IAF Seminars 2017

IAF Seminars 2017
IAF Seminars 2017
Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit

Please find here the overview about all IAF seminars we offer in 2017.

If you are interested in participating or want more information please contact -before the indicated closing date- the Friedrich Naumann Foundation representative in your country who will kindly give you more details about taking part in our seminars! 

FNF Contact Data Worldwide

As our program is designed to support our projects abroad, the projects identify and suggest participants for our seminars. Hence we can not offer the possibility to register for our programs directly.

Moderation: Facilitation and Program Design, 29.01. - 10.02.2017

TOPIC
The Moderation and Facilitation seminar is aimed at supporting members of NGO’s, Political Parties, Think Tanks and other organisations who are responsible for the planning and implementation of training and development sessions and events to:

  • Consider refreshed ways to create a liberal environment in training sessions and events, where an audience is able to participate fully and think well for themselves;

  • Deepen their knowledge of, and ability to, apply innovative, relevant and fun facilitation methodologies leading to interactive events and learning sessions;

  • Consider the various roles and responsibilities at learning and development sessions, and events;

  • Deepen their understanding of the various elements of organising and implementing successful and meaningful seminars, workshops or events, including investigating the needs of the audience in order for it to be relevant and responsive; and,

  • Share best practice and experiences with each other about learnings, successes, ideas and challenges in their organisations and regions, as well as receive input and learnings from experts in the field.

METHODOLOGY
Participants will continuously learn through doing, participating in group work, pair conversations, debates and role-play focused on improving their understanding of themselves as facilitators, while enhancing their unique communication, listening, language and leadership skills.  

OBJECTS
The seminar will continuously draw on two streams of learning. On the one hand, participants will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of programme development in order to be more successful at organising, scripting, designing and implement innovative, relevant and meaningful sessions and events in their organisations. On the other hand, the seminar will take an individual skills development approach with the second learning stream considering the unique development needs and ways of being of each participant. This means that participants will be encouraged to consider their own individual strengths and needs, deepening their skills through practical exercises, feedback and reflection.

TARGET GROUP
This seminar is aimed at public representatives, staff members or members of liberal NGOs, Political Parties and Think Tanks who are actively involved with, or responsible for the design, planning and implementation of training and development sessions, or events. The seminar is best suited to individuals who have some level of experience in training or event scripting and planning, and who want to continue deepening their skills, experience and knowledge.

SEMINAR FOCUS
The seminar will further explore ways to effectively deal with challenging or difficult scenarios in training sessions or events, such as conflict resolution, managing moods and energy levels, managing the needs of different role players and encouraging interactivity, particularly at events and in large groups. Participants will be encouraged to consider the social, often non-political, trends impacting on training and development sessions, and events.

LANGUAGES
English, Spanish

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

[Download full abstract (pdf)]

 

Freedom of Movement - A liberal principle challenged, 05.03. - 17.03.2017

PROGRAMME
The 12-day workshop at the International Academy for Leadership will begin with an overview of liberal principles embodied in articles 13 to 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 

  • “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state;”
  • “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country;” 
  • “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” 

The principle of freedom of movement will be discussed against the background of liberal thought, its relationship with other rights and its importance for economic freedom and economic development. 

We will then address the challenges posed by nationalists and populists who have questioned the principle and launched successful anti-immigration campaigns throughout the world. Brexit is just one of many such examples. Moderate politicians are reacting by demanding “tougher” policies on migration. Is this the right approach? What has the liberal response been? What should it be?     

THE EXCURSIONS
One half-day and a 3-day excursion will be devoted to looking at ways in which Germany, the host country, has dealt with and is dealing with migration, migration and politics, and the specific approaches adopted by liberals

THE FINAL SESSIONS
The last two days will focus on discussing and formulating a set of general guidelines for a liberal policy on the issue of migration. The central concern will be how to preserve and develop sound ways of protecting freedom of movement. Special consideration will be given to the task of protecting victims of repression and war, tackling abuse of relevant rights that already exist and protecting the legitimate interests of host countries dealing with massive influxes of migrants. Objectives and opportunities: The workshop presents an opportunity to reflect a) on the central importance of freedom of movement and its economic, social and cultural benefits and b) on the rights of persecuted minorities and victims of war and armed conflict, their rights to be protected. 

It is also a chance to gain comprehensive information on challenges facing different countries with respect to migration in general and to refugee-related issues and various ways in which they are being tackled.
The overall aim is to produce a set of general policy  guidelines with respect to all important issues discussed.
  
TARGET GROUP
Participants must be young leaders in positions of responsibility from political parties, the legal profession, civic initiatives, the media and the civil administration. They are expected to be liberal in outlook and have a basic knowledge of what liberalism is and, in particular, of its values and objectives. The seminar is designed not as a basic introduction to the topics presented above, but as an opportunity to reflect and exchange views on appropriate ways of dealing with the challenges of migration. We expect participants to have first-hand knowledge and practical experience of dealing with migrants, refugees or asylum seekers. Some participants will be asked to prepare a short presentation on one of the topics of the workshop.

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

[Download full abstract (pdf)]

 

Strengthening NGOs, 26.03. - 07.04.2017

Strengthening NGOs - Winning Support For Ideas And Their Political Implementation

TOPIC
At the heart of a strong and dynamic NGO or Think Tank is a powerful team with a shared purpose, a compelling vision for the future and a clear strategy for delivery. 

This statement lies at the heart of the Strengthening NGOs’ seminar, during which participants will not only be supported to consider different ways through which they can increase the capacity, sustainability and impact of their organisations, but also be invited to reflect on their organisation’s vision and reason for existence, and deepen their understanding of how they can grow their own leadership skills, becoming powerful influencers in their organisations. Taking the time to work with this process regularly enables NGOs and Think Tanks to become internally and externally aligned strategy-focused organisations.  

This is all the more important given the rapid changes we are seeing in the world today — a young millennial population with a different DNA than their predecessors, greater political instability, the ever-changing donor interests, increased competition for eye balls across social media and the general rapid pace of change that is required of organisations in order to survive in a volatile and uncertain world. Organisations need to differentiate and have a unique offer to the world, and nurture the ability to constantly innovate in order to achieve more with less.  

During the course of the seminar, participants will continuously be engaged in two streams of learning:

  1. A focus on the skills and knowledge required to build and grow robust, responsive and relevant NGOs and Think Tanks in their environments;
  2. A focus on themselves, their own self-awareness, leadership and role in the organisation and team.

As a result, the seminar will offer a space in which participants will be asked to reflect on and respond to three key spheres in order to achieve clarity and alignment.

METHODOLOGY
This seminar will draw richly on creative and innovative facilitation methodologies, not only to support the learning of participants during the seminar, but also to provide participants with processes and ways through which they can support organisational learning and planning in their own organisations. 
To make the experience as productive as possible and create readiness for the program, participants will be requested to share the past, present and future story of their organisations through a reflection template before the start of the seminar. 

Participants will leave with a refined and holistic organisational strategy, supporting our partners to fulfil their vision of a more liberal society around the world.

THE WHY
where participants will:

  • Reconnect with and refine their organisation’s vision, purpose and core values, and further refine its offer to the world;
  • Revisit their organisation’s story so far and capture key learnings about themselves and the environment they work in; and,
  • Envisage the concrete short term and long term changes they would like to achieve in relation to the issues, target groups and geographies they aim to impact.

THE WHAT
where participants will:

  • Holistically realign their organisation’s strategy (projects, products, structure, people, process) to achieve change that is in flow with their core purpose, values and strengths.

THE HOW
where participants will:

  • Deepen their understanding of the organisation’s brand, how it is established, and consider ways to strengthen it;
  • Learn how and share ways through which external role-players can be engaged in order to build powerful relationships, access funds and resources with which to bring about change and deliver results;
  • Reflect on their own leadership skills, self-awareness and way of being as a powerful tool through which to effect change;
  • Consider ways, and gain skills with which to support and capacitate their teams through development, mentoring, coaching, leadership support and training; and,
  • Share useful practices, ideas and challenges, learnt from each other and other experts, thereby gaining insights into NGOs and NGO management from around the world.

TARGET GROUP
This seminar is ideally suited for representatives of liberal NGOs - such as economic Think Tanks, Human Rights Defenders etc. - who work in close cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in their respective countries or regions. 
Potential participants should ideally hold a leadership or management position in their organisation, and have the ability to determine or impact on the strategic direction of their organisation, and implement organisational and people development processes or programmes.

