Freedom Games are a meeting of individuals who are curious about the world and open to new ideas. It is a gathering of renowned experts and intellectuals and a discussion about the key challenges the Western societies must face in the 21st century. Being a unique interdisciplinary event of this kind held in Poland, its main objective is to offer a creative space for exchanging ideas between the representatives of culture, business, and public life, among others.
We build a leading intellectual event on an international scale. Freedom Games is a grassroots forum created by a non-governmental organization, connecting people who believe in such values as liberal democracy, open society, and the rule of law.
Within the past thirty years, we observed the fall of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Recently, the United States have been steadily losing its position of the only global power, which it held since its cold war victory. Radical developments have been taking place in the fields of communications, technology, organization of work, and even trade or strategies employed when waging wars. Further emancipation of the groups that for ages have been discriminated against, secularization, and migration, have changed seemingly homogeneous societies. The economy became globalized, whereas politics remained chiefly local (or national).
Therefore, it is not in the least surprising that liberal democracy has been recently facing various issues.
Contrary to popular belief, democracy is not only about elections. It is a “social tissue”, institutions, political culture, a set of rules, norms, and behaviors, and finally, also a kind of social awareness. It is both a celebration of peoples’ choices and a manifestation of what those people see on the television or experience online. Democracy without norms and rules is no longer democracy – just like a football match in which a referee does not call fouls is no longer a match, but rather a scuffle with a football somewhere in the background.
The year 1989 marked a great triumph of democracy. A crowning moment of what Samuel Huntington called “Democracy’s Third Wave”. This is precisely why the sixth edition of Freedom Games – to be held on September 13-15, 2019, in Lodz, Poland – shall serve as a space for discussing how democracies win.
The year 2019 will be a year of strategic decisions in Poland. Yet, these decisions will involve something slightly different than thirty years ago. Their importance, however, cannot be underestimated.
Freedom Games are a leading intellectual and educational event in Poland. We hosted renowned speakers from the United States, Russia, China, France, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and United Kingdom, among others.
The Organizer has proved that within five years it was possible to gather in Lodz outstanding intellectuals, representatives of culture and public life from around the globe – including lecturers from the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley, Lodz, and Paris, Massachusets Institute of Technology, Lodz University of Technology, a former prime minister of Russia, dissidents, writers, poets, and the leaders of influential non-governmental organizations such as National Endowment for Democracy or European Liberal Forum.
The partners of the event included so far: Open Society Foundations, Atlas Foundation, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the City of Lodz Office, Marshall Office of Lodz Region, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, and such companies as Orange, DNB, and PZU, among many others.
Among hundreds of speakers who took part in Freedom Games we may find: President of European Council Donald Tusk, President of Freedom House Michael Abramowitz, Marci Shore, Radosław Sikorski, Robert Cooper, Adam Michnik, Agnieszka Holland, Maria Peszek, Marek Belka, Leszek Balcerowicz, Peter Gloor, Brendan Simms, Angana Chatterji, Andrzej Stasiuk, Marcin Świetlicki, Liao Ywiu, Robert Biedroń, Dorota Masłowska, Shalini Randeria, Borys Budka, Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, Maria Asenius, Karim Jebari, Jacek Dukaj, Sławomir Lachowski, Mariusz Szczygieł, Nilüfer Göle, Oksana Zabuzhko, Carl Gershman, Adam Bodnar, Jan-Werner Mueller, and Viktor Eerofyev, among others.
Each day ends with a music concert. The bands that performed during Freedom Games so far iclude: Pink Freud, Mitch & Mitch, Marcin Masecki, Wacław Zimpel, Gaba Kulka, Świetliki, Jazzpospolita, Kristen, Stara Rzeka, and Muchy.
Below you may find a set of folders summarizing previous editions of the event: