Agenda

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0830 hrs
Opening Registration
0900 hrs
Welcoming Remarks
0910 hrs
Keynote: Hon. Mr. Tony Abbott, Fr. Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia

On-Stage talk with Glenn van Zutphen, Founder & CEO, Van Media Group (Singapore)

1010 hrs
Plenary Panel

They cultivate their own personal brand of politics while undermining institutions and altering the laws of democratic accountability. Yet countries across the globe have seen iliberal characters rise to power and even encourage a cult of personality. Often with charming duplicity and bullying behaviour, how and why do strongmen rulers continue to appeal to their voters and how does the world deal with this continuing phenomenon?

1140 hrs
Coffeebreak
1200 hrs
Breakout Session A

In recent decades, we have witnessed a sharp increase in the variety of news and information sources available to us. Facing this flood of information, accompanied by humans’ natural instinct to be comforted rather than confronted, people tend to stick with the news that reinforces their beliefs.  With mainstream media outlets in existential crises and societies increasingly divided not only in what they read, but even what facts they choose to believe, what is the future of news media? How can the media tide through this crisis and continue to serve its role in functioning democracies?

Breakout Session B

The past two years of COVID-19 pandemic has been considered as the “true crisis of the 21st-century”. This crisis has exposed both the strengths and weaknesses of different political regimes, but what remains steadfast is the resolve of governments, parties, politicians, and the people to continually seek fresh and strong legitimacy in governing the public, more so in solving these crises. This panel will look deeper on how certain issues influenced campaigns such as the impact of the pandemic, geopolitical ramifications, growing economic inequality, increased political polarization, and infighting within political parties.

1330 hrs
Lunch
1430 hrs
Breakout Session A

There has been a perceived lack of interest from the next generation in political participation. However, is political participation in decline or is society just moving away from traditional methods of addressing social issues? As large-scale collective action reverberated across the globe in recent years, what is the future of social movements in influencing the way we conduct politics?

Breakout Session B

With internet driven fabrications, conspiracy theories and state sponsored propaganda flooding cyberspace, a blurring of lines has been created between entertainment and news. Research has shown that a significant portion of the Russian population supports military action in Ukraine, citing clichés of state propaganda in their reasoning. The most recent presidential elections in the Philippines was said to have been won through social media mythmaking that rewrote history. How has the internet that was once seen as a mechanism to promote knowledge, solidarity and understanding been used by leaders, spin doctors and conspiracy theorists to promote hatred, paranoia and fear?

1600 hrs
Coffeebreak
1620 hrs
Breakout Session A

New media has radically altered the manner in which government institutions operate and caused major disruptions in the political communication process. It possesses the capability to disseminate information directly to the public without the intervention of editorial or institutional gatekeepers, which are intrinsic to traditional legacy outlets. How has new media been used to relay political messaging to even the most disinterested citizens and enable the creation of digital public squares where opinions can be openly shared?

Breakout Session B

Digital technologies can improve or undermine democracy, depending on who controls them and how they are used. While digital media have provided platforms to empower the marginalized voices and enhance citizen engagement, concerns have also emerged on various fronts. For instance, proprietary search engine algorithms can be manipulated to influence voters. Personal data on various digital platforms can be used to analyse behaviours and preferences for crafting targeted political communications. Citizens can use digital platforms to build their own “walled gardens” which exclude those they disagree with. We are also witnessing the dominant social media platforms in both democratic and non-democratic states routinely censoring political speech. How has digital democracy evolved over the years, what are the main drivers of these changes, and how can citizens still be meaningfully practice democratic citizenship today?

1800 hrs
Opening of Networking Reception

Caroline’s Mansion, Level 1, St Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 2479111

1840 hrs
Networking Dinner