 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

[Download full abstract (pdf)]

 

Leadership for Young Leaders, 23.04. - 05.05.2017

Seminar with preparatory online phase: 20 March - 2 April 2017

TOPIC
Are great political leaders born or can leadership be learned? This is an age-old question, answered by liberal democracies in the following way: Political leaders “are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience” (Jago, 1982). We believe that leadership can be learned. At the basis of leadership, lies a set of skills and knowledge enabling the leader to be effective at what they do. But, these skills and knowledge are in turn influenced by certain specific attributes and traits of any individual leader, such as their beliefs, feelings, values, ethics and character. Where knowledge and skills enable the process of political leadership, attributes and traits give the leader certain way of being that make her or him unique.

SUBJECTS
Our seminar will follow these different aspects of political leadership. On the one end, we will widen and deepen our understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to be a political leader But importantly, we will also explore individual leadership attributes and traits, growing self-awareness in order to develop and utilise these unique qualities to attract and motivate followers, to inspire them with our vision and to establish trust in our political leadership.

TARGET GROUP
Young Leaders from liberal parties and NGOs.

 

LANGUAGES
English, French

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

[Download full abstract (pdf)]

 

Future Workshop: Smart Cities and Modern Mobility, 14.05. - 21.05.2017

TOPIC
Using Apps for finding a shop or restaurant or looking for some friends nearby is already a reality and millions of people all around the world are using those conveniences every day. Still, this is just the first step of possible developments and changes of our cities. By using “big data” and digitalization our cities can turn into smart cities and help us to manage today’s and future challenges of growing cities in fields such as administration, urban planning, environment, economic development and others. Transparency, participation and better decision making should be among the chances of smarter cities as well. However - and especially from a liberal perspective - privacy protection and keeping autonomy of one’s own data must be taken into consideration.
A special focus of this workshop will be also on the changes in the sector of mobility. Many cities suffer from traffic congestion and related environmental and economic costs. Using the opportunities of digitalization and mobile communication can be an opportunity to solve or alleviate traffic problems.
Although some of the trends and developments are or turn into global trends immediately, our countries and cities are diverse and face different challenges. Developing a strategy to make the right decisions today and to put the subject on the political agenda are part of the workshop and will help participants to take concrete ideas back home.

OBJECTIVES

Participants

  • have a clearer idea of what makes a city a smart city
  • explore/know technological and lifestyle trends from around the world
  • are aware of the ever changing environment of urban development and the need to remain open and flexible
  • explore preconditions and challenges for technology, infrastructure and politics
  • explore challenges and advantages for individuals, societies and the economy
  • are aware of the main advantages and disadvantages of linking urban development and digitalisation
  • identify criteria for a smart city from a liberal perspective
  • formulate recommendations for liberal policy makers 

Soft objectives:
Participants exchange knowledge and experience with FNF colleagues in Germany

SUBJECTS
The following list is a collection of possible subjects (brainstorming) but needs to be focused on specific relevant items. In general the perspective of the "smart citizen" should be taken and provide the workshop with a unique and liberal profile, i.e. discussing subjects from an individual's viewpoint.

  • Current Trends of digitalization and their impact on smart cities and modern mobility (introduction, terms and definitions, state of affairs regarding the subject, possibly open data)
  • Specific perspectives in selected areas:

a) Smart Cities / Urban Planning

  • Social affairs and education (health, education, child care)
  • Environment and utilities
  • Business promotion: business and job opportunities (high speed internet, open data)

b) Participation

  • Transparency, citizen participation and (local government) politics
  • Challenges of “big data”: protection of privacy and autonomy of one's own data

c) Mobility

  • Solving the congestion and traffic problems of growing cities
  • Individual mobility (traffic management systems, autonomous driving)
  • Public transportation
  • Transportation of goods and freight

•    The differences of challenges in diverse countries: concrete conclusions for necessary decisions in our own countries and cities.

Strategies to increase awareness for the subject and put it on the agenda of (local) decision making bodies.
 

TARGET GROUP

  • Representatives of liberal parties, liberal governments, think tanks and NGOs who work in or take specific interest in digitalization, mobility or urban planning from project countries of FNF   
  • Liberal academics and practitioners in the above mentioned areas
  • A high level of participation and openness towards interactive new methods are required

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

[Download full abstract (pdf)]

Political Leadership, 11.06. - 18.06.2017

TOPIC
In a state where citizens shall participate and where pluralism shall develop, tasks need to be solved through interaction and problems through joint action. External and internal factors influencing political affairs are often perceived as threat to the private sphere by citizens. The power to reform political institutions rests primarily upon the individual’s ability to accomplish its own and collective interests.

Personnel, structural and institutional factors determine the capacity to act and the decision-making ability of a political system as well as its competence to solve problems. Setting a target, its planning, organization and controlling belong to the political management like integral communication and pragmatic moderation belong to political leadership.    

OBJECTIVES
The International Academy for Leadership (IAF) will pick up the topic ‘Political Leadership’ in a seminar by looking at political leadership from the following perspectives:

  • present state politics: processes and problems (0.5 day)
  • values and constraints of democratic leadership (1 day)
  • political leadership: concepts, models, management style (1 day)
  • leading through communication and moderation (2.5 days)
  • discussion with political leaders  - excursion (1 day)

The seminar is composed of training and discussion units by making use of different methods. The participants should have already gathered first leadership experience in political institutions or groups.

TARGET GROUP
Leaders in liberal political parties and organizations.

LANGUAGES
English, Russian

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

 

[Download full abstract (pdf)]

 

Communication: Strategy and Skills, 02.07. - 09.07.2017

TOPIC
In a world dominated with competing messages, brands and ideas - how will your message resonate with your voters or supporters?
In the context of your strategy: What is it that you want to communicate to achieve your strategy? 
The seminar will present the full 360 degree picture of modern communication from concepts to practice.

METHODOLOGY
The seminar will use modern, dialogue-oriented methods and focus on the practical application of communication and media skills in a political environment. Participants will receive detailed and critical feedback on their individual or working group results. Participants will be requested to contribute actively and share their experiences.
Presentations and inputs will be provided by facilitators as well as external experts in Gummersbach and during a half-day excursion.

SUBJECTS

•   Strategic political communication 
•   Communication as part of a strategic plan and a brand strategy
•   Branding and powerful value propositions
•   Communication and media channels - advantages, disadvantages, alternatives
•   What is ‘news’ and how do journalists work?
•   The media - overview and successful concepts for media work
•   Media skills - practical training
•   Social media - potentials and pitfalls
•   Communication plans

TARGET GROUP
Politicians and directors of communication / press officers. Having already experiences in the field of political communication is a requirement due to the dialogue-oriented approach of the seminar.

LANGUAGES
English, Arabic

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

 

[Download full abstract (pdf)]
 

Coalition Building and Strategic Partnership, 30.07. - 06.08.2017

TOPIC
 
In most countries liberal political parties are not able to govern alone. In many cases and especially in illiberal environments liberal forces - parties and NGOs - are even rather small. Influencing decision-making through coalitions and strategic partnerships might be a promising approach to implement at least some liberal policies. Being able to govern and thus being more visible in public may be meaningful considerations for political parties to join a coalition and even grow subsequently. However, many liberals fear loosing identity or being marginalized in a coalition. Such questions show that power arrangements and coalition politics require caution and skillful handling. 
This workshop is an intense, week-long event which prepares party strategists for the full package of political coalition building. Following this course, participants will be well placed to re-define and sharpen their respective party's preparation for and execution of negotiations involving political compromise, organisational stress-testing and successful bridge building.

METHODOLOGY
The workshop will be a forum for an exchange of experience in the formation and running of coalitions and will include case studies (both of failure and success) that participants will be asked to analyse. Some of the case studies will be prepared and presented by participants and cover situations they have experienced themselves. These will be complemented by inputs by experts and by a series of tasks using interactive methodologies. The excursion will deal with the problems coalitions face in the political arena in Germany.

SUBJECTS

•    Methodology and purpose of coalition building, experiences with coalitions and our expectations
•    Maintaining liberal identity and preserving credibility within coalitions 
•    Different types of coalitions and ways of cooperation in coalitions and reasons for successes or failings of coalitions
•    Case studies from different regions of the world
•    Basic problems of working in coalitions
•    Coalition politics in the parliament of North-Rhine Westphalia (discussion with a member of parliament)
•    The experience of coalition building or lack thereof in the Weimar Republic
•    Strategic planning in the context of coalitions
•    Creating coalitions: fundamentals and criteria
•    Negotiation: rules and techniques and their application
•    Coalition management and exit strategies
•    Making coalitions work: enhancing performance, dealing with disputes and crises and public relations

TARGET GROUP
The seminar will discuss coalition building from a political party perspective. It therefore aims at leaders, decision-makers and key personnel in liberal political parties.

OUTCOMES
This workshop is an intense, week-long workshop which prepares party/NGO strategists for the full package of political coalition building. Following this course, participants will be well placed to re-define and sharpen their respective party's/NGO's preparation for and execution of negotiations involving political compromise, organisational stress-testing and successful bridge building.
 

