18 October 2022
The 9th edition of Freedom Games, the annual Łódź conference organised in cooperation with Fundacja Liberté! was yet again a lively and stimulating event, this year with the leading focus on Green Independence.
Our vast audience had a unique opportunity to meet in Łódź and online a diverse programme of over 280 leading intellectuals, representatives of culture, academia, and public life from around the globe.
The climate crisis is one of, if not the greatest challenge of our time. How we react to the crisis will determine our future and that of future generations, and the effects of possible omissions will be felt for decades. The panels at the conference created important debates towards the mission of Green Independence as well as tackling many critical themes such as disinformation, cyberwarfare, globalization & free market, social services, education, the rule of law and the energy sector.
Through the ELF Hub at Freedom Games 2022 we hosted 11 sessions in both ‘Dare to Debate’ discussion panels and ‘Thinking Aloud’ formats.
On Friday ELF hosted 3 speakers for ‘Thinking Aloud’ sessions.
First, Tania Malarczuk, Ukrainian writer, discussed the idea of Central Europe in the face of the Russian war in Ukraine. This was followed by a session with Johan Norberg, who dove into the prosect of optimism in a world of crises. We also welcomed American Philosopher Mark Lilla to host a discussion on whether liberal patriotism be stronger than nationalism.
We kicked off Day 2 with a very insightful panel on how we can fight authoritarian regimes like that of Russia, with information, with media experts Ivan Kolpakov, Editor in Chief of Meduza and Professor Ryszard Machnikowski.
Following this session, we continued the conversation on Russia, bringing the focus back to Green Independence, specifically the creation of energy autonomy in Europe, and how we can prevent the use of energy as a geopolitical weapon. Thomas Bagger, German Ambassador to Poland, Joanna Maćkowiak Pandera PhD, President of Forum Energii & Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, former Polish Ambassador to Russia formed the high-level debate.
Szymon Holownia, social activist and chairman of the Poland 2050 Party then joined moderator Prof Tomasz Kamiński in the main hall for a spirited discussion on liberalism and green development. The prominent outcome of the debate lay in the rapidly increasing need to move the energy mix away from nuclear towards renewables.
John Keane, author of the new book ‘The New Despotism’ opened the final day of panels with a very intereting Thinking Aloud session, discussing with moderator Maciej Nowicki the future for authoritarian countries such as China and Hungary.
We then turned the conversation to human rights and the violation of those rights to the LGBTI community. In this panel Slava Melnyk, Krzysztof Śmiszek MEP and Anna Wiatrowska delivered a passionate session about equality, the role of media, LGBTI Freedom Zones and their implementation.
The next ELF session of the conference looked into the issue of Rule of Law and EU funds, focused heavily on the perspective of Poland and Hungary, with experts Alberto Alemanno EU law professor, John Morijn, Wojciech Sadurski and Paulina Kieszkowska-Knapik.
“The toolkit is comprehensive and logical, but the instruments are not working. Poland does not want to receive EU funds yet. It is a tool of parties, prior to elections to use the EU as a target of hatred and paranoia.”
Finally, we turned back to the energy crisis, weighing up the pros and cons of nuclear with Agata Brzezińska, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk MP, Urszula Zielińska MP and Andrzej Domański.