The Slovenia Times

Coping with Fear, Promoting Prosperity



However, this event is so much more than a brief meeting of minds. Past experience shows the Bled Forum has a lasting impact, not only for those who attend it but for society in general.

"The Bled Forum on Europe provides unique opportunities for participants to go beyond the daily agenda of their respective institutions, corporations and non-governmental organisations," explains Blaž Golob, the director of the Centre for eGovernance Development (CeGD). "They can bring about the common denominator for making life better with a future, long-term oriented view".

Long-term impact

A quick review of past events shows the impact these discussions have on governmental policy. In 2010, the focus of the event was the future of the information society and challenges for good governance. The objectives included contributing to the advancement of future-oriented and knowledge-based good governance around Europe. It was a mission that was accomplished: the event included development of policy concepts and providing inputs for various European Union policies. This sort of influence is not uncommon. In 2008, the event had an impact on the debate about climate change. In 2002, the forum influenced the enlargement process in the European Union, and in 1998 the Bled Forum showed support for the formation of the International Criminal Court.

Golob says that the key challenges facing the information society are constantly changing - and that the strength of the Forum is that it evolves to reflect these changes.

"In 1996 towards 2000 it was a great motivation that governments would take serious considerations regarding global challenges and realisation of global goals such as millennium development goals", he explains.

"The real issue today is how governments could deliver what they declare that they will do in cooperation with corporate sector and civil society. In many areas and many parts of the world challenges are ignored but on the other hand in the Western economies there is still a lot of work to be done and some of the existing development models to be reshaped."

Addressing current issues

The topic at the 2011 Forum will be governance of fear and prosperity. The topic for this year's event was, as is traditional, decided on at the end of last year's. The aim was to ensure that, in the middle of the financial crisis, the forum looked at how governments, companies and individuals are coping with fear. At the same time, the aim is to uncover how they provide opportunities and conditions for prosperity.

As always, a number of influential speakers will be on hand to debate the issues. Among them will be Jerome C. Glenn, the world-leading futurologist; Mohamed Al Qaed, chief executive of the eGovernance Authority of Bahrain; Professor Dr Aleš Debeljak of the University of Ljubljana; Dr Barbara Haering of the European Research Area Board of the European Commission; and Tanja Fajon of the European Parliament.

Together they will offer insight into the complex issue up for discussion at this year's Forum and, with their fellow participants, no doubt ensure the ongoing influence of this important event.

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