Q BERLIN 2018
A positive future will require individual freedom, global cooperation, room for new ideas, lifelong curiosity and courage. That was the conclusion of the second edition of Berlin questions. At the E-Werk, more than 500 guests from Germany and abroad discussed the key issues of our times with thirteen speakers from the worlds of business, politics and civil society.
How little we can take freedom for granted became all too clear at the beginning of the conference: Joshua Wong, the student leader from Hong Kong who had been scheduled as a speaker, was not allowed to leave his country and could only address the guests by video message. He stressed the importance of fundamental democratic rights. Nighat Dad, director of the Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan, told how verbal attacks on the Internet lead to assaults on women in real life. She proposes new social media guidelines that are not defined solely by the major Internet companies. Styli Charalambous, co-founder and publisher of the independent South African news platform Daily Maverick, spoke out for free and challenging journalism. Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, criticised the move towards the nation state that is currently evident in many countries as a regressive step after four decades of positive development. The questions of the future can, he said, only be solved by cooperation and a collective global effort.