11th edition of the Young Bled Strategic Forum, held between 26 and 28 August entitled ‘Democracy fit for the new age’, will focus on the discussions regarding challenges our democracies face in response to the transformation of our societies.

Thirty-six young people from 20 different countries participating in this year’s conference will be joined by 20 speakers, panellists and workshop facilitators.

As every year, the conference has a particular leitmotif – this time it is covered by the title ‘Democracy fit for the new age’. Democracy is not a static term or a form of governance – it evolves to correspond with the transformations of our societies, our understanding of what it means to be democratic, and in response to the changing environments. There has been no shortage of societal disruption in recent years – from the Covid-19 pandemic, the return of war in Europe, and pervasive technological developments to a growing polarisation within our societies.

Are our democracies catching up with these changes? Are we capable of providing answers to the challenges we are facing within our current systems of governance? Are they fit for the new age? These are just some of the questions that the participants will address through the prism of four content pillars, which will focus on 1) the search for joint international solutions to international challenges (transnational cooperation), 2) prosperity through diversity, 3) the advantages and disadvantages of democracies; and 4) the role of the media and disinformation.

The three-day conference will begin on Friday, 26 August with the visit of the National Assembly of the Republic where the President of the National Assembly, mag. Urška Klakočar Zupančič will open Young BSF 2022 and join an interactive discussion on the topic of challenges and opportunities of democracies, with speakers Ms Katja Geršak, Executive Director of Centre for European Perspective, Ms Lucija Karnelutti, EU UN Youth Delegate 2022/23 and Ms Dolores Kores, Director Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.

The following two days will explore democracies through the prism of four thematic pillars: I) Media literacy and information society; II) Prosperity through diversity; III) Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?; IV): Joint solutions for joint challenges; with participants engaging in discussions and a diverse evening programme.

Young BSF is made possible with the contribution of the Interreg ADRION Programme and the EUSAIR Facility point, supported by the European Union and cooperating within the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region; Danube Transnational Programme and Priority Area 10 ´Institutional capacity and cooperation´ Supported by the European Union, that are engaged within the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region; Central European Initiative (CEI) and Triglav d.d.