement, and tolerance. Two experts – politicians, journalists, academics, or others – and two young people from the younger generation will debate on a hear-understand-answer basis and try to answer the above-mentioned questions. A podium debate will round off the debate series throughout the summer.
The promotion and continuation of the hear-understand-answer principle are one of the objectives of this series of events. Today, we can observe discussions and debates in the public sphere that are not constructive, do not lead to positive change, or are even organised in an instrumental way, rather than with the aim of building a strong and consolidated civil society. It is this principle that calls for active listening – participation, reflection, and response – to take the debate further. This debate will seek to promote this principle of debate – the foundation of a lively discussion – so that we can hear as many valuable and transformative debates as possible in Lithuania.
Democracy Today also aims to encourage young people to get involved in politics, to engage in social activities, to boldly debate issues of common concern in their communities, and to strengthen young people’s awareness and independent critical thinking.
Spectators of the events will also be involved in the debates by asking questions to the debaters on the Slido platform. The event will be streamed on the Youth Debate Facebook account.