LANGUAGES
English, Arabic

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

 

[Download full abstract (pdf)]
 

Promoting Entrepreneurship and Open Markets, 13.08. - 25.08.2017

TOPIC
The 12-day workshop at the International Academy for Leadership in Gummersbach begins with an overview of common criticisms, much in fashion again, of free markets and their underlying foundation, economic freedom. A free market order is often termed “capitalism” by its critics, a term that is intentionally used in its pejorative sense. The criticism is extended to its proponents and those who successfully do business in a free market environment, the capitalists. Liberals prefer the term entrepreneur. Are the criticisms valid, are they overdone or are they misleading. How should liberals deal with them?
This will be followed by a systematic overview of how liberals see markets, their features (including the way they deal with scarcity, the concept of “spontaneous order” and the “profit motive” as a driving force) and the people who do business in and exploit market forces. Why should one try to open markets? Do they work well and are they better than their alternatives? Should everything, including important utilities be private and market-oriented?  Are markets best left unregulated or should they be regulated? If they are to be regulated, how much, by whom and to what purpose? Are financial markets a special case?
The next section of the workshop will deal with the en-vironment that markets and entrepreneurs require in order to function in an optimum manner, i.e., as liberals would like to see. 
Before the final part of the event, in which the focus will be on policy, the measures will be listed and described that might help to open and develop markets, with a focus on good governance, free trade, legal measures (including anti-trust measures, (if deemed necessary), privatization and deregulation. The same will be done with respect to entrepreneurship. Special questions here will be how to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks. What kinds of incentives encourage entrepreneurship? Are subsidies for start-ups a good or a bad idea? 
The final sessions, the last two days, consist of two parts: part one will be a simulation based on a real case. Participants will be confronted with measures that have agreed upon and their effects. The task will be to develop a liberal alternative. Finally, in the  second part, also a summary session, participants will be asked to list and briefly describe and comment upon, important features of liberal policies designed to open markets and promote entrepreneurship – taking into account and differentiating according to the concrete conditions existing in the countries represented.

THE EXCURSIONS
One half-day and a 3-day excursion are an integral part of the workshop and will incorporate German case studies on the topic of entrepreneurship:

  •  the German liberal party, the FDP, and its policies in the business sector 
  • the difficulties of starting a business in a highly regulated economy (the example of Germany)
  • entrepreneurs and the German tax regime 
  • the problems entrepreneurs face when trying to abide by laws and regulations originating in the European Union
  • government sponsored start-up initiatives, their problems and potential training for the business environment: lessons from a) academic business schools and b) vocational training

TARGET GROUP
The participants to be invited are young leaders in positions of responsibility from political parties, civic initiatives, the media and the civil administration. They consider themselves to be liberal and are expected to have a basic knowledge of what liberalism is and, in particular of its values and objectives. The seminar is designed not as a basic introduction to the theory and practice of free markets, but as an opportunity to reflect and exchange views on policy: how to go about opening markets and promoting entrepreneurship.  Selected participants will be asked to prepare a short presentation either on a) a problem in their respective home countries relevant to the subject of the workshop or b) an example of how business-friendly environments can be created.

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

 

[Download full abstract (pdf)]
 

Local Politics and Citizen’s Participation, 03.09. - 15.09.2017

 TOPIC
“All politics is local” is a prevailing phrase – not only in U.S. politics. Apart from the strategic meaning it implies also a liberal perception of politics – starting off from the individual, who should be instrumental in all decisions that affect their life. Looking for solutions at the local level, involving responsible individuals and making use of decentralized local competences and knowledge are important principles to get local government politics close to citizens, encourage their participation, communicate with them more effectively and make government more efficient. However, in reality local politicians around the world are facing huge challenges to implement such principles due to administrative, legal, financial and practical problems. Additionally, in a world where communication methods have become so diverse and the online and internet space is a growing platform for citizens to actively communicate with each other and their local authorities – engagement with citizens has become even more essential. It is important to note that digital communication methods such as the cellphone have made communication much easier across the world.

In this seminar, which comprises of an online phase and a two-week seminar we are going to focus on the above-mentioned questions and we will look for answers involving the views and experiences of participants as well as external contributors. Besides such input we will use participant oriented methods to cover the subjects of the seminar. This will include working groups, simulation exercises and practical individual training.
The seminar will cover ideas on a necessary framework for a functioning local government sector. Nevertheless we will also discuss practical concepts on how to work successfully at a local level in given situations with numerous limitations beyond the decision making power of councilors and mayors.

Content-wise the seminar will focus on six modules:

  • Local government politics and liberalism: Why is local government politics important for liberals and what should a liberal policy approach for local politics include?
  • Reform ideas for local government including the concept of ‘New Public Management’ Participation as an element of good governance at a local level: Different instruments of formal and non-formal participation. Participation as a success strategy for political parties and organizations. 
  • Communication techniques and how citizens and liberal local activists can use online media tools such as social media platforms and online forums to enhance participation and mobilise support for their ideals. We will also engage in practical training that looks at how we can strengthen our communication skills and use them to improve performance 
  • Local politics, political parties and civil society: How can we use a modern liberal approach for local government politics to be politically more successful? What are the roles of political parties and civil society? 
  • Developing effective plans and programmes to implement liberal ideas at local government level that include citizens and their interests 

 

TARGET GROUP

  • Active liberal local government politicians like councilors, mayors or representatives of local party branches.
  • Representatives of liberal NGOs and citizen groups who focus in particular on the local level.
  • Politicians or individuals involved with issues of local government.
  • Functionaries of liberal political parties who are involved in training of local politicians or consolidating party structures on local level

 

SUBJECTS

1) Local government politics and liberalism

  • Why are local self-administration, subsidiarity, decentralization and participation liberal concepts? Why is local government such an important sphere of government?
  • How can we implement these concepts? Which frameworks are necessary? (legal, financial etc.) 
  • Analysis in our own countries: the legal environment and the autonomy of local government to make its own decisions.
  • How do we develop, protect and grow local government autonomy?
  • Is local government politics ‘non-ideological’? Is there a specific liberal approach?
  • Where are achievements / best practice examples and deficits / needs in our countries?

2) Reform ideas for local government 

  • On the way to New Public Management – and back? How to create a citizen oriented, efficient, democratic and responsible (non-corrupt) local administration? What are our priorities as liberal politicians and how can we implement them according to NPM principles?

3) Participation as an element of good governance on local level

  • Formal and informal means of citizens’ participation; participation in the digital age (new media tools, cell phones etc.)
  • Information rights, initiative rights and decision rights
  • How can we enhance citizens’ involvement in local politics?
  • Where are achievements / best practice examples and deficits / needs in our countries? What should be the role of civil society and their institutions such as NGOs and citizens groups?

4) The importance of effective communication – listening, engaging and communicating

  • How can we strengthen our communication skills and use them to improve performance (practical training focusing on a variety of communication platforms including online media
  • How do we use local media, both traditional and new media to communicate with our residents – what are the most effective ways of communicating with our residents as a local government but also as individual liberal politicians?
  • The importance of listening and understanding in effective communication 

5) Local politics, political parties and civil society

  • How can we use participation and citizen orientation as instruments to increase political success? What does this mean for structures and strategies of political parties? Local government level as a particular chance for opposition parties to switch voting patterns. (with practical simulation / strategy exercise)
  • How can we make a difference for our residents? Creating centers of excellence’ despite difficult framework conditions and building momentum in voters’ minds about what we can do for their daily well-being.
  • Where are achievements / best practice examples and deficits / needs in our countries.

LANGUAGES
English, Arabic

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

[Download full abstract (pdf)]
 

Strategic Planning for Political Parties, 24.09. - 01.10.2017

TOPIC

In a world dominated with competing messages, brands and ideas - how will your message resonate with your voters or supporters?
In the context of your strategy: What is it that you want to communicate to achieve your strategy? 

SUBJECTS
The seminar will use modern, dialogue-oriented methods and focus on the practical application of communication and media skills in a political environment. Participants will receive detailed and critical feedback on their individual or working group results. Participants will be requested to contribute actively and share their experiences.
Presentations and inputs will be provided by facilitators as well as external experts in Gummersbach and during a half-day excursion.

METHODOLOGY
The seminar will present the full 360 degree picture of modern communication from concepts to practice.

  • Strategic political communication 
  • Communication as part of a strategic plan and a brand strategy
  • Branding and powerful value propositions
  • Communication and media channels - advantages, disadvantages, alternatives
  • What is ‘news’ and how do journalists work?
  • The media - overview and successful concepts for media work
  • Media skills - practical training
  • Social media - potentials and pitfalls
  • Communication plans

TARGET GROUP
Politicians and directors of communication / press officers. Having already experiences in the field of political communication is a requirement due to the dialogue-oriented approach of the seminar.
 

LANGUAGES
English, Russian, Spanish

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

 

[Download full abstract (pdf)]
 

Liberals, Property and the Environment, 15.10. - 27.10.2017

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW
The 12-day workshop at the International Academy for Leadership will begin with an overview of the most important environmental challenges we currently face and an assessment of the efficacy of efforts to meet them. We will also look at the policies and measures liberals have promoted over the past years, their visibility, consistency, efficacy and success, if any. 
Following these initial steps we will take a closer look at property rights and how their strengthening might produce viable answers to some or many of the problems identified in the initial part of the workshop. Many liberals claim that more attention to using property rights-based solutions might help solve a range of environmental problems without endangering or undermining liberal visions of society.  
For liberals private property is a defining characteristic of a free society. It is difficult to see how freedom can survive without it. Indeed, private property is the most important factor that distinguishes a liberal society from socialist or communist ideals. It assumes self-ownership and accepts that the right to own the things we need ensures peace, a livelihood and, with time, prosperity.
Yet many of our contemporaries believe otherwise. This applies to a considerable number of people, politicians, scientists, journalists and NGO activists who are opinion leaders and who campaign for better management of our natural resources and a cleaner environment. 
The workshop with examine the following assumptions, that in the fields of

  • politics property promotes stability and constrains the power of government;
  • ethics property is legitimate because everyone is entitled to the fruits of his/her labour; 
  • psychology property enhances the individual’s sense of identity and self-esteem; 
  • economics property is the most efficient means of producing wealth;
  • environmental policy property promotes the judicious, sparing and, hence, sustainable use of natural resources and, at the same time allows individuals and groups to be held accountable for their actions in a more effective and meaningful manner. 

Unfortunately, however, early liberal thinkers all too often took private property and its benefits for granted. They assumed that they were so self-evident and hence did not warrant explanation. This was part of the reason why socialists were so successful in slandering and undermining the institution of private property. Only recently – and, in particular, after the velvet revolution – have policy makers rediscovered the importance of private property. The liberal economist Hernando de Soto even goes as far as to claim that unprecedented development would occur if informal property in so-called third world countries could be formalised.

In a third step the workshop will explore how the concept of private property might conceivably be a solution to problems as diverse as pollution, land degradation, overfishing, deforestation, species extinction and waste. Might the enforcement of robust property rights conceivably help in efforts to protect the environment, rehabilitate areas that have suffered considerable damage, and promote the aim of achieving sustainability in the use of natural resources? Would the poor and disadvantaged sections of society stand to benefit? To what extent would successful “green” and “blue” growth policies benefit from efforts to apply and foster a property rights-based approach to economic growth and well-being? Could such an approach produce circularity, zero emissions and zero waste – as many proponents of blue growth would wish? Would it be sensible to go for such aims? These and many other questions will be dealt with here.

THE EXCURSIONS
A half-day and a 3-day excursion will be devoted to looking at and analysing initiatives and innovations in Germany that might be seen as examples of applying liberal policies to environmental problems. The focus will be on political and private sector initiatives relevant to the subject matter of the workshop. The shorter excursion will take participants to Cologne, the longer one to Hamburg or Stuttgart.

FINAL SESSIONS
The last two days will focus on examples of successful application of property rights-based solutions for environmental problems and their relevance for countries represented at the workshop. Can these examples be applied elsewhere and under what conditions? We will then try to develop a series of liberal guidelines for tackling environmental problems that a) all participants can identify with and b) demonstrates how an economic system based on liberal principles can best cope with the challenges mentioned during part 1. 

LANGUAGES
English, Arabic

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

[Download full abstract (pdf)]

Education in Crisis: the liberal way forward, 05.11. - 17.11.2017

OBJECTIVES

  • To elaborate why education is, and should be, a central concern of liberalism and a priority in liberal policy-making
  • To spell out how education can secure and promote freedom and, at the same time, serve as a gateway both to self-improvement and self-fulfilment on the one hand and to economic and social progress on the other
  • To list the most important challenges faced by the educational sector throughout the world – especially those related to rapid technological progress, employment and peaceful coexistence (or lack thereof)
  • To specify the manifold problems of bad service delivery in the field of education and their underlying reasons 
  • To identify the central features of education policies that can be considered to be liberal, how they are different from other policies, and explain how and why they would meet the challenges and deficiencies detected
  • To detail the kinds of reforms required in the organisation and provision of education so that it becomes more relevant to the needs of individuals, their ambitions and their entrepreneurial or career activities.
     

CONTENT
The demand that basic education must be available for all people throughout the world – shared by liberals – is on the verge of being met. This demand is to the idea that the best of opportunities must be available to everyone in society irrespective of gender, social status, ethnic origin or religious belief. In our contemporary world, however, access to basic education only leaves us at square one. Being able to read and write does very little in opening up opportunities. Today we need much more because of a pace of technological and economic development never experienced before. 
Liberals all over the world express concern at the poor quality of education. The claim is that today’s realities demand radical changes in education policies. Our criticism is that these are not forthcoming. Poor education means being unable to seize the full potential of opportunities being created, being left behind and even means exacerbating the inequalities that exist in society. 

Liberals believe that part of the problem is a) the way in which education is organised and financed and b) the way independent of the state and how can this be achieved? Should higher education be run by business? How do we achieve a match between what universities teach and what the economy in which the educational establishment and teachers have become entrenched in their opposition to modernisation. Today it is becoming increasingly clear that state-run education systems, favoured by most reformers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are not in a position to adapt in the ways we need them to. Can we force them to change? Or should we try to challenge them instead through providing and promoting private, commercial and civil society-based alternatives?

Another important question covered by the workshop is the teaching profession and its future. Do teachers have a future of will learning increasingly become an online activity? Will future teachers be tutors and coaches rather than teachers in the traditional sense of the term? How would we recruit the right kind of people for such new roles? Who would members of such a profession be accountable to? What should curricula consist of and who determines the content? Do parents have a right to organise learning activities for their children – choosing from a menu of different products? How should performance of children be measured, if at all?

We will look at different models of financing education: should education be promoted through dedicated tax and savings incentives, should it be financed through voucher systems or should governments establish funds-follow-pupils systems? Should education be for profit? Would alternative ways of financing education exclude the poor and not-so-well-off from education? As far as higher education is concerned, do we still have a need for conventional universities in our high-tech world? Does scientific research require universities? If scientific knowledge has a “half-life” of less than two years, what should students focus on? Given the exploding costs of good university education, are online academic courses a viable alternative? Should higher education be completely 

A three-day excursion will take us to south-west Germany and  focus on experiences that provide added value to our workshop: eg, the importance of civics education in strengthening democracy; a decentralised school system and the advantages of competition; pre-school education as a means of overcoming social disadvantage; creating human capital through a dual system of education including vocational training.
needs?

In the final part of the workshop we will try to 

  • summarise points of general agreement. What would liberal reforms consist of? Are they realistic and how should they be achieved? How would liberal reforms differ from those of its rivals? Should the system be competitive and to what degree? Is it enough to focus on those members of society aged 5 to 25 or do we need to deal with those under 5 (pre-primary education) and over 25 (life-long learning) as well? 
  • discuss strategy and the best ways of communicating reform policies vis-à-vis political parties and the general public. How can one generate support for reform, given the vested interests we face from members of the education bureaucracy, teachers and their respective lobbies? Can liberal parties win support on a platform of education reform and how?
     

TARGET GROUP
The workshop is designed for liberal politicians and think tank members specialising in education policy, interested leading members of the educational profession and journalists who cover educational issues in their work. It is essential that all participants have a proven track record as liberals, seek reform in the field of education are not averse to unconventional approaches to the subject.

Those interested in taking part will be invited to participate in an online event designed to select participants for the workshop in Germany. It is scheduled 7 August – 3 September 2017

The best 24 participants from the Online Phase will be invited to the seminar in Gummersbach. 

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

 

[Download full abstract (pdf)]
 

Political Branding, 03.12. - 15.12.2017

TOPIC
The concept of Branding has become much more relevant in politics in recent years, having made its transition from the world of business into the nonprofit sector. Both in political science, but also in the field of political practitioners, branding of particularly political parties has become an accepted and applied approach. Thus, strategic branding becomes an important feature of political marketing and modern party management.

METHODOLOGY
During the seminar we will use methods such as brief inputs by the facilitators, presentations and discussions by and with participants and external experts, working group sessions as well as practical training and simulation.

TARGET GROUP
Public representatives, staff members and members of Political Parties, Think Tanks, NGOs and other partner organisations who are involved with the development, deepening or communication of their organisation’s brand, and who have capacity or ability to impact on the brand of the organisation.

LANGUAGE
English

CLOSING DATE
Usually 12 weeks before before the start of the seminar. Please contact the FNF office in your country / region.

REGISTRATION FEE
€ 260.00

 

[Download full abstract (pdf